Part 6 of “Painting Dream,” Chapter Nine of Green Music
A thickening mist was rolling in from the sea; carrying a sad mood, it reminded Susan of her friend. Was Marina here, in a town that was her namesake? The mist, now painted mauve by the setting sun enshrouded spindly boat skeletons, and the masts with their rigging kept up their clink clinking in the evening’s breeze. The sea turned mauve too; sad dead fish floated around the pylons below their feet. Water slick with grease, the smells of rope and varnish, roses. Wild red roses everywhere, struggling in the dirty sand at the water’s edge. She’d thought roses couldn’t grow in sand.
“Is there a beach near here?” On her right, past the boat yard, a scrubby sandy hill, also decorated with roses, led to a point. Maybe Marina, even now, stood on the beach stamping her feet in the rain.
It wasn’t raining, though.
“The beach shifts position, year to year as the currents change. It used to be the rookery, too. For the turtles.”
Susan shivered; ice water poured through her spine. Wondered if they laughed, the turtles here.
“Would you like to go and see?” Stiv asked.
There was something opaque in his courtly manners, difficult to read. So nice, she figured he might be like that with everyone. “Maybe in a while. It’s so nice here I don’t feel like moving yet. So, tell me Stiv - both in town and here - why are there no engines?”
“Engines?” Stiv asked, sounding honestly puzzled. “There are engines. A wind machine is an engine, and -”
“I saw you have lots of wind and water power. But no solar cells.”
“Well, solar power would be the black canvas rain collector for the showers, say.”
“Yeah.” Never mind explaining what solar cells were, not now.
But he asked, “What’s a cell, then?”
“Same idea only more efficient. Collects sunshine, stores it in batteries. I’m not much of a technical person and I’m sorry I can’t give you a better explanation.”
“Batteries. I’ve seen the drawings for those. But he didn’t draw any solar cells,” Stiv said, “although I might’ve missed them. I could look through the books again.”
And around and around we go.