Keep working on the 5 W’s, Sylvie suggested after she’d asked if I’d written anything in my diary yet, in the little pocket notebook she’d given me, and I said no, nothing. Who, what, when, why, and where, she said. That’s what people want to know. How about how, I asked. Sylvie’s conference now over, we had one more night in the Ocean Beach bungalow. We could stay on longer, Sylvie said. But I felt pressed up against the ocean here, Highway 8 spilling into our backyard, the town crushed with twenty-something teenyboppers, the yachts and ships and sailors and tourists, the rich and homeless mingling for a spot to be seen and unseen, Cagetan and Sot lurking about, though I didn’t mention that. How about we make our way north, I said, visit Refugio for a time, drop in on Salty and Penina. You think they’re not pushed against the water? I talked to Salty on the phone today. He said they never go to the beach on the weekends anymore, only on weekdays. We’ll pick them up, get a boat, sail out to the islands. Thus it was planned. We would leave tomorrow heading north to Refugio, but arrival uncertain, since we’d be taking our time and remain open to other sorties and such. Meantime, we went out to sit on the front porch, me with a beer and Sylvie with a wine cooler, and she saw my diary sitting on the railing where I had left it open to dry in the sun. What happened, she wanted to know. Oh, yeah, turns out there’s a 6th W: Wet.
“The 6 W’s,” is episode 65 of Inventories, a Novel in Progress in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads.