Assateague

A few of my traveling companions and I made our way to this little island south of Ocean City, MD � a state park named after the Indians who once lived there that, get this, were driven off the island by some settlers. Read all about the Assateague Indians here, or the island itself, here, or even about the wild horses that don’t so much roam the island as wait by the road to be “killed by kindness,” as one flyer put it, here.

As for the real deal, well, we left the fine state of PA for this island Thursday, June 03 and docked up in some chain lodge that night, then made our way to Assateague the next morning. A good arch of a bridge put us over the bay and a merry old site of canoes and a some sort of sea fowl’s nest perched on a miniature lighthouse-looking thing coming out of the water. These wild horses, which weren’t as much wild as they were homeless, I would say, were shitting all over the road and in the swamps, and not minding one bit. You could tell they were just hanging alongside the pavement, waiting for some poor sucker to come along and give them a snack, which would inevitably lead them to continue this method of panhandling until one gloomy night an unwarry traveler would smack a horse dead on in the middle of the road, which actually happens, and when such an occurance took place in 2000, they drew up a special flyer with the headline “Killed By Kindness” which was simulatenaously hilarious even surrounded by all the standard bummer feelings one might rouse up at the thought of a dead horse who probably had never even got to star in his own porn.

Anyway, cloudy skies and warm weather, sitting with feet dangling out of some decent tents, beers and fruity drinks and the feeling that everything around you is foreign and perfectly naturally home all at the same time, sand in your shorts, in your slippers, in your drink, smoke on your lips and a foggy mind to keep everything wonderfully out of perspective�the work world a million miles away and when night came crashing over us in thundering stormy reality I was suddenly humbled and empowered by the fact that I was sleeping on an island far from home with nothing separating me and a night in the rain but a tent that we’d put up ourselves and were now as close to real as I’d been in a long very long long time. An early morning skip to the beach before we left where I sat by myself letting the water dance around my toes and somehow getting the feeling that as mighty as the ocean is it was showing me a bit of respect and allowing me to think that I had some control here. So much of our time was spent just living in this martian locale that we only headed into Ocean City once, for about an hour, to do the whole crab shack thing and Shawn kept reminding the rest of us that we were in effect eating something similar to a giant insect, while he no doubtedly dined on beef or steak or sirloin or some part of a cow. A real meat eater, you could say. Hilarious, what with my knowledge of him. But you’ll never know, seperate are the reader and the original thought and all I can do is try to suck up some life now in the between of this adventure and my next, a cross country trip with my girlfriend, Jill, to the desert, California, Lake Tahoe and possibly a quick jaunt through Mexico…

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