hold my coat and snicker
I remember being told by a teacher not to read Jane Eyre, because I would be reading it in her class in the fall. Of course I read it that summer. Propped in bed, or curled in a corner, but finally finishing peripatetic. That’s how I remember it, anyway. I walked the three miles from Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs in the summer swelter. I walked slowly and slowly read, turning the thin foxed pages in their sweating dark green cloth, gravel underfoot. I walked and read and didn’t stop except for water and a bookstore. I walked until the road ended in a beach and then I sat on a stone and finished the last few pages. I remember looking at the sunburnt people ruddy against the white sand, the gray concrete, the gray ocean, the gray sky and feeling empty and complete and tired. I sat for some time. I remember looking at my watch. Then I stood and walked back to the ferry, scuffing my feet in the gravel and sand and thinking.