I don’t know why I go there to eat. It is a tourist destination, and I am not a tourist. I think I like slipping among them for a while, though, disguised in sunglasses and sweatshirt. I am unnoticed and unnoticeable, vanilla-bland. Too old to be one of the horse-eyed waiters; too young to be one of the summer folk come to settle down through August. In Florida, they call them snowbirds when they come in the winter. But here it is desolate in January and December. The salty air is tough on buildings; paint chips and cracks off the motels; winter storms erode the dunes. No one walks on the beach in winter. So different from right now, with all the bustle of summer and the smell of dune roses and sunscreen everywhere.
I go into Lobster Bob’s. It smells like steam. A teenager takes my order – steamers and beer. As I sit and eat, I notice I am the only one here alone. The rest are families, or pairs of oldies, or young couples. No matter. I don’t mind sitting alone. Although it is new for me. I used to go to restaurants with Sarah – the quiet assurance of her small body near mine, the warmth that radiated off her at the end of the day. It is strange not to have her shadowing. I’ve never been this alone.
It is dark on the restaurant’s patio, but I can still see the water and the way it throws up the moon’s reflection once in a while, and the reflection of the restaurant lights. Boats clink against one another moodily, like ice in a glass.