i went with joel today on his week off to the town of nahant. i was waiting for his familiar red jeep but he arrived in his new leased acura mazda, a car so stocked with the latest features that it felt like it was from the future. nahant is situated up in the north shore area, geographically an island connected to the mainland by a long stretch of road. the weather was overcasted and foggy, and there wasn't much to see naturewise besides the seaweed, clamshells, and pieces of crustacean. come the next few days, with the return of sunshine and the 4th of july long weekend in full swing, the place will probably be packed with people. in the meantime, we enjoyed the tranquility, families with children combing the rocky beach for interesting rocks, shady men sitting alone inside their cars parked along ocean front lots.

rocky shoreline

beach rocks

moon jelly

nahant pier

giant lobster claw

joel & claw

mussels & periwrinkles

hermit crab

skate egg case

before returning home we stopped at christie's (a nahant fixture) for some roast beef sandwiches. the empty restaurant has a real old-timey feel, faux laminated wood interior, coca-cola tiffany-style drop lamps, and orange naugahyde seats.

spent fireworks

joel & roast beef

sea glass

my parents dropped by my place with some jioutsai-huxeh for dinner. after i gave them another narrated slide show about my recent trip (the focus was on japan this time around), they left, carting off some supplies for their weekend camping trip. i spent the rest of the evening watching the luther vandross tribute on BET.

there's a dead squirrel kicking around my street. mind you, it's very much dead, not like i have a zombie critter problem. it's not going anywhere and nobody wants it on their side of the street so the dead squirrel is being passed back and forth, like a sick game of roadkill ping pong.

this reminds me of a story from burma. i was in bagan, riding my bike one day to some temple sites, and i saw a dog "sleeping" out in the hot sun. now it gets hot in bagan, at least 100 degrees if not higher, and here was a dog sleeping in the sun when all the other dogs are panting in the shade. it concerned me and i feared the worst as i rode away. later in the evening, when i came back, i saw the dog again - in the exact same position, sleeping in the dark. my suspicions seemed confirmed, it was probably a dead dog.

2 days go by and i'm riding on that same road again, and i'm hoping that maybe somebody noticed the dead dog and buried it. but just like nobody cares about a dead squirrel, the same goes for a dead (stray?) dog. i saw it again, same position, same location, its fur falling out in patches, or maybe it was my eyes playing tricks on me. i was repulsed, and it offered more evidence that it the dog is indeed dead. later in the evening, when i came back home, i quickly glanced at the location where the dead dog would be, but it was missing. i was relieved - maybe i was wrong, maybe it wasn't dead, maybe it was just sleeping, maybe it has a high tolerance for heat, and maybe it has a case of the mange. however, on the other side of the street, a strikingly similar looking dog was sleeping in the dark. apparently the neighbors were playing a game of dead dog hot potato, passing the deceased animal back and forth.

so i shouldn't be surprised that it's happening here in cambridge as well. there seems to be a common thread that binds all people, that when we see a dead animal on our doorstep, we immediately want to share the awful gift with our neighbors.