It involved wolves, moose and whales quite seriously. Six hour flights and walks through Ocean Beach sunsets. All wild present, but not enough stories, memories and photos of the lives and times that touched us through the years. I believe it’s because we thought we had time – that once we got the wolf howls and the dolphin symphonies out of the initial way, there would be long days of photo albums on rainy days, and storytelling. Stories about his brothers and his dad and their summers on Cape Cod.
Two years and one month after we broke up, who knew we’d be back together and he’d bring me there to the Cape house? Late at night from New Jersey, with candy bar stops and a speeding ticket along the way. Gifted always at sleeping, I think I slept through the speeding ticket. Maybe he even tried to weasel his way out of it using my exhaustion as an excuse. I was getting in my sleep then, to prepare for this second trip out to Cape Cod. The first one had involved a rude ex-boyfriend and an anxiety attack, so I don’t think about that one often. This was something different. Somewhere between the time we crossed that bridge and drove up nearly the whole arm of the Cape, and then drove back down to reality, we rented movies, visited slow November beaches, walked through the then-quiet streets of Provincetown, and ate at fancy restaurants. We cuddled under blankets too.
These old, knitted blankets still held their pull and warmth under heavy history. We had nowhere to be, except eventually of course, back to New Jersey and back to San Francisco. The days stretched on impressively. It felt like we had time.
We can go often, but that doesn’t mean it happens as much as it should. Quite frankly, beach towns depress the sh*t out of me during November. March? Better. More hopeful. It’s the active, alive pace I seek about summer – if only to know I can hide away from it anyway, in the woods of Truro, where Cassidy’s dad built the Cape house decades ago. I think if I were to go in the winter, I would still love it. We go every July at least, and watch this house only get better and stand the tests of time.
This was the first year, maybe, that I felt the slight wear and tear around the edges of time. I think it might have been mostly just me. The vertical dunes looked daunting, and I dreaded them more than ever, although I found that taking a midway break to take in the views and get a gulp of fresh sea air was really helpful. Throw in some photos and people didn’t even notice me gasping for air, because they figured I was just stopping to take photos of the beauty. Well, that part was true too.
At night this year, the generation above us knew to go to bed when exhausted, rather than to fight it for the pulls of card games and ice cream. Or in my case, rather than try to cram book reading and mindless Facebook scrolling into every last minute of the night. Oh, and there was ice cream for me too. Twice, in fact. Athena liked to stay up with me too, for part of the night.
I felt tired and stoppable at times, especially after climbing dunes, which I attributed more to a tougher summer and not drinking enough water, than to anxiety and allergies. Both were virtually non-existent at Cape Cod. Every time summer starts, I honestly feel like it could last forever and that we have an unlimited amount of chances to experience this. Can that last?