Galaxy

Bethany Beach
1980

On the way to Bethany Beach in Delaware, the highway went near the Dover Air Force Base. A C-5 Galaxy, a huge cargo plane was taking off, so big it was a lumbering gray cloud that seemed not to fly so much as to float, inching up off the ground. At the beach, David St. John had rented a converted old church. The big echoing nave still had the pews arranged in rows. David was drinking tequila shots up where the altar once had been. The salt. The shot. The lime wedge. The drinks seemed to have no effect on him. Much later, we wandered out to the backyard, looked up at the night sky. It was very dark. No yard lights. A few streetlights. We could hear the ocean and see the giant shadows of the cargo planes descending, blotting out the stars.


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