Friday, October 19, 2012

lobster dreams

Breakfast. Rain outside, not heavy, but coming down from dark clouds. Skip the sunroom -- we'll eat in the kitchen.

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Then, a few hours later, I am on a plane, heading east. Toward more rain, though there, I almost expect it. Every once in a while, there'll be the occasional cloud break. For instance, passing over the Finger Lakes in New York.

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But for the most part, there is a heavy layer of cloud separating us, flying in that little plane I've come to accept as a means of getting in and out of my home town, from the world below.

Evening. Dark already. I land in Portland Maine.

If you don't mind the occasional rain and a pouty season that cannot make up its mind, then there's a lot to love about Maine.

I'm here alone. Part of the compromise -- some trips will always, for me, be solo trips. I pack good books, old and new New Yorkers, a little bit of work, too (but just for the journey) and my writing stuff. And good walking shoes should the rain take a pause.

In the cab to the b&b (Inn on Carleton), I cannot convince the driver that there is a "hotel" on the block I direct him to.  
Big hotel? He asks.  
No, just six rooms. Run by a guy who, in his day job is a flight attendant. A lovely old place that looks good even in the rain.

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Food time.
I miss seafood. When you live in the Midwest you idealize coastal living, just because each coast is so far away. Greener pastures. There, by the salty ocean waters.  People there surely must eat freshly caught something or other every day. You don't want to know that probably most everyone serves shrimp caught in Thailand. 

And so I pick my eating places carefully on this wee solo trip: tonight it's Maine bistro food. Petite Jacqueline. I eat at the bar. (Ed would have liked that.)

Lobster, or at least a fraction of one: mixed into a salad and stuck back into the tail shell. Sort of like a lobster roll without the roll.

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Then, catch of the day (they claim it was flounder), pan fried over haricots verts (skinny beans).

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As I hear the chef shout out from the kitchen "87 lobster tails!" I ask the wait staff -- truly 87 lobster tails?
So many? He laughs. In restaurant lingo it means we're out of lobster tails. I want to say -- I worked in a restaurant and have never heard that! But I keep quiet. It's been almost a dozen years since I put myself out there on the line, not the Internet line but a kitchen line. Things change. Surely I have come to know that much about life.

The rain comes, crazily, pounding, then the rain goes, then comes back again. I wonder if it is the same back at the farmette.