I was on foot. I’d been walking all afternoon. I didn’t know where I was going and didn’t want to know. I just kept walking. I was on Church Bay Road, apparently. You could have fooled me. Where I was from churches were churches and bays were bays and I didn’t see any church or bay anywhere around here but this country road was pretty interesting. What happened here?
“How come I didn’t know about this?” I said to the truck of friends who’d finally caught me up. They’d been looking for me. They always expect me to say something snappy and maybe a little mysteriously humorous because I’m so funny and I’d been gone so long. And I didn’t want to let them down. I used to be insecure and lack confidence but I’d grown.
“You heading to Veruna?” The driver asked.
“To where?” I said.
“Veruna. Just up ahead.”
“Sure. Why not?”
“You want a lift?”
“Not a chance.” They left me and I carried on.
I knew where I was going now. Veruna! A vital link! Whatever it is! An inspiration! But I still had time to think about what, besides the scenery, had been consuming me. All this is great here but what am I doing about myself? What is going to make me realize some half-baked dream? And I wasn’t even at Veruna yet. Maybe I’d never get there. Maybe the answer was there.
Enough to admire here from right on this road. Some fine people live lives of quiet deluxity. And it’s a fine job they’ve done. But I knew I had to keep going. Oh, I see. There’s the church. So the bay must be right around here. What is a bay anyway? What is anything?
Suddenly, just like in the movies, here it is. Just like on your whatever. End of the road. Time’s up. You’re finished. I’m finished. End of the line. It’s over. It’s so over. You’ve had it and they’ve had it and a “Private Drive” sign or two is totally understandable. Here or anywhere. I can’t just go traipsing around wherever my troubled mind wants to go. Whether I feel like it or not. Remember. You’ve reformed.
I’ve been at dead ends before but this is all new. This is good. What am I doing at “Veruna”? Why am I here? I’m looking for something. Of course I am. And then you get the message and take the path down. Veruna has updated. I took the call. What else was I going to do?
“I’m on Veruna Beach.”
“You’re on what? Stop fooling around.”
My life was a shambles. Or maybe I just hadn’t slept well. It wouldn’t change anything. There’s something special about this short, sand and pebbly beach, it’s perfect compactness.
I was apprehensive because it was my first time and everybody tells you it’s like that the first time. Doesn’t matter what you’re doing, jumping out of a plane with a parachute or learning to ride a trike. Anything can happen although it almost never does.
I was alone. Things were very calm. There was a single solitary duck floating around off shore. The lonesome Barrow’s. Yeah, sure. Take a picture.
After awhile new surroundings become familiar territory. Like after thousands of years. I’ve been here a few times now. Harold Payne had a boat called “Varuna”. Is it a typo or something completely different? Could be Italian. It’s possible. Nothing finer. Just how long has Veruna been here? You can see the ferries coming in just over the way there. Big deal. That isn’t enough to make anybody come back here.
Footprints in the sand. That on such a tiny beach, before you got here and discovered it, someone else has been here before you. It brings it all back home. I got back on the line. Everybody needs somebody and it has to come from within.