Sagaponack Scene


It’s raining as I write this, and for now I am are happy to see it. We had some sudden heat and after two weeks without moisture, the bloom was proof and the ground was beginning to crack. Peas emerged thirsty, and so did spinach, in solid rows and of uniform hue.

With this 48-hour set of showers, soon that brief, tiny sense of order would be challenged with weeds. Hoe season arrives as soon as the sun comes out.

About once a month I to go the recycling center on the Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Turnpike. It’s a popular place, easy to use and it’s clean, with one exception—the trees surrounding the concrete bay are adorned, perhaps appropriately, with the flutter of a plastic shopping bag or two.

When I pulled in recently, there were a few other cars. I parked a few spaces down from a nice sedan; its back doors were open, its trunk was ajar and its driver was still sitting behind the wheel.

I was struck by this woman because she was wearing really high heels: rattan sandals with a slit for a sole. There is nothing wrong with housework in heels but you have to be able to move efficiently, otherwise housework will take up too much of your day.

And she wasn’t able to walk in them, I don’t think anyone could. Those shoes were meant for sitting by the pool and slipping on and off between dunks, but not actually for walking, much less carrying a load of recyclables. In the time it took me to make three trips to the co-mingled containers, she made one.

She teetered back down the walkway, her hand—and sometimes hip, trailing against the concrete wall. After making it back to her car, she closed all the doors, got in, started the engine, drove a few spaces down and parked, marginally closer to the mixed paper bin. I was getting rid of corrugated cardboard and so was in the vicinity when she again began the to-and-fro gauntlet.

I stopped to look through a crate of books someone couldn’t stand, but was too lazy to toss. I found a copy of the “Martian Chronicles.” The woman on heels came tiptoeing past with an armload of papers. I could see this chore had just about exhausted her. She smiled weakly and giggled a sigh, her every eco-friendly step an obvious effort of balance.

Yesterday, walking along Route 27 there was a man—I assume it was a man—dressed all in camouflage. He blended in beautifully, blurred by the downpour, absorbed by the grass and coming foliage. He was part of no crew as he tucked and circled in and out of vines and briar.

I could see that the roadside in this lone pedestrian’s wake was noticeably improved. There were no coffee cup lids, no shards of Styrofoam, only here and there spread out for miles between Water Mill and Bridgehampton a black garbage bag, signaling to all that much had been removed.

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