A Digested Holiday
The usual stumble out of the gate: I stuff the (suddenly new) car with the expensive merchandise of your average baby-on-tour and some flimsy plastic bags filled with our own worn clothes. Is this what the garage sale will look like, when I die? The heat and humidity are already killing me. Get away by nine. Despite the countless mixed cd's I've made for my wife, she has declined to bring along any music, and the radio alternates between noise and saccharin death. Somewhere on the 401 is an exit (is it 804?) with no features (gas station, restaurant, etc) whatsoever. It is simply a blank exit. I stare at it longingly.
Quebec, of course: rain, darkness, crushed ceilings of fog. It's the same every year. Our room in Riviere du Loup comes with access to an indoor pool and loads of corpulent French kids.
Second day driving. My ass has turned into brie. New Brunswick is: up hill, down hill, trees trees trees. Watch out for moose! The moose fences stalk you on either side, up and down the painted ribbons through the unenchanted forest.
Finally, the cottage. Now we just have to run around like brain-diseased maniacs setting things up. Wind, rain, have you seen Oona lately? Let's light a fire!
The next day we go into town to get groceries. I explain to Oona that mommy likes to do laps around the grocery store like a crazy person, grabbing items as fast as she can, thinking this will speed things up. It won't. Daddy has a list, and daddy will patiently roll up and down each aisle, looking at what's on sale, until that list is full. If it was left up to mommy, all we'd eat is Kraft Dinner and corn twists. Let's have a big fight in the grocery store!
The sun returns, and the days start piling on. Ocean, sand bars, swims, walks, drives along the coast. Oona charges the surf, eats her weight in sand. I work the barbecue like a short order cook who's going to be shot in the morning. I make a yellow ton of potato salad. C seems pretty happy. A litre of wine a day with a few beer chasers will do that, I guess. One day, when we have company, she starts doing laps around the cottage. "I smell septic!" she says. Turns out it was a pig farm a few miles away, aided by a strong wind.
On our second last day we go to Prince Edward Island, which is like a museum for white people and all things stretchy-neck. There's something about Anne of Green Gables as well, which the Japanese just fucking love.
Time to drive home. Stuff that car again. Have you seen Oona lately?
Sun sun, rain rain. In Montreal I read aloud a sign: pie nine. "That's peh neuf, you dumb bastard," C says.
Welcome home! After three weeks of being shut up like a pair of retarded sixth graders, the entire house -- now with more broken items! -- smells like the kitchens of those crazy old ladies from my paper route of so long ago. That is to say, it smells like cat piss. "So what happened with that expensive pheromone stuff you bought, that $150-a-bottle stuff you bought from the vet that was supposed to keep the cats from pissing all over the place?," I ask. "Not for three weeks!," she says.