Here’s how I wish today was going down…
I wish I was waking up with the sun, to the muted roar of the Today Show crowds coming from my living room; Maroon 5 live in the plaza or NKOTB reunited. “I’m getting coffee!”; that’s my cue. Get up or get left behind at the end of the driveway watching mom’s tail lights disappear down the block (this really happened once). I’ll jump out of bed and apply the usual summertime layers; SPF, bathing suit, bright Nike shorts and an over-sized SJU, UConn, PSU, Niagra, Deleware, Firebirds, or Falcons tee-shirt. Pony tail, sunglasses, ready to go.
On this “dangerously cold” morning in Boston, I wish I could swap my snow boots for flip flops and the T for my dad’s pick-up. I wish I was riding passenger side to Sam’s Deli. We’d take turns pouring our Nauset Blend. Mom will wipe down the coffee counter while I add one extra sugar to my cup. I’ll sort through the breakfast sandwiches while mom peruses today’s baked goods behind the glass; chocolate croissants, morning glory muffins, cranberry walnut rolls, cinnamon buns galore. If I’m lucky, there’ll be one more bacon, egg and cheddar on foccacia bread wrapped in foil waiting underneath the miniature heat lamp. We’ll take our coffee to go but not before chatting with the girls behind the counter. They’ll swap stories about the snowy winter and what their kids are up to this summer. I’ll listen closely for the whereabouts of her Cape Cod National Seashore life-guarding sons this season then I’ll smile and chime in with my “just-graduated-now-living-in-Boston” spiel.
We’ll drive to Nauset Light, pull into the rocky driveway, smile and wave to the familiar face in the booth. The line of cars to our left will grow quickly as the National Seashore lot inevitably fills up. We’ll find a space with ease on “our” side. We’ll pad down the steps, across the boardwalk shortened by winter storms, passing clueless vacationers wheeling over-stuffed carts and beach chairs, unknowingly approaching a 47 step seaside staircase. We’ll check out the lifeguards, post-morning work-out, following closely behind as they descend to their chair, carrying boards and bags above their heads and strapped to their sculpted, sun-kissed shoulders. Today, they’ll notice us (because this is all hypothetical, of course). Well, they’ll notice me.
We’ll head down the steps and seek out our spot. To the right, just beyond the big rock, in perfect alignment with the furthest lifeguard chair, not too close, but still visible when we turn to face the sun mid-afternoon. We’ll land just before the families with dogs and just beyond the parties of 23, on Cape Cod for their family reunion. Two girls, two beach chairs, two coffees, one beach bag and we’re good for the next few hours…
That’s how I wish today was going down.
But instead, I’ll keep sitting here drinking sub-par, lukewarm coffee, with static-y hair and pale skin, wearing think wool socks and clunky boots. Not listening to the sound of the waves and lifeguard’s whistles, but instead listening to a buncha’ guys with power tools and thick Boston accents, building desks in the office space next-door.
*sidenote: I wrote this on the T (the silver lining to crazy MBTA delays and broken down trains), added that last bit when I got in and scheduled for a 12:45 debut…riiiight around the time mom and I would be turning our chairs to face the afternoon sun.