Pastel, Plastic, Sand and Seafood

Not normally given to a particular
visual awareness of his surroundings,
he sat on the couch of the cottage

just off the Gulf of Mexico where he
and his wife and their Chocolate Lab
would be spending two winter months

away from the Michigan cold and
maybe even a Polar Vortex. The
walls were pastel green, the wood

furniture painted off-white, the wall
hangings all furniture outlet nautical
themed — silkscreen of an octopus,

a plastic crab, a mirror hanging from
a boat cleat, cleats in the bathroom
upon which to hang towels and shav-

ing kits, a lamp made of plastic shells
reflecting morning light coming in from
the rising sun, a lamp of a plastic

anchor, a plastic bouy, a plastic fish
secured to a piece of distressed wood,
wall hangings with words extolling the

area — “Beach House, Flip Flops, Paradise”
and the solitary hanging — “Beach.” He
thought about his home along the shores

of Lake Michigan, the neutral walls upon
which hang original art by artists known
by the family, his wife’s award-winning

mixed-media sculptures on tables and the
mantle. He sat on the couch covered with
a bedsheet they put on to protect the

pastel green couch from stains. He
looked forward to hearing the crunch
and squeal and the feel of sand that is

real under his feet on the saltwater
shore on a day away from the cold.
And then he thought, What the hey;

it’s warm where we stay.
And just think of all the fresh

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