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On our way home from Asbury Park we drove through the town of Deal Lake, which has giant, multimillion dollar homes in an extraordinary variety of architectural styles, each more ridiculous than the next.  I would get nervous living in a house so large.  I guess if you have a family, and children, or maybe if it’s your summer home, it feels less empty.  These are places with ten, fifteen bedrooms.  You could walk a mile trying to find your keys.  I fantasize a lot about moving to a giant beach home for the summer, inviting all my friends to come for a week, two weeks at a time, making a spreadsheet, asking people to sign up.  Every day new friends coming and going.

We ate breakfast/brunch at a cute place in Long Branch–skillets with potatoes and eggs and a side of what I guess was an English muffin, made more perfect by the crappy orange marmalade in the tiny plastic single-serving.  Before, we walked for a tiny moment on the boardwalk there and it was 60 degrees in January and I was with my most favorite people with no plans for the whole day except find some food and our way back to Brooklyn and that felt really good.

When I was a kid my dad often took my brother and I out to breakfast at a small diner downtown called The Innside.  I usually got a bacon biscuit and a Coke.  I remember a strange feeling every so often in my chest, which, now, many years later, I think was probably heartburn.  Ha.  Sixth graders getting heartburn.  It was a great ritual, though.  The waitress, the booth, the sunlight coming up outside.  Maybe most importantly, how happy my dad was those mornings.



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