did i mention in addition to all the other stress, i had promptly forgotten the address of the place i needed to get to as soon as he told me? silly girl.
but as it turns out, i was all nervous for nothing. the weekend is off to a wonderful start.
i did stress all the way to the station, thinking that i'd missed the bus to get to the subway, and wondering if i could stop in and pay off the balance on my couch before getting down there. i skipped out of that, and it's a good thing. i think they don't really keep count of how many tickets they sell for any given run on a bus. the line was huge. i ended up talking to the guy behind me, and we both decided we'd get on the bus if we had to stand. fortunately, that didn't turn out to be the case.
and once i was settled in my seat, the stress started to lift. i'd been trying to read bits and pieces of a magazine article on the way over, and couldn't do it. the words just swam around on the page. but once i was on the bus and on my way, i could read a bit. and i wrote a lot, as well. it's interesting - i've started carrying a regular composition pad, and writing out a lot of my entries longhand. it makes me stop and organize things more, which is a nice discipline.
miracle of miracles, there was no traffic headed down to Newport. on a Friday afternoon, in the summer - how unusual is that? interesting ride; i haven't gone that way in ages, since i used to live down in Providence. things have changed a lot around there.
i took my watch off when i got down there, and haven't much cared what time it is since then. the fact that i found the office at all was a bit of a minor miracle, since i didn't have the address (see above). i stopped at the information desk to ask (seems sensible, yes?). they were going to send me on this huge long hike, but i figured i had time to get there. as i started walking, tho, it didn't seem quite right. so i stopped after two or three blocks and asked a nice blond boy working the booking stand for a cruise line, and he pointed over his shoulder. much better.
the office is tiny, and it was jumping - students finishing up, instructors settling up for the day, and the phone ringing off the hook. one of the guys said, to noone in particular, 'gah! why does the phone keep ringing? and why do i keep answering it?' 'um... because you haven't unplugged it?' i just stood out of the way, watching the insanity, quite happy to wait until someone had a break. Phone Guy ended up zipping over to me and asking if he could help. i explained that i was there to meet The Boy, and would it be okay if i left my bag there for a few minutes, which seemed to be all fine with him.
so i left my bag there, and wandered out across the lot to watch the boats. it was that lovely honeyed afternoon light coming across the harbor, and there were all kinds of boats skipping around. the America came slicing thru the water, passing right in front of me. if you've ever seen it (it's anchored in Boston half the time), you know what a beautiful sight that is. i'll have to see if i can dig up a picture for you. stood down by the docks for a while, and then wandered back to the office, just as The Boy was coming across the lot.
he was pretty ready to get out of there, so we hopped on his bike and spun out along the water. what a great way to see the town... gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, and visceral in a way that cars aren't. wind in your face, sun beating down, and seeing just everything that you don't notice when you're cooped inside a car - details on the houses, the leaves on the trees, horses out in the pasture, stone walls made of flat slate, so different from our puddlestone walls around here. i think i understand now why dogs like to hang their heads out car windows. only drawback was i only heard about every third word of the running commentary. c'est la vie.
then The Boy suggested dropping into this country club sort of place for a drink. such a perfect moment. you walk thru the place out onto the porch to get to the bar, and you're right on the water. in what must be a somewhat illegal practice, they don't make you stay at the bar with your cocktails. so we wandered down the lawn, glass of wine in hand, past the Adirondack chairs, full of Muffys and Buffys having tea and crumpets, to sit on the cliff and watch the boats. there was a perfect natural bench in the grey stone of the cliff, just for two. we sat there with the sun in our faces, breeze coming off the water, and the tingle of each other's company. he taught me to see all kinds of things. he told me all sorts of stories about each of the boats going by, and explained the proper names of the islands and each part of the harbor. afternoons don't get much better than this.
we were both hungry at that point, and he had a craving for sushi, which was all fine with me. we decided to order a boat; this turned out to be an insane amount of food for two people. it was all good, tho, as i was starving and he was starting to get stupidly punchy, the way you do when your blood sugar bottoms out. i thought that was kind of funny, altho i did catch myself having a 'Mom in the front seat' moment, grabbing my chopsticks away from him. my bad. i thought it was rather unique that the sushi chef who put our boat together was a woman. not something you see very often. in fact, i think that's the first time i've seen a woman sushi chef.
we went back and crashed out for a bit after that. the oddest thing was, i'd actually seen his place before. not really physically, but in part of a dream. it's a fitful sort of gift, if you can call it that; it runs down from my grandmother. when it decides to kick in, the results can be unexpected. it always throws me; i can't control it, which is disconcerting enough, and i don't always like what it tells me, particularly because it's often right. not like 'the winning lottery number will be...' kind of right, more the 'you will have this to deal with' or 'this is what's going to happen to your family' kind of right. i don't want to learn how to click it on at will, altho i could; i just don't want that kind of information.
anyway... we went back out for a bit later on, for a beer or two. note to self: Navy boys drink even harder than i thought. the gang next to us did a dozen shots of what looked suspiciously like tequila. and there weren't twelve of them. that aside... it was nice to just be in the town and hang out, not feeling any compulsion to do much at all. i did feel vaguely guilty about my smoking; this is probably a good thing, as i'm trying to cut down in order to quit. again. i try to be a considerate smoker, if there is such a thing. i generally ask before lighting up, never smoke at a table, and never smoke in someone else's house unless they smoke too. even then, i generally wait until they light up. but i know it bothers a lot of people. i think it bothers him, altho he says it doesn't. and frankly, it's starting to bother me.
oh, that was a bit of a tangent, wasn't it? so, yeah. so the stress has started to lift, and the afternoon has been wonderful. dinner was fun, zipping around on the bike is a blast, and i don't give a flying fuck what time it is. hey, this is starting to feel like a vacation. :)