Massapequa Drifting | Gary F. Iorio

emptyboat

photo credit: Christine Catalano

Forty-four years ago, Annette would sunbathe on the bow
of my small boat while I pretended to be interested in
sports in the New York papers. She’d ask questions; but mostly she tried to sleep,
a hand in the water. Trying to sober up with
the sun on her face.

We’d drift in the inlet, a crack
in the barrier island that protected our homes from the ocean.
Homes that, in fact, were built on another, larger,
barrier island that protected
the rest of world.

“Shut up! Who cares that this is going to be
the year for the freakin’ New York Mets? I’m scared.”

The ground swells would threaten to break as we moved
towards the jetty and shallow water. If we could hear the
radios and laughter of the people fishing off the rocks, and
smell their suntan lotion, it’d be time for me to
move the boat. Drifting in an inlet requires effort.

“Where is it legal? Oregon? Hawaii? When will it be
ok for a girl to get one done here?

Every question was answered. Then we drifted in different directions.

Now there’s a large parking lot behind the jetty.
A small Maritime Museum, next to a multi-faith chapel:
Blessings of the fleet. The Catholics installed their headstone/monument for
the unborn, the aborted and the confused.
A good place to eat my lunch, looking out at
the inlet.

Now I use my Blackberry and ‘Friendhunter’ to find most of
my past. I’ve tried to find Annette: Nothing.
Friendhunter’ will work.

Soon my little screen will flash and fill with Annette and I’ll invite her to come back
and drift.

Gary F. Iorio has an MFA from the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop.  He resides in Suffolk County, New York and currently works as a real estate attorney.  His fiction, memoirs and poetry have appeared in numerous journals and newspapers in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, including, Front&Centre, San Pedro River Review, Crack the Spine, and The East Hampton Star. Recently his work has been nominated for a 2013 StorySouth Million Writers Award. 

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