I am thinking of that year at the beach where we rode our bikes, in bikinis, barefoot, to the canal side of the island, where giant new houses were under construction, and we stood gaping for so long at one house that the construction workers offered to let us in. the house was almost totally complete, including the decorating; two stories, with all the communal spaces on the second floor, where one could take in the view. the view: canal, rooftops, ocean. the bathroom is what I recall best, for its beachiness: everything pale blue and tan, the colors of the sea.
there was also an elevator, and a pool, and so many bedrooms. all I remember is being in awe, and coming back to our own house chattering about the space. this was not so many years ago.
I will miss the beach this year, as last year, an effect of accepting a new job. it was a thing I thought I would be okay living without, until I am here, now, living without it. summer is once again late to portland, and I find myself chomping at the bit, looking at pinterest boards full of women in bikinis covered in sand. all I want in life is heat and humidity, my hair raggedy from salt water, my legs covered in sand.
I am proud of my three weeks away from this town. desert, road trip, beach town, home town, alabama. I didn't tell you about the rest of it -- it turned out to be easier to type on my phone's tiny screen than on a computer, I don't know either -- so I will tell you now that I ran my favorite trails in maryland, and ate snowballs, and had brunch with my high school girlfriends, and then I went to alabama, where I ate barbecue and went to a ball game but mostly kind of just sat around in my boyfriend's house reading magazines and watching cartoons.
the california part of the trip was my favorite part, largely because I was rarely in one place for more than a day or two, and also because it was foreign to me and therefore more interesting.
I returned to portland and started this new job, and am still acclimating to having a job where I get to come home every night forever. where I never have to work a weekend. I am still very much a guard dog of my personal time as a result of never having any. I hope this passes.
I also bought a car. which reminds me: I spent several months without a car. the front suspension in my car, my 12-year-old ford escort, bought for me by my parents my senior year of college, got wobbly and weird and I stopped driving it on april 3. after a great deal of hand-wringing and crying (I associated it very closely with my stepfather, who always did all of my car work and who, of course, passed away tragically too soon 8 years ago), I donated it to portland rescue mission. I didn't have the money to replace it so I walked or ran or biked or rode the bus everywhere for a couple of months. but with summer approaching and no plans and a larger paycheck I absolutely could not stand the thought of being even longer separated from my horse (or the rest of oregon) so I dropped $2K on a 23-year-old honda civic last weekend.
this summer I have all these goals, most of them serving to hypothetically fill the (quite un-fillable) gap of the ocean. I want to camp and hike and go to the coast and ride my bike and have picnics and fly kites and do yoga and get strong and sleep with the fan on and eat popsicles. sometimes I am quite certain, despite this very cushy new job, that I need desperately to live somewhere where it's mostly perpetually summer because oh god in heaven, all I want in life is ice cream that drips down my wrist, and sparklers and smores and bathing suits and swimming and sweating and heat and oh, oregon. help me out.
let's just say now, for the record, that I am intensely grateful that the barn owner talked me out of selling cookie. it was so good to ride; to be in the dirt, to run fast, to be covered in both my own sweat and hers; to stand in the sun for an hour hanging out while she grazed. all I want in my life is to be dirty and outside.