It happens every year on the island. The house next door, after a winter of inactivity and devoid of inhabitants, suddenly has a flurry of people scurrying about. This usually begins as the weather warms, late in May or early in June. Sometimes I recognize the people, older and often more rotund, but often they are completely new to the house. They arrive by the carload over the weekend, unloading beach gear, bikes, and coolers. They laugh and yell loudly, as if forcing their joy and happiness at their mere existence of being on island. Then, as suddenly as they appeared, the new hoard of revelers disappears.
Now there are those that I witness packing their vehicle after a week or two of stay, yet others seem to vanish under the cover of night, before even the first ferry of the day has left the dock. During the summer season I am too busy to actually interact or converse with any of the summer neighbors, often only catching glimpses of their arrivals and daily adventures. Often they party long into the night, hooting and bellowing their apparent joy, oblivious to the neighbors that actually reside and work in the community they view as their playground.
So it is often that I wonder how they could so often execute such a stealthy escape. There have been hints and clues over the years, but no definitive answers. They vehicles that I have seen the revelers arriving in often later appear for sale at McCurdy’s lot for sale; their bikes sometimes end up at the thrift store. One can surmise that they left without the encumbrances and reminders of excess in order to avoid cluttering their off island homes. I harbor another theory.
You see, as someone that has been a member of the community for so many years, I know the locals. We are frugal New Englanders, never wanting to waste a single resource that could prove valuable in one way or another. Did I mention that the island will soon have a proper slaughterhouse? Haven’t you even wondered why the island has a much celebrated chili festival in the middle of winter? Yes, I once chuckled at what I thought was just a flippant response to a summer visitor’s query as to “what in heaven’s name we islanders do all winter”. The response, “oh we revert back to cannibalism.” Gives new meaning to "eat local", eh?