Day 2 of my tenure as Artist in Residence at the Rey Center was marred slightly by my near complete inability to locate the nearest grocery store (about 20 miles away).
After spending many tense minutes deciding which balcony I should drink my morning coffee on, I was naturally near a state of complete mental exhaustion. (See yesterday's post for all the gruesome details.) I dragged myself into the shower, cleaned up, got dressed, and headed out to load up on provisions for the coming days of artistic solitude, which require much in the way of sustenance.
In my car, I rolled down the windows and sang lustily along with Aretha Franklin as I rocketed down the highway and right past the exit I should have taken to get to the grocery store that I was assured by the locals folks, did, in fact, exist.
I left the highway one exit too late and found myself awash in new students, eager to begin the school year at Plymouth State College. Dodging the students, most of whom seemed intent on self-destruction, lunging into the street heedless of the traffic surging around them, I drove ever onward, farther and farther from groceries.
I pulled over and resorted to using Sybil, my GPS, to guide me to the store. I entered the name of the store and was given a location 27 miles away. I cursed freely and expressively and remembered that someone had told me that the grocery store was near a Wal-Mart. I'd rather chew a handful of hobo toenails than shop at Wal-Mart, but I wasn't above using it as a means to my end: groceries.
I asked Sybil to deliver me to Wal-Mart and was directed to one a mere 2 miles away. Just down the street was the grocery store, where I shopped with the heady abandon of a husband and father who no longer has to be concerned with his family's food foibles (Wife: no seafood; Daughter: no meat; Son: nothing spicy).
I loaded up on spicy Indian food, meat, and seafood and returned to my living quarters a happy man.
I spent the remainder of the day working on art in various locations around town. I biked everywhere so I could get a feel for the town and figure out where I'm going.
|This is Waterville Academy, a world-renowned ski school.|
|If you go to the ski school, they make you race down this ramp, hurl yourself into the air, and land on the inflatable pillow at the bottom. Personally, I think they should inflate the pillow, but I'm not a ski instructor, so what do I know?|
|This is the town library. I wandered through in the afternoon. It's just as adorable on the inside as it looks from the outside. They did not have any of my books on the shelves, so I stormed out in a huff.|
|This is the inside of my pocket, because I am a great photographer.|
After a few fun minutes deleting the 50 or so picture I had taken of the inside of my pocket, I continued my tour of the town.
|This is the town square. See the tent? A carnival is not coming. Don't spend a few hours sitting under there waiting for the show to begin. Trust me.|
|These are some shops and restaurants and The Rey Center.|
|This is a horrible photograph of the front window of The Rey Center, where they have displayed one of my paintings and the drawing that I donated to them.|
|This is how you know where you are.|
|This is how you know where I am. These are posters which are splashed all over town. These made me laugh. I'll stop laughing if I find out that they are actual, real wanted posters and the police are scouring the area for me.|
|This is the town center from across the pond.|
|This is town center ten feet down the road from the last picture I took, because I am such a great photographer.|
I continued my tour of the town witha visit to Margret and H.A. Rey's actual cottage.
When I arrived, I met my pal Birdie, who explained that she had just stopped by to see me (I was a bit late due to my harrowing grocery-related ordeal) and that the building's alarm was going off and we would likely be swarmed by police at any second.
Birdie managed to disable the alarm, despite that fact that she steadfastly refused to try my suggestion of smashing it with a rock.
Thanks to her brilliance, I was able to tour the cottage without being arrested.
|The cottage. Note conspicuous lack of police.|
|A nice, sunny porch.|
|And in we go...|
|Large, monkey-friendly living room.|
|Original art by H.A. Rey.|
|Back door for easy escape during impending police raid.|
|A great room for doing crafts with kids.|
|And a wide selection of children's books. None of mine, however. I'm going to fix that...|
It was too nice to work indoors, so I plunked myself down on the porch outside and got busy on some art.
Yesterday's output amounted to this:
|Pencil and chalk on toned paper, complete with artist's thumb. Because I am a great photographer.|
In the evening, after my spicy Indian dinner, I spent some time working on painting a spread for an upcoming book.
Then a bit of yoga, some reading, and off to bed.
That is the worst ending I've ever written.
Let me try again:
As I sat at the table painting, I heard a long, low growl from behind me. I spun around and screamed...
Yeah. That's better.