Boat Life

This really happened

One of the many reasons why I cannot stop thinking about that cruise. I was never interested in going on a cruise before. I thought it would be full of middle America Trump supporters who spent the day gambling and drinking Coors Lite. (Actually, ours may well have been.)

Today I met up with a mom friend from grad school. I waited for her at Bryant Park, which was absolutely hopping. I remembered Bryant Parks from different versions of my life. The time I went there with InfoPro (the job my brother-in-law Jon Gibs got me) for happy hour drinks. I think it was the last day. It definitely had an ending feel to it. My last day? Other people leaving too? I remember the office moved at one point. It's all so very vague. 

There were the Bryant Park movie in the park days. That pre-dated Infopro. That was during the first year or so of living in New York. Back when you went to all that great, free, cultural stuff. Back when you had nothing but time.

There was the time when Wally was very young, maybe 6 months, when I bought a 20-pass ticket to the carousel there. What was I thinking? Somehow I imagined us heading over there all the time with Wally. I hadn't re-calibrated what New York would be like with a baby. How much more provincial we would get. How rooted in our neighborhood, our block, to the point where we have upper and lower Penn South, and it really seems to mean something. We don't know people in lower Penn South (below 26th street) as well. If someone makes the jump, it radically changes their main playground, main drugstore, main supermarket. All the trajectories of their lives change, based on just a block or two. 

It was so great to meet my grad school mom friend Amie, after months commenting on each other's blogs. She blogs here at the shape of me. She also lives in the same town as my proto-crypto dream house. On her syllabus for a survey of English literature course she's about to teach, she has Elizabeth Bishop's "The Fish." It was the first time I ever remember meeting her where I didn't feel super stressed and out of my element. It was wonderful. We meant to meet in June. August was our fall-back date, but at least we made it. 

We said goodbye as she went to dinner with her husband and I went home hoping to catch Wally and Petra before they went to sleep. 

I didn't catch them.

I came in and all three were asleep. 

So early (before 8)! Finally back on schedule after all the late nights on the boat and the jet lag.

On our last night on the boat we stopped in Canada, toured the lovely town of Victoria a bit, saw a fantastic street show. 

When we got back on the boat, I took the kids for one quick, last chocolate tart at the cafe on the 5th floor. I can't believe it's our last night on the boat, I said. Wally we should pretend it's our first night. They drank milk. The waitress brought another plate full of tarts to the table. We hadn't asked for anything more. "Let's explore the whole boat like it's our first night here," Wally said. 

I said, you can't just do that. You can't pretend the last night is the first. 

But we did. We ran up to the solstice deck. We looked at the stars. We breathed in the salt air. 

"everything/was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow/And I let the fish go."


  1. Cheers to the relaxed, post-grad meeting in the park. It sounds like the loveliest time! (Bryant Park also makes me think of happy hour drinks. And the year I worked in PR and was in the fashion tents. Ice skating, too.) I just adore the idea of pretending the last night is the first night. Chocolate tarts, stars, and salt air. Sounds like heaven to me.

  2. Oh do you like that Sarah? Something about it I find intolerable. But I love the way you rephrase it. Oh yes - the winter scene there at Bryant Park - totally forgot about that!

  3. I saw your almost-doppelganger, about 90% resemblance, at Eric's Tada play today...she had cute cat's-eye glasses

  4. Thank you for a most amazing evening! It is unfair that now that we are relaxed and less stressed, we see each other less. Shouldn't it be the other way around?
    I love reading about these Alaska moments. These new memories written in posts with old memories...woven like a tapestry.

  5. That was so much fun. I know what you mean, but at least we are able to relax now when we meet! Thank you...


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