|The beach on Putney Bay, below Alan's apartment, on a rainy day.|
Early the next morning Alan heard rain on the roof.
Around 4 am he was awakened by a dream where he was in a room somewhere, being angrily chastised by his mom. His ex-wife Barbara and Michelle were there beside her; they didn't say anything but they seemed to be siding with his mom like a panel of judges. He couldn't remember what the issue was about, but it brought up memories of similar actual events when he was a kid.
The dream voices faded into the strident sound of rain on the roof. Awake now, he suddenly wondered how his mom was doing these days; he hadn't spoken with her for a couple of years. Same thing with Barbara. His mind slogged through situations with both of them where he thought he should have been more in touch, should have called or written more often. But what would they talk about? Also, he realized, they didn't bother to get in touch with him during much of his time in Michigan City...
Once it was light outside, he got up, wrapped a blanket around his shoulders and looked out his front window at the heavy clouds and dark water. The waves looked pretty rough for this part of the bay. The dark beach and murky sky triggered those feelings of isolation that have been bothering him. He worried that he might possibly be a loner, a recluse, perhaps a hermit at heart. But he knew he wasn't a misanthrope; he really did like people in general. He realized that maybe he was simply not that attentive or tuned in to those that he was close to.
And now he is on this island that seems to be separated by more than just miles from anywhere he has been before. Is the whole place on some other plane of existence?
And so, therefore, is he? Are his mom and Michelle (and the real world) completely out of reach? He's not sure how much of this he wants to know!
And then again he feels real enough here, and everything, including the friends he's met, feel real enough too. That's something.
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