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Yesterday Axel celebrated his 67th birthday, all day long. It started with a breakfast on Wellfleet harbor in a breakfast restaurant that had just been opened. The mention of Axel’s birthday produced a softly murmured happy birthday by a waitress who claimed she couldn’t sing (but felt compelled to anyways). This was followed by two pieces of baklava in lieu of birthday cake from the wife of the owner and chief cook. We recognized Lebanon in the offering and inquired, to discover that the owners were from Beirut. When we told them that we had met in Beirut 37 years ago, full introductions followed, we dragged up our rusty Lebanese Arabic and were instant friends.

The owner sat with us and poured out his heart and hurt about the situation of his beloved Lebanon. I listened for awhile but I have heard the stories before, about the foreigners (Hizbollah, the Palestinians) who have messed everything up, and soon I turned away, writing my own story rather than listening to his. I didn’t want to be any further infected by the victim energy that came out in torrents. Axel listened on, he is like that.

After day two of my class I biked back to our camp while Axel had a potluck lunch at his etching class in Truro, and completed pass one of the printing process. It’s a better place for him than my covert organizational processes class.

Tessa showed up in the early afternoon with her friend Steph who stood in for Steve who couldn’t extract himself from work. Steph is now Tessa’s executive assistant, doing what a primer on ‘running your own business’ told Tessa to outsource. Steph is also an aspiring novelist and screenwriter, holding several jobs simultaneously until the breakthrough which we all know will come.

We had some downtime on the beach in Wellfleet, swimming, reading and snoozing before heading out to P’town to meet up with Axel’s cousin and partner, who happened to be vacationing in a lovely place in the West end of P’town, for the closing part of the celebrations. We stumbled on a kind of block party in a vacation rental complex that used to be fish shacks built on a long and narrow pier jutting out into the harbor. It’s the kind of place where vacationers come year after year and people know each other. There were Brits, Dutch, Californians and plenty of New Yorkers, and much good food and drink. From a Dutch Canadian I learned that Faro is entitled to a Dutch passport since his mom is Dutch. I better keep up the Dutch talking.

When the party appeared to be over we walked over to P’town’s main drag for a late dinner which consisted of appetizers, salads, main meals and desserts. All were served at the same time, and eaten based on where each if us had arrived in the dinner sequence given what we had consumed during the block, or rather, pier party.

Back at the campground we realized that the sheets hanging out to air during the day had gotten a bit damp, but we are experienced campers now. What is a little dampness after Sunday’s buckets of rain? We said goodbye to Tessa and Step who returned to Dorchester and Marblehead respectively and turned into our damp sheets for our fourth night of camping on the Cape.

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