Point of View: The Summer Begins

No escape

My analogy may be a little off, but I think the way into the Art Barge on the Napeague stretch resembles a pound trap, a long track through wetlands leading to the cod end, from which there is no escape. 

It becomes nothing less than Mephistophelian from a driver’s point of view when there is, as there was on Memorial Day eve, a large party there.

Having crept and crept and crept forward, I arrived at a small circle and went to park behind an S.U.V. with a license plate that said “Moon Unit,” but was told I could not. We often do it that way at The Star, and it was a Star party, and, as I told the security guard, I didn’t plan on staying long, but he was adamant.

So, there I was, told to go back, which I began to do, creeping and cursing the while . . . until confronted by an onrushing tank — for that is what I call Range Rovers and the like — driven by a guy who, when I motioned him backward with both hands, refused to give ground, just as I should have done in the first instance. He dismounted and told me that I was the one who should back up to the circle where we would all turn around. Soured on partying by then, I began backing, until, in trying to get around a particularly protuberant van, the driver’s side wheels rolled over a half-sunken log into a marshy ditch.

The guy, in passing by a few minutes later, said he was sorry.

Well underway by that time, the party was loud, and it was all I could do to hear the AAA voice on a borrowed cellphone in the tiny kitchen — an effort interrupted when told that someone with a four-wheel drive, someone whom I knew, would tow me. I ran out to where the car was, but there was no one in sight. Gloomy in the gloaming, I sat on the fender of the lopsided Solara a while longer before returning to the barge again, where a kind woman was to intercede for me with Mary over a landline phone. I was walking up the steps as Jane Bimson, a co-worker, was walking down them. 

“Mary told me to promise only to have one drink and, guess what, I’ve had none,” I sighed, after telling her what had happened.

“Have two,” said Jane.