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Estuaries A Visual Arts & Literary Review

College of The Albemarle 2014-2015



A Visual Arts & Literary Review

Editorial Board Project Planning and Development Gale Flax Jane Rossman



Visual Art

COA Writing Club Vicki Moulson Andrew Walser

Linda Knight Julie Long Dean Roughton

James Bursenos Gale Flax Kathryn Osgood

Design and Layout Liz Rondone Creative Liaison Jessica Bursenos

This magazine is the first annual edition of Estuaries. It features creative contributions from students, faculty, staff and community members in the seven-county region the college serves. It was produced and printed at College of The Albemarle, Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in 2015.


Contents Literary


Lydia Gwyn Flea Market


Eric A. Weil How We Heal the Land 7

Isabel Beteta Two Letters I Never Sent 11

Yulia Serova Mulligan


Sudeepa Pathak The Art of Living


Marni Graff River Dawn: March


Cindy Jean Hayes An American Icon


Kathryn Louise Wood Road Food for Thought


Eric A. Weil Crossing the Barrier Island


Karen Ashburner Fourteen Truths About You


Eric A. Weil After the Bounty Rescue Karen Ashburner The Pretty One

Visual Art


Peggy West Main Street


Naomi Berger Mushroom


Melanie Westheiden Star Trails


Melanie Westheiden Sound Skies


Yulia Serova Notes of Life


Brittany Waterfield All I Want To Do Is Cry


Olesya Pkhakina Mysterious Locket


Brittany Waterfield Galaxy


Naomi Berger Metered Xueyan Gao The View


Sarah Sawyer Metamorphosis


Lisa Doxey Turtle


Tybee Sobolefski Sketched in Time

16 18 20 22 23 24 25 26 27 29

Xueyan Gao Sunset Lindsay Doughty Leaf Kristen Sauls Road Ominous Clouds

Sarah Sawyer The King Tara Wilkins Nous Persivons

Melanie Westheiden Smokin Sunset Sarah Weaver Pods

Yulia Serova Flowers Peggy West Brilliant Zinnias

Sarah Sawyer Jonah and the Whale Jordan Stamenkovski Colors


Tybee Sobolefski Time Flies Kristen Sauls Horse’s Eye


Lindsay Doughty Blue Swell, Color Interaction Blue Dots 1

Flea Market Lydia Gwyn

The quilts are hung on clotheslines by the roadside. They are thin and old, their batting broken into popcorn long ago. Someone has written not for sale on a piece of child’s construction paper and stapled it to one of the quilts. This one the sun lights up like a red alarm clock. My mother and I step through two of the quilts, parting their hot cotton like stage curtains. There are tables there too. The kind with folding legs and gray chewing gum stuck to the bottom. I’m in my white and red party dress. My mother holds my hand, and we walk past a table full of beefsteak tomatoes. The man behind the table smooths a stack of plastic grocery bags into a cardboard box. This summer, my hair has a green tinge from my cousin’s pool and I have freckles everywhere. My nose and cheeks are pink. The skirt of my mother’s white cotton dress blows across my legs. Red clay dust scoots into my sandals and makes a sweaty paste under my feet. We’re looking for my mother’s brothers. All three of them have black beards and round, wire-rimmed glasses. They’re usually dressed in plaid shirts and that’s what I look for. We walk past feathered roach clips, jewel-toned beads, and plastic baggies full of scented wax pellets. We walk past the cassette tapes someone stole from the library and sells here two for a dollar. My uncles are here selling the contents of their mother’s home. When we find them, we also find the blue sheer curtains from my grandmother’s guest room, her ceramic mixing bowls and pressure cooker, an amber glass dish full of hard candy with satin-finished stripes. There are the contents of my grandmother’s dresser drawers. I see the satin slips I used to sleep with at night, a tight wadded ball against my cheek. And I see the red velour recliner that sat in her living room, the same recliner she napped in with one or more grandchildren asleep on her chest or in her lap. It was in this recliner that she lifted her nightgown and showed me all the affected parts of her legs and arms. I used to lie against her, my head resting on her collar bone and


wonder what a woman looked like with no breasts. I imagined two smooth, white caves. A week ago my uncles sold my grandmother’s car. They forgot and left the magnetic sign for her clothing store on the driver’s side door. Lee’s Attic, Consign on a Dime. And now someone is driving around town in a blue-green Cadillac with white leather seats, while all those cleaned, used clothes dangle from hangers in a dark store downtown. My mother and I will take over her store in a few weeks, and this time I’ll have to help. No more embroidering behind the register while my grandmother sorts and hangs clothes reciting a made up song whose only lyrics are Roy G. Biv. Next to my uncles a man sells toys out of a white van. Several beach umbrellas open over his wares. It’s all carnival prizes. I want the Cherokee doll whose eyes flutter shut. Her skin is green from too many days in the sun. My mother argues with the man. “Too much,” she says, but he never counters. We head for a field behind the market. “We should buy a kite and fly it here,” I say to my mother. I know there’s no wind, but I also know I will run and my mother will hold the kite behind me, up over her head until it flies for a moment. My mother’s hand is soft like my grandmother’s hand. I hold it and imagine walking with my grandmother instead, her neck bent toward the ground, counting the Double Daffodils, the Sweet Peas, the money-plants. She is younger in my mind and wears baby powder and sweat shirts with corduroy pants. She walks past my parents’ wedding tree (it didn’t work), through the apple orchard and follows the creek back into the woods. I watch her head, her curly brown hair, until it disappears. And all I can think of now are her thick-soled shoes, like nurse’s shoes but brown. And then her thin legs and bulging knees, and the long rose-colored scars on her thigh, the staple marks on either side. We’ll go home late, my mother and me, and both fall asleep in my bed. The next morning, at breakfast, I’ll grab my grandmother’s salt shaker and take it to the garden to look for slugs.

Peggy West Main Street Watercolor



How We Heal the Land Eric A. Weil Men in reflective vests lean on their shovels above the drainage ditch slit incision-straight between the cornfield and the road. The backhoe, with its wedged scoop, tracks the ditch all day, deepening the cut so the land might heal,

Melanie Westheiden Star Trails Digital Photography

Naomi Berger Mushroom Digital Photography

bleeding its water to the sea.



Two Letters I Never Sent Isabel Beteta

Dear Carrie,

My mom said depression is triggered by your first heartbreak. With her head toppled over the back of the sofa, all philosophical with the wine in her system, she said it’s a dark grey fog that creeps into the giant crack in your heart, and it gets pumped through your blood vessels throughout your body until all you feel is grey. Remember what I was like before you left? You said I was a bronco. You said I was young and lively and wanted nothing more than to kick something for the fun of it. You joked that my rebellious kicking made me such a great soccer player. When you left, falling away to a world across the sea, my happiness fell away with you. I stopped bucking and kicking because I didn’t have you to goad me on. When I cried for you, the grey fog rushed into my broken heart. Before long, it took hold of my mind, and it was all I thought about. It deadened my nerves, so I could feel nothing except the Grey dissipating from my skin. I wanted to stay in a state of nothingness. I wanted to be left alone, silent under my sheets, knees pressed to my belly, shoulders cowering over my hands, tucked under my chin. I needed to gaze listlessly at the wall for hours to think about my decayed dreams and dismal future. That feeling of isolation, that sadness, it plucked me up and cradled me like a blue-lipped infant. Soon everything I did was meaningless. School. Eat. Work. Eat. Soccer. Sleep. Every day for months. My grades, friends, family, and soccer were no longer my priorities. Nothing was. It was just me and the Grey. I was empty, and when I was alone, the Grey whispered terrible things to me. You have no friends. People think you're boring, stupid, annoying, and ugly. You're a disappointment. You fail at everything. You're fat, and no one likes you. Nothing could make me happy. I didn’t think it could get any worse, but it did. Those downer days became more frequent, my mind convinced me I’m worthless, and it felt like my body was moving through corn syrup. I thought­—I hoped—it was a phase. I desperately hoped that someday the Grey’s creeping roots would recoil, and shrivel up in the blinding light of my happiness. My mom took me to the doctor, and the doctor said that I’m clinically depressed. Who knew there was a name for the Grey fog? There's something wrong with your brain that’s making you feel this way. Oh don't worry, it’s actually pretty common. There are tons of people with defective brains. Your mom has it. Your sister has it. Now you do. It's actually pretty normal. Oh, I know. I see kids at school flaunting their "depression" hoping for a bit of sympathy and attention. They actively advertise their black-and-white social media pages filled with song lyrics and filleted thighs and clichéd confessions of heartbreak. It's normal for them. They use it to their advantage. But me, I’m a straight A student and soccer star. I am a freak if I so much as mention depression. I know what they would think. There's something wrong with your brain. You're not normal. You're sick. I wish you were here for me. You wouldn’t think I was sick. You would understand and brush my hair and say I am a bronco. I just need to kick my troubles away like I kick a soccer ball. But I am so tired, Carrie. I’m so tired and all I want is to be with you. But I can’t expect you to return, just like I can’t expect you to write back.

Forever yours, Gwyneth Melanie Westheiden Sound Skies Digital Photography


Yulia Serova Notes of Life Charcoal

Dear Carrie,

I have discovered something worse than finding out you have a mental illness. It's knowing that mental illness could end your life. It could become so strong and so deeply embedded into my brain that I'll want to make it all end with 20 pills or a razor sliced all the way through the muscle into the ulna. When the emptiness makes my body too heavy to go on breathing, the Grey will make my neck itch for a noose in the closet, or make my lungs yearn to be filled with toxic gas. It's worse to see it happen to my baby sister, who seemed so normal, more normal than me, and coped with the mental illness we two share. She was smiling and fearless and shone with more confidence than I ever dared to flicker. But the Grey was controlling her brain, filling her with misery, leading her to swallow a whole cocktail of stolen narcotics originally found in our mother's cabinet.


Worse is stepping into her room after she had gulped down every capsule. She was lying on the floor, waiting to be taken to a world different than this one. And I, a selfish, ignorant fool, barged in to borrow her suede jacket. She pushed herself up weakly, and pointed a trembling finger at her closet. I should have noticed something. I should have seen the empty bottle cast aside on her bed. I should have seen the note on her bureau. I should have realized by her teary eyes, hoarse voice, and pasty skin that she was not ok. I should have acted different. I should have been there for her more. I should have told her that I loved how her eyes sparkled like pyrite even when she was angry. I should have admitted that her laugh made me happy, even though very few things do. I should have confessed how important she was to me, and that, if she left me, I wouldn’t want to live. I should have

Brittany Waterfield All I Want To Do Is Cry Digital Art

told her I love her instead of mercilessly teasing her about her boyish haircut or nervous knee jerking. I should have been a better sister, a sister worth staying alive for. But I wasn't enough, Carrie. I couldn't be the reason that she could say no to suicide, say no to the Grey. I’m inferior, not normal, a freak. It could happen to me. It's a curse, and it's not made better with the shame society puts on me for my being an evolutionary kink in the human race. Those cold-fingered urges to make it all end could become too powerful, and I could end up passed out on the rug with a weak pulse and ghost white skin. What would it feel like to give up your life? What’s it like for your heart to stop beating, for your brain to stop thinking, for your lungs to stop expanding? What would I experience as I closed my fluttering eyelids for the last time?

Don’t worry, Carrie. I still smile and laugh, but it’s not the same flash of teeth and giggle that I had when you were around. I cope, zip my lips, and act normal because that's what people expect of me. It's a cruel system of this society. That’s why I wish you were here. You would understand. Then maybe the Grey will uproot itself from my body, and I will be a happy bronco again. Maybe everything would be alright. But I can't change the only thing keeping us apart, that vast ocean. I wish so badly that I could.

Forever and ever yours, Gwyneth 9


Brittany Waterfield Galaxy Digital Art

Mulligan Yulia Serova

Don’t make a mess of my life, I’m playing chess and winning the fight. Another day, another night, I’m moving forward on my white knight.

Now it’s my turn. I’m paying back. I ate the pawns that colored black. This chess board is about to crack Today, my king, you’ve got in check.

You go ahead one step, four back. Now you are the prisoner of my attack. You always thought I would stay still By fetters of unconscious fear?

You don’t obey the simplest rules? For that I always have some tools. On Jury’s trial I would stay cool To show the world who is the fool.

Olesya Pkhakina Mysterious Locket Brass, Copper


Naomi Berger Metered Digital Photography


Xueyan Gao The View Digital Photography

The Art of Living Sudeepa Pathak

The morning sun glowed with a buttery charm on my face, Its feel, its warmth, its touch as gentle as a silky lace, I wanted to open my arms and welcome the day, But I stopped and thought “What will others say?” The freezing cold rain drops on a hot sultry day, Its freshness, its intoxicating smell rising from the dry clay, I wanted to run out, dance and break into a play, But I stopped and thought “What will others say?” The gentle elderly woman who let me pass in the grocery line, Her tender wrinkles, sinking dimples, the deep eyes with a dazed shine, I wanted to say something kind and hug the lady with hair so gray, But I stopped and thought “What will others say?” The chuckling little baby babbling at me from her mother’s lap, Her drooling little mouth, that blue Donald Duck on her pretty cap, I wanted to make some crazy comic faces and scream “Yay yay,” But I stopped and thought “What will others say?” A day when everything is not so serious, when I am not always furious, A day when I nurture that dying spark in me so crazily curious, I want to live a day with no guilt, no fear, just being happy and gay, Without stopping and thinking “What will others say?” A day without early morning yoga or a restricted all-day diet, A day without any worthwhile work or any wrathful fight, I want to spend a moment breaking rules, turn my life just my way, Without stopping and thinking “What will others say?” The art of living is not a complicated theory, nor an untold story, It’s a little practice of living life, loving life, enjoying life and its glory. I want to fill my life with blunders and errors, I will say what I want to say, Without stopping and thinking “What will others say?”

Sarah Sawyer Metamorphosis Mixed Media Triptych


Lisa Doxey Turtle Watercolor

River Dawn: March Marni Graff

Two scarlet cardinals in a slender pine tree Sing the day awake, Courting the dun-colored female Who flirtatiously darts and lands to preen on our copper roof. Empty purple martin houses stand erect, waiting for The March sentinels who will guide Their flocks to these apartment houses,


Filling them with chattering families along the river’s edge, Only to disappear in the heat of an August day. At Angus’s grave, paper-whites fertilized by his bones Thrust their heads through clay earth. I pick one and inhale deeply, The fragrance bringing me sharp memories of the shepherd dog Who swam this river daily To chase the wood ducks and gulls away.

Tybee Sobolefski Sketched in Time Copper, Enamel, Graphite 15

An American Icon

Cindy Jean Hayes


It sits on a shelf Inside a shadowbox Folded in a triangle Red, white and blue Rectangular cloth With stars and stripes that Lay across your casket As the twenty-one guns Saluted your service To our country and your life

Xueyan Gao Sunset Digital Photography I stood there full and round Your grandson kicked The white gloved Uniformed soldiers Folded it with great care A young Private Presented it to me – Your oldest daughter

I swallowed hard He sobbed out loud The baby moved My sisters and I cried You were so brave You volunteered to Fight in World War Two At only seventeen

No, you weren’t shot But the war took your soul Because your tears froze Behind your eyes And became the frost around your beer As you drank to ease your pain You drank your life away

You died too young And we are proud of you But you left us standing here With your metal and ribbons And Old Glory sitting On a shelf – in a shadowbox



Road Food for Thought By Kathryn Louise Wood August, 1960. The lush strains of “Theme from A Summer Place” drift from the radio of a sleek 1959 Oldsmobile gliding down two-lane Route 17 between Norfolk, Virginia and Swansboro, North Carolina. That balding, middle-aged man—white-knuckled fingers gripping the steering wheel—is my father, and that slender, raven-haired woman—arms crossed tightly across her lap—is my mother. Behind Daddy, my brother’s thirteen-year-old Carolina Blue eyes scan the passing countryside through his open window. Beside him sits a fat little pug named Pam, bulbous eyes lifted skyward above the skinny back of an eight-year-old girl whose hazel-eyed gaze searches the landscape on her side of the car. I’m that girl. The one who hates it when plump aunts shake their heads and tell her if she doesn’t eat more she’ll “dry up and blow away.” Sure is hot. No air conditioning beyond the warm wind blowing through the windows. A farm slides into view, a few cows grazing behind a barbed wire fence. One, two, three, four…five. “Five more cows!” My brother turns my way, glancing at the field just beyond the farmhouse. “Graveyard.” Shoot. Lost all my cows…again. Why is it all the cow pastures on my side of the road have graveyards beside them? “How many you got now, Terry?” “Thirty-one. Nope. There’s a white mule. Thirty-six now.” I heave a sigh and lean my head back against the seat. “Mama, I’m gettin’ hungry. We gonna eat soon?” Lindsay Doughty Leaf Cut Paper

She snaps off the radio and faces my father, cocking one arched eyebrow. “Well?”

“Pull over,” says Mama and the Olds comes to an abrupt halt off the side of the road.

Daddy pulls a damp handkerchief from his pocket and wipes the back of his neck. “Like I told you, we could stop at the restaurant near Little Washington. It’s air conditioned,” he says, eyes glued to the road.

She opens the door and helps me out into the dry scratchy grass, gently guiding me toward the deep ditch bordering the highway. Her hand presses against my forehead and steadies me as I bend over and empty the purple vestiges of my Nehi Grape Soda into the long shadows of rustling tobacco plants.

“It’s Saturday night,” Mama says through clinched teeth. “You know what that means.” “It means they’ll be open,” he says. Mama hugs herself tighter and stares out her window. I don’t think she’s counting cows. I rest my arm on Pam’s pudgy back and look at Terry. His wide eyes brush my way before squinting at our parents. I touch his arm and raise my eyebrows when he looks back at me. Shrugging, he returns his attention to the window. The hazy sun is lower now, and I have to cup my hands around my eyes to shield them from its western glare. I feel something besides hunger gnawing at my stomach. “Mama? I think I’m gonna be sick.”

“I’m sorry, honey. We’ll get you something to eat soon.” Back inside, I slump into the depths of the seat and stroke Pam’s plush back. Daddy starts the car but doesn’t move us back onto the road. “The restaurant’s just a couple miles away.” “It is Saturday night,” repeats Mama as though this means something other than the fact the restaurant’s open for business. Daddy drapes his freckled arm over the steering wheel and peers at her. “I don’t see the problem.”

“You’re probably too hungry.”

“Look at us!” she says.

“She’s probably too hot,” adds my father.

I look down at my polka-dotted shorts and scuffed sandals and over at my brother’s cut-off jeans and sneakers.

I think I’m both too hungry and too hot but verbalizing this seems like a bad idea. My brother reaches down into the jumble beneath his feet and hands me a paper bag. Seeing it makes me even queasier. “I don’t think I can hold it in.”

“I am looking at us,” says Daddy. “What’s the problem?” “You remember what it’s like in Little Washington on Saturday night. We lived 19

Kristen Sauls Road Ominous Clouds Digital Photography 20

there long enough. People get all dressed up and go out to dinner. Dresses, hats, gloves, suits, ties. We’re in shorts and we’re sweaty!” “But…there’s air conditioning,” says Daddy as though this makes up for our lack of fashionable decorum. Mama’s shoulders look as though they’ll meet her earlobes any second now. “Let’s stop at the drive-in. They have chili dogs.” Good. I like chili dogs. “No air conditioning,” says Daddy as he glances over his left shoulder and pulls back onto 17. Icy silence chills the front seat. Too bad we can’t tap into its frost. I close my eyes as the hum of the highway and the heat lull me into light sleep. Terry can have all the cows. I’m jerked awake as the car jolts to a sudden stop. Pushing my knobby elbows against the seat, I rise up and peer out. It’s the drive-in. Without a word, Daddy gets out, slams the door, and marches to the outside order window. Mama twists around toward the backseat. “Terry, go help your father carry the food.” My brother heaves an adolescent sigh and hauls himself out of the car. I watch as Daddy exchanges cash for a bag of hot dogs and four Cokes, handing Terry two of the green glass bottles. Returning to the car, Daddy slides back behind the wheel and gives Mama the white bag. As she doles out the chili dogs, each wrapped snugly in waxed paper, Daddy starts up the Olds. “We could sit here while we eat,” she says. “Too hot,” says Daddy, his face glowing a violent crimson. Soon, dusky summer air is flowing once more through the open windows as Terry and I settle back, cold bottles pressed between our thighs, juicy hot dogs dribbling chili through our fingers, Pam accepting her share from both of us. Daddy drives with one hand and fumbles at the chili dog wrapper with the other. After a few unsuccessful tries, he tosses it back into Mama’s lap. She carefully unwraps it and turns toward him, hot dog balanced in her right hand. Without a word of warning, she throws it against the side of his face, chili and onions streaming down, sliding over his ear and down his neck.


Sarah Sawyer The King Mixed Media

The earth stands still for a few heart-stopping moments as Daddy continues to drive, staring silently ahead, the disassembled hot dog resting on his shoulder. This is something new. We’re used to our parents bickering but it’s always limited to verbal sparring. Never anything approaching physical. Terry and I exchange wide-eyed looks of horror. The world as we know it must be over. Pam stands up and places her front paws on the back of the front seat, stretching her scrunchy neck toward Daddy, little pink tongue reaching for the aromatic trails of chili inching down his throat. Terry grabs her back before she makes contact, grasping her tightly against his chest like some kind of canine life preserver. Then, a quiet ripple of sound breaks the tomb-like silence. I think Mama is crying. Her narrow shoulders twitch rhythmically as the sound grows louder. She turns to Daddy and I see tears spilling from her eyes but…but she’s laughing! Has she lost her mind?


Daddy looks at her, wipes a red ribbon of chili from his glasses and bursts into laughter as he slows the car, pulling it to a stop beside the road. Mama removes the sticky glasses from his face as he collapses into a stomach-clutching belly laugh. Terry and I look at each other in disbelief then dissolve into laughter, ourselves. Curly tail wagging against her wiggling hips, Pam barks and slips from my brother’s arms, snatching the stray hot dog as it rolls down Daddy’s back. Reaching across the seat, Daddy gathers Mama into his arms, rocking her from side to side as the precious music of healing laughter fills the car. Our world hasn’t ended after all. And I’ve learned an important life lesson about the power of good-hearted laughter and selfdeprecating humor. Years later, I hear it summed up in a quote by John Powell, “Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself for he shall never cease to be entertained.”

Tara Wilkins Nous Persivons Copper, Enamel, Steel, Silver


Melanie Westheiden Smokin Sunset Digital Photography

Crossing the Barrier Island Eric A. Weil

The glare on the stretched green sheet pierces our eyes, and breakers hit the beach like tympani tuning. Gulls and crabs dance their daily warfare and courtship, every life focused on food and reproduction. We turn our backs on the ocean, cross the thin barrier island through the dune-gap to the still, reedy marsh at the sound’s edge. A boardwalk skirts mud and cattails; cicadas in the pines rasp their prehistoric mate-calling; an egret stands like a chessboard queen then snaps short a bullfrog’s courting croak. Soon dusk will draw its blanket over all And moonrise send a different cast on stage.


Sarah Weaver Pods Charcoal


Peggy West Brilliant Zinnias Watercolor

Yulia Serova Flowers Mixed Media


Fourteen Truths About You Karen Ashburner

1. People who searched for Haruki Murakami also looked for

Franz Kafka, but there was nothing metaphysical in the search, only a literal: Kafka on the Shore.

8. I splurge on a set of colored pencils at the grocery store and

use them to practice writing your name, which makes me feel safe but quite odd.

2. We compare the pain of our past in poetry, each of us reveling 9. I play a game called silent resignation, to win I repeatedly in the competition of our childhood destruction.

3. My emotional state is not-so-much 'valued' by other people, but destroyed by their constant attention.

4. In the center of my 'self' are millions of people that only exist in the past; in my past I only exist in the bones of the dead.

5. I feel like I deserve beautiful things for acknowledging that I

refresh my twitter page, acknowledging my irrelevance in your life each time.

10. I wrote this sentence for the sole purpose of playfully

exerting my existence on you, hoping you would feel obligated to read it.

11. You blur my reality of parenting magazines into something

might not exist, especially on Tuesdays.

pleasant; a confusing, incoherent mess of guilt-ridden pleasure recalled in my sleep.

6. We compel the agave to make tequila by seducing it with

12. You open a window, feeling at peace.

nitrogen, an element barely present in the atmosphere of Mars.

7. We knowingly build new things on top of the ruins of our

childhood; in the ruin of our new things, we find poetry for tomorrow.


13. Air is coming in, brushing your neck like the fingers of a lover. 14. I am the air.

Sarah Sawyer Jonah and the Whale Colored Pencil

Jordan Stamenkovski Colors Sterling Silver, Resin, Pigment


Tybee Sobolefski Time Flies Copper, Enamel, Found Objects


Kristen Sauls Horse’s Eye Digital Photography

After the Bounty Rescue

Eric A. Weil

My old house rattles under the flight path to the Coast Guard Air Station: orange and silver and black four-engine turboprops approach their landing, each window and fixture film-score percussion for those in peril on the sea.

The Pretty One Karen Ashburner

In an all-night diner, in a no-name city, there sit two white men in the corner booth, making a checklist about their drinking habits; two black men at the counter, sitting on chairs that swivel and talking about church; and two Hispanic men at a square table in the center of the room, arguing about the relevance of old age and back problems. The only woman is pleasantly drunk, a state of mind she has maintained for the past eight hours, but one that she will have to end soon, with deep regret, as the child must be retrieved from the father, and the father does not like to see the woman happy. The Hispanic men call her The Pretty One. The black men guess rightly that she has never been to church. The two white men do not notice her at all.

She is dressed in a red sweater and blue jeans. The sweater is tight, the jeans are loose and hang on hips that are almost too wide for the size of her waist. The Pretty One sits in the diner. Every night. Drinking coffee. Staring. Some nights she has a book, which keeps the men from making sexual innuendos but not from staring. It is not a book she will ever read because it is about a vampire. The vampire's name is the title of the book and it is written across the cover in dark purple letters in an Old English script. It is not a book anyone in the all-night diner would ever find interesting because the vampire's name is also archaic and hard to pronounce: Nosferatu. The Pretty One does not look at the Hispanic men, even when one remarks to

her that, “The coffee tastes good tonight.” She lets the minutes tick away in silence. The other one remarks, “I was thinking about buying a bicycle from Wal-Mart, then riding into a wall as fast as I can. Just to see if you will listen when I talk." The Pretty One says to the air, “That is funny. I remember when you did that.” The Hispanic men laugh. The black men pay their tab, leaving two dollars each on the counter as a tip for the waitress wearing pink. The bell on top of the door does not move or ding as they exit. The white men in the corner argue about tequila, spilling sugar on the table as they stir it into their coffee with wooden sticks.


Lindsay Doughty Blue Swell Gouache


Lindsay Doughty Color Interaction Blue Dots Gouache

Acknowledgements Special thanks to the COA Writing Club and to the COA Foundation for their generous support in making the printing of this publication possible. Thank you also to the many contributors without whom there would be no magazine. COA Students

Faculty & Staff

Community Members

Naomi Berger Isabel Beteta Lindsay Doughty Xueyan Gao Olesya Pkhakina Sarah Sawyer Yulia Serova Tybee Sobolefski Jordan Stamenkovski Sarah Weaver Eric A. Weil Tara Wilkins

Karen Ashburner Lydia Gwyn Sudeepa Pathak Peggy West

Lixa Doxey Marni Graff Cindy Jean Hayes Kristen Sauls Brittany Waterfield Melanie Westheiden Kathryn Louise Wood

Sabrina Wartenbee, 3-D Design

College of The Albemarle offers two Associate in Fine Arts degrees, Visual Arts and Drama, and a program in Professional Crafts Jewelry.

Ceramics Studio

The Associate in Fine Arts degree (AFA) is an appropriate option for students who plan to pursue a career in the arts or who plan to transfer into a bachelor’s degree program in any area of visual or

performing art at a university within the University of North Carolina System (studio art, graphic design, art education, art history, theater or musical theater). The Professional Crafts Jewelry program provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to make a living as a jeweler. The program combines technical knowledge and design skills with

Robin Woodard, Painting I

marketing and business essentials preparing students to pursue careers as jewelers or build a business from their artistic talent. COA Fine Arts instructors are professionals in their fields, who actively exhibit their work or perform in the theater. They encourage students to get involved in student art shows and theatrical productions.

FOR MORE INFORMATION www.albemarle.edu/afa




Olesya Pkhakina, Professional Crafts Jewelry

Xueyan Gao, Painting II

COAST Players, Peter Pan, Drama



Profile for College of The Albemarle


A Visual Arts & Literary Review


A Visual Arts & Literary Review


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