Narragansett Bay

Those nights in Kansas, the first area of my mission, I would dream myself to sleep- just seven years into the future.  I’m moving into a nice three bedroom house on the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.  I had visited Rhode Island when I was ten, and then again when I was fifteen.  Tyler came the second time.  He came a few days later because he had cancer camp- as he did every summer.  {he loved that place}  I remember watching him walk off the plane.  It was a small plane, so he walked down the stairs like I had seen and envied in old movies.  We saw him from the window.  Why was this such a good memory?  Tyler in his Hawaiian shirt and backpack.  My Grandparents and I had the luxury of looking at him before he knew where we were.  He was looking around, taking things in.  All the while we knew everything. We had plans. He didn’t need to worry.

He looked good.  This was the healthiest he’d been in years.  We walked around Newport together. Both awed by gorgeous tanned women in their early twenties.  We were both hopeless with women. It was there I saw the couple in their fifties on an immaculate little sailboat.  The man knew exactly what he was doing with the ropes and things. Lines, Grandpa would correct. Once a rope enters a ship, it becomes a line.

That was my goal.  I would work hard all my life, to have that pretty wife and shiny boat. The Narragansett Bay was perfect. It was solidified a few months later when I read in English class that John Smith was all over the very same Naragansett Bay. I was born to have that house, a high quality three bedroom, but not gaudy. 

I wasn’t going to pour all my money into a huge mansion.  I was going to spend money on things that made me and the family happy. The boat that sat in the water just beyond the back yard.  House, lawn, and boat in the water. Why in the world wasn’t this everybody’s dream?  The freedom of immediate transportation on both land and sea.  The kids would BEG me to take them out on the boat!  We would take that boat everywhere, the open ocean!

At the beginning of my mission, I would dream myself to sleep thinking about this house and my new wife.  She’s toned and tall.  There are boxes on the floor of this empty, wonderful new home.  She takes a break from unpacking to squeeze me.  I pick her up and hold her there.  She makes her calves parallel to the hard wood floor.  They don’t have hard wood floors in California. She loves me so much.  I am a stockbroker.  We have been saving for this house.  I am going to toss wiffle balls to our son as he perfects his swing on the back grass.  He will be more coordinated than I. The reflection of the sun is a spiderweb on the Narragansett Bay.

Mostly just the squeezing in the living room of the house though.  That’s the dream.  She loves me so much.


Seven years later, just before before Sinco De Mayo, I’m on the couch with my roommate Lillian and I tell her I know what will be on the cover of my book- a picture of a missionary (suit and tie) with a bikini top dangling from his fingers as he gawks at a topless blond.  I tell her this is for the sensationalists, this is to sell it, the American Pie version of my story. They can make a movie about it, I don’t even care if they bastardize it anymore. Just pay me. Daring, shocking, laugh-out-loud. I explain to Lilly that I will be listed as the author, though in smaller writing, it’s clear that I needed some assistance from a ghost writer compiling this tell-all: With Lillian–  She  loves it.  It’s so neo-postmodern. I love it. I  am attention-starved, impressing my teacher, her approval is addictive.

On May Sixth, she’s at the entrance to my room and the Weezer posters are still on the floor. I moved in almost a month ago.  I call attention to that, tell her I’m not sure what my plan is.  She says it’s OK, it’s so neo-postmodern.

I should have called her Lilly more. Lillian is not lighthearted.


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