The CSX engine and the Western Winchester railcars are rolling noisily past at the dead end of Idaho Avenue. There are only about twelve cars, so it doesn't last long. Maybe that's what allows me to love it so much rather than be annoyed by its frequency. I am sitting outdoors, working on the last of my grades which are due before I leave for the beach. I am wearing my new bright red Chuck Taylors with white stars on the sides. I just finished smoking a Gold Honey CAO cigar and enjoying a Belgian White ale called Shock Top -- they played nicely together. Billy Bragg and Wilco's Mermaid Avenue album is playing, a sturdy breeze kicks through every once in a while, and I am breathing so deeply now that Spring Break is upon me. At 5:00 am on Saturday, I and five of my closest girlfriends (two of whom happen to be my mother and sister, how lucky am I?) will hop onto I-65. Gloriously Southbound. I am like a dog straining at the leash, not caring that she is hurting her own neck with the excitement...except my neck doesn't hurt.
A week full of sun, sand, crashing waves, coffee and laughter with all the girls in the mornings, cocktails and swanky tunes with all the girls every evening, nail-painting, hair-playing, good-book-reading, and trash-talking (not too terribly scorching) -- just good garden variety female camaraderie. A week's worth of evening menus are planned, the mix CDs are burned, the toes are painted bright red. Every fiber of me is so very ready for this week-long, sun-drenched pause in Life As I Know It.
So, I will take every pleasure tomorrow in waking just a little bit late, taking a long walk, then methodically packing my orange suitcase and leisurely(ly?) lunching with friends before the final countdown and the packing of the vehicle. God Bless March 14-23.