The sun sets over the inlet in Ocean City and the boardwalk is teeming, people in swarms, in clumps. It is indistinguishable from normal Ocean City, except that some people are wearing masks (although most are not), and in a way it seems like this is the one corner of the universe where things have remained the same. For a moment, watching the Thrashers live cam from my sofa, alone with a bottle of wine, I can see the way the world used to be, see that it’s still going.
Someone has put down little stickers on the ground to mark six feet distance between the customers waiting in line. No one pays any attention.
A large man tugs at his cargo shorts. A woman bounces a newborn infant in a carrier on her stomach. A little girl in an oversized t-shirt and flip-flops does a little dance. I realize I have missed seeing people like this, candid, doing nothing, just living their lives in entirely separate but briefly intersecting spheres. I was lonely and now I feel a little less alone, watching hoards of people expose themselves to possible death, lifetimes of illness. It doesn’t matter. It’s still people.
Why is there a live cam at the inlet Thrashers? Florence says for security, half-joking. But why stream it to their website if they think there might be a crime occurring? It isn’t like it’s the main attraction of the website but it’s not so hard to find.
The Thrashers opens at 10 AM and closes at 11 (except on Tuesdays when it closes at 10:30), but the live cam is on even when no one is there. Early in the morning you can see the empty beach, the sun rising over the strip of boardwalk hotels, pink clouds, closed businesses, Zambonis smoothing out the sand for the next day, seagulls picking at the leftover garbage.
I can’t see the sunrise from my apartment in Baltimore, so I wake up early to watch this one – not the greatest angle, but at least it’s sprawling. On the larger cam, I have a bird’s-eye view of the nicer half of the boardwalk. I just wish I could see Playland.
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