A few days before Halloween I was driving through the several towns surrounding the University of Rhode Island. The roads in this area seem to have grown organically like roots with no forethought that humans might one day need to navigate them. Fortunately, my grandfather’s century-plus of experience living in the area guided us home. “Left, left, right, straight, right,” he said. I’m not sure how he does it.
This area has a strange mixture of urban and rural qualities. Everywhere we were surrounded by trees, but there were closely-spaced houses among them. The roads were narrow and winding, yet heavily trafficked. There was nowhere to safely stop and take a picture. The nine-foot, pumpkin-headed being depicted above was actually sighted on a separate trip several miles north of this area. Among the houses are numerous local businesses with creative signs and facades, reminding me of a fairy village. I started to imagine that I might have took a wrong turn into the fourth dimension somehow and I was now trapped driving in circles forever.
Every yard had a stone wall going all the way around it. Some bordered right on the road. Some had fitted stones and were very neat. Others were sloppy. Some had jagged stones and some had rounded stones. Some were made of very large stones. There were even stone walls partitioning lots full of trees and boulders with no houses. One yard had a very deep valley running through it. The topography was always interesting. It seems like a cozy place to live.
There were book shops, flower shops, and antiques dealers. Every other residence seemed to be selling hay, firewood, mulch, or eggs. Returning a few days later to explore, I was disappointed to find some of the stores still without power from a recent storm. Among the open stores was The Purple Cow Company, a gift shop selling clothes, jewelry, cards, joke books, incense, geodes, and various carved figures. I was intrigued by the locally-made mini-houses made from smooth beach stones stacked and glued. Glass was used for windows and doors. It was a fairy village within a fairy village. I also stopped to look at the Tillandsia plants, which look like cute Lovecraftian horrors. Next door is the The Green Line Apothecary, which in addition to selling drugs, supplements, lotions, and providing screenings and immunizations, also has a bar where they sell soda, ice cream, shakes, floats, coffee, tea, lime rickeys, and whatever the heck egg creams and cherry phosphates are. I was not in a sugar-mood (unusual for me) and so I just had iced coffee with milk.
One day I shall return.
My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.