Sunday, December 27, 2015

59. Alan then ponders his situation...



Alan knew he needed to continue making sketches depicting places on New Island for the Tourism Office. That meant he needed to plot out another route to find more of the places on The List.  He looked at it and then decided maybe later.

Just for fun, he laid out the pictures he had made so far. He thought they were basically OK, and hoped the Tourism Office will feel the same about them. 

Then he put the pictures away and looked out the window at Putney Bay. For a long minute his mind just sort of wandered off. 

He thought about Michelle, back in Michigan City. He half-expected a letter from her would be waiting for him, but she didn't have his address. She may have written to his employer, the Tourism Office, but then he wasn't sure her letter would even make it to the island, much less to him. She was the only person he might expect to hear from.

He suddenly wished, with an intense longing, that he had made more friends in his life. He thinks he learned this isolationism from his mom, who, he later realized, was a bit of a recluse. When he graduated from Oceanside High, in California, she made it clear she wanted her own space, mostly by telling him, "I need my own space." She paid for his college room and board at Cal State Long Beach, and he was excited to be there, so he didn't feel too rejected. he saw her rarely during college, and then not at all since he moved to Indiana.

In the years since, his only real friends were his ex-wife Barbara, and then Michelle. 

But here on this island, he's been meeting people. He thought about Chloe, and wondered where she was now, and he remembered Amelia the gossip-journalist surfer, and Carla on the boat, and that he would like to see them again, especially Chloe. Even Jeremy on the train would have been a friend if Alan had been more patient with him. And he likes his neighbor Adrian - they seem to have a lot to talk about. None of this occurred back in Indiana. 

What's going on? Are the people different here?  Am I different? They do seem far more relaxed than anyone I've met back home. I feel like I'm far way from everything I knew in the States, but I feel that the islanders want to know me, or they are simply more outgoing, or I'm more open...who knows?

People are pretty good here, at least so far. Can I trust that?