pssst.  i have a secret.

i think i’m having a fabulous summer.

yeh, i’m more or less unemployed, with legs as weak as paper matchsticks and a belly the size of a Volkswagen.  yeh, laundry is frequently my most impressive daily accomplishment.  and stool softeners and Tums are my dearest, most beloved companions these days.  i am a glamour queen beyond measure.

but…with all this time off it’s been the first summer since we moved back here to this island vacation destination that i’ve actually had any time to spend with the myriad of people who descend on the place in late July and early August.  i had coffee with a girl i haven’t seen since high school, spent an entire afternoon taking up space in a restaurant with some fabulous women i don’t see often enough, discussed life, the universe, and everything with old friends from Korea, visited with aunties and a bunch of other people passing through in the seasonal glut of tourists and homecomers.  i’ve had time to pay attention, to linger, to collect myself between visits.  turns out working is hell on the social life.  i suspected as much.

tonight, Dave & Oscar & i are going out to a friend’s cottage for the night.  i’m not a lay-in-the-sun girl, but the beach at night?  some part of me was made for the beach at night.  dunes and cool night sand under my feet, stars, the crash of waves a few metres hence, a bonfire.  we’ll put O to sleep and then, with a few other parents, take turns minding the store while the rest abuse some old guitars down on the shore.  singing, maybe.  the mutter of side conversations and laughter.  but mostly just the licking, crackling flames and the ancient wonder of a fire…the first tv, the first happy hour bar, the first church of the human soul.

i’ll probably be the only one sober, and i’ll get tired first and lay my head down on Dave’s lap and worm myself into a little nest in the sand and become quiet, but my eyes will be open, rapt and locked on the glow of the little sparks dancing up into the blackness, until i waken cold and shivering when the party ends.