Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mystic (Part 2)

Mystic, Connecticut. Chosen as a destination for a variety of reasons: proximity to the train, rich history, a perfect combination of things to do and comfort while relaxing and doing nothing at all. One of the best parts about Mystic (and there are a lot) is the fact that nearly all of the local businesses bear the name of the town on their signs. Mystic Auto Body Repair. Mystic Floral. Mystic Drycleaning Super Center. And then there are the businesses to which the addition of the word Mystic really enhances their appearance: Mystic Shambala Yoga. Mystic Psychic. In Mystic, you can go to the train station, and, in exchange for an entirely refundable $10 deposit, borrow a bicycle for up to a week. This was, in my opinion, the highlight of the weekend. It felt glorious to feel the wind whipping through my curls. We rode several miles along the Mystic River, past houses constructed in the 1800s (and perfectly kept up and still inhabited). We rode along forests and patches of marshes with tall yellow reeds poking out of the water. And then came an enormous cemetery with crackling centuries-old gravestones. It was empty save for one dirty worker who seemed to be involved in the reallocation of a great deal of soil, and a woman walking her dog. There are a lot of cemeteries in the area, many of which are very old. I wonder: have they remained pretty much untouched and has the modern infrastructure just sort of built up around them, or have things been moved around? We biked to the next town, and on the way back, briefly got stuck behind someone driving an old car. Old like circa Model-T.
cemetery 03
The Inn was basically a one man show. The man in question, Claude, was full of New England charm. Sparing no syllables for idle chat, he withdrew from a drawer in the sideboard one of those cartoony not-to-scale tourist maps and methodically ran down a list of eating establishments, circling each on the map as he went. He gave helpful tips like "the best Thai food in town is just past the third stoplight..." sort of cryptic directions, as though we were studying a pirate's treasure map full of riddles. In the room, there was an in-depth demonstration of each light switch. "No, the lamp is not shorting out," he explained, "it's a touch lamp." Then came the TV. "Don't mess with any of these program buttons up top. I don't know what they do." Then he pointed the clicker at the TV and nothing happened. He said he'd come back with new batteries and reemerged minutes later, fumbling with the new pair of double As, saying aloud "this is the positive...this is the negative" to get them into the right places. The best part of the room was the Captain, who watchfully presided over everything there. I found it fascinating that Claude went through such pains to explain every last detail in the room except for the most intriguing one.



kasha said...

fan-frickin-tastic! did you make him an eyepatch?
also i'm curious to know if you visited mystic pizza - is that real? i always wondered.

la_sale_bete said...

Ha! No eyepatch, though that would have been nice. I wondered if the hole-in-the-eye was a creepy way for someone to spy on the room, but the only thing behind the painting was the bathroom (no secret chamber).
While I walked past Mystic Pizza, we went to another place recommended by the innkeeper instead. The place we went was not fantastic (just average), so next time we'll have to check out the famous place.