Jul 08, 2022, 06:28AM

To the Lighthouse

Where are my hackle spurs? And my rusted salt belt?

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Off we set for some “sight-seeing” pushed on Rooster and me by Monica. We inveighed that this endeavor would never work, for we are “inside birds” who do “inside things” like “read” and “eat” and “sleep.”

I will not list my activities.

Monica insisted that we go to the beach to see the new lighthouse. I think it’d always been there, but it’s been restored—there’s a dispensary in the lobby. And I think you can pay to go to the top, but we didn’t want a tourist’s view: our eyes were on the lightbulb in that thing. How much light does it take to keep people alive? How many mariners have drowned because of faulty wiring or lazy drunks who couldn’t be bothered to get gas for the weekend? Or lamp oil or whatever they used, I’m not a scientist, I don’t know about people I haven’t met.

Apparently, Monica thought she was going to a picnic, because she dressed as such, and Rooster and I were left wondering which one of us would be saddled with driving to the lighthouse and who’d carry Monica’s fat ass up the stairs. Inevitably I’d get stuck with the latter, an obscene reversal of what a normal family would do. We’re not right. I was sitting there in the car behind Monica hearing her drone on and on about some actor friend she meant in “Alphabet City” when she was a mercenary. You’d be surprised how many actors are in the agency. There’s like several.

“BENNINGTON. PICK. ME. UP!” I can’t believe I have to lift this fat bitch all the way up the spiral staircase of this lighthouse. Why am I here? What am I doing with my life? Why did I leave Polly? I like living in the underground. It gave me something to do. I had friends. I had friends! These people aren’t my friends. These people are strangers to me. Worse: they’re abusing me every day. I’m a victim of their constant manipulations, lies, and mockings, all meant to destroy my spirit and keep me from fulfilling my potential as a true bird of paradise. What am I to do, lighthouse? Should I move to Switzerland and become a gold thief? A farmer in Geneva? What am I doing with my life?

As we reached the top, a spectral light burst through the glass of the lighthouse and spoke to me in the form of Poseidon (Rooster said he looked more like Gene Hackman; I didn’t ask Monica what she thought of anything). “You need to abandon this woman, Bennington. She’s evil and bringing you a piece of your own death every day. Your cousin’s fine, but he’s in thrall to his wife, so he’s a liability. You need to leave, but not to New York—come with me, you can crash at my place in Atlantis. No, not the island, I’m going to wipe that out next year around January sometime. Listen, I have to run, but so do you, so just get away from your family and go anywhere where they will accept you, but not Polly. Find someone new. Okay, gotta jet—bye for now!”

My Poseidon adventure ended there. Rooster said all he remembered were a few lines from The Domino Principle. Monica slept through it all, apparently. We walked back to the house, had dinner, and went to sleep. I’m not ready to leave yet. I need to see Poseidon again… maybe I could live underwater…

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