Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Montauk Aug 31 to Sep 3

We first saw the wild desolate seascape of Montauk together, in the film "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" starring Jim Carrey. From that point we decided we would find a time to visit this fishing town at the eastern end of Long Island.

The Montauk we found was neither wild nor desolate: not at the harbor at the neck of the enormous lake, where water crafts--sailboats and motor-boats--were docked at marinas like so many cars in parking lots, and where expensive restaurants boasted of fresh local seafood--cold mussels, steamed lobster in the raw, oven roasted striped bass, pan seared fluke fillet--and of stunning views of the harbor and the lake; not in the Village, where beach shops selling Montauk tanktops, shorts, jackets and sweaters competed with each other, having vanquished the local department stores, where pancake restaurants offered cheap breakfasts to young surfers and loafers, alongside fancier establishments cooking up early bird dinners and late night live music entertainment, where beach motels, built like dormitories of a seaside college, housed the same recently graduated transients, and where the Atlantic Ocean was conveniently located three blocks from the main drag, the waters an ablution for fornicating couples, married couples, gay couples, and Indian families who splashed themselves as if they were washing in the Ganges; not even at the lighthouse, the first ever constructed in the States, with its museum of wrecked ships, of coastal maps sounding the fathoms of safety, and of lives organized in a crew of three--Lighthouse Keeper, First Assistant, Second Assistant-- for duty, the daily climbs spiralling up to the huge lamp stuck on top of the tower like an eye, seeing through its Fresno lens, in order to light the eye one hour before sunset, and to turn it down one hour after sunrise; no, not even at the headland where the Block Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean merged into each other, where man-given names ceased to matter, and on the rocky ledge round the foot of the lighthouse we knew, Love, we had reached the end of land, but it was neither wild nor desolate.

No comments: