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Fire Island

There’s a place on the edge of the world, so close to the rushing clocks of New York and the sleepy boulevards of Long Island, that is undoubtedly the most magical place on this earth. They say you can only get there by ferry, but I know that if you really need to? You’ll find a way, by boat or otherwise. There’s always a way to get to there when you need to.

You stand in the center of a deserted jungle metropolis. There are straw huts and odd little shingled houses everywhere, but no one seems to live there. They say that ghosts inhabit the houses. I know that the houses aren’t as much houses for living as they are houses for life.

A sound of cowbells and tulle sifts through the warm, sea-salted air. It sounds exactly like the creepy theme music from The Myst, but somehow in this eerie glimpse of nothingness, it’s fitting.

The sand is the oddest color you’ve ever seen, half gold like sand should be, but half silver—because what is this place but the opposite of the norm? The waves crashing on the empty, frozen beach are grey and tipped with frost—warm foam rushes between your toes, leaving seashells in its wake. You wonder.

And you discover that this place is the most unbelievably pure place you have ever been, closer to heaven than man will ever get before leaving earth. It is devoid of fright and anger, devoid of sugar-sweet bitterness and crushing despair. All that remains is a deep sense of calm, the serene feeling that everything will be okay, and even if it isn’t? There will always be a back-up plan, a bank of sand to fall on, waves to wash away your tears. You discover what did that fateful day so long ago.

You look wistfully behind you as you leave It, wondering if you’ll ever get to see It again; but of course you will. It always brings you back. They say it’s a deserted jungle. They say it’s a mad scientists’ lab gone awry. They say, they claim, they plead us to believe that it’s nothing more than an area of desert in the midst of the ocean. But we both know it’s more than that.


They call it wasteland. We call it Fire Island.



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GrannyJ said...
Apr. 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm:
Wow! I've been to Fire Island but now I know why I loved it so. Your essay is a gift that has enriched my memories of Fire Island. Thank you for a beautiful article.
 
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