|The weather kept Alan inside, so he spent the next several days working on this drawing.
The sky is nearly completed, and next are the surf and beach.
(He works from the top down to avoid smudging the graphite with his drawing hand.)
The sky stayed gray, and a chilly wet wind brought showers and mists on and off for several days. Alan spent the time at his table, making a drawing, and trying not to feel too bummed about the weather. During a lull in the mist, he walked down to the beach to sketch the waves. The water was catching the pale light from the broken sky as an obscure sun tried to break through. The challenge of doing this in graphite, with some odd drafting pencils he had brought along, helped keep his mind off of his isolation blues.
He also posted a letter to the Tourism Office, asking if they might be interested in buying a Tera Bike solar-powered trike, available at Rothschild's Bike shop in Hazel. He then listed the savings in time and energy this bike would provide, and that it would still belong to Tourism for other uses after he was finished with it. Who knows? It's worth a try...
During another lull, Alan needed a break and some company. (I'm not a hermit!) Adrian hadn't been in his gallery for the last three days, so Alan put down his tools, rummaged in his kitchen for some crackers and cheese, and walked the mile-and-a-half to Adrian's house.
It turned out Adrian had company. There was a tiny blue private car parked next to Adrian's bike, and when Alan knocked on the door, a tall, very dark-skinned woman opened it. Adrian was right behind her, and he said, "Oh, Hi, Alan...Um, Joanna, this is Alan, the guy I told you about who lives above the gallery."
Joanna graciously smiled, offered her hand, and said, "Come in, Come in," and Alan sheepishly smiled back at them and walked in.
Alan hadn't heard about this Joanna person, and he felt embarrassed at having barged in unannounced. "I...I hadn't seen you in a while, Adrian, so I thought 'd come over and say Hi...Uh, good to meet you, Joanna."
Alan soon got a vibe that these two were wanting some privacy. " I probably should have called you, maybe on your gallery phone..."
"Oh, that's fine Alan, I'm glad you stopped by. Everything is okay there, right? Um, I've just been a bit busy since Joanna's been here. As a matter of fact, we were just getting ready to go to Victoria for a few days, but otherwise we'd love to have you stay for a chat."
"Oh. Yes. Everything is fine...uh, okay, well, you guys have a nice trip," and Alan backed out towards the door, then, "Oh, can I borrow your bike again?"
"Sure, sure, no problem"
Alan was intrigued more than put off by Adrian's abruptness. He was happy to get the bike, and proceeded to ride it directly into Hazel. There he bought some groceries for a few more days of hunkering down, since the rains weren't showing any sign of ending soon. As he was riding back to his lodgings, a steady drizzle had resumed, but at least the wind had died down.