When I got home from work last night after cranking out 10 billable hours, I reached for some comfort. Not just the Ugg flip-flops which are so much more comfortable than heels, and a glass of chilled white wine, but a treasure that I’d stashed in the boat freezer and brought all the way up the ICW from the Bahamas: lobster tails. I turned them into lobster salad. Dinner.
Not quite the same as dinner at anchor, but it’ll do.
Today is Friday, and I’ve been back working for 4 days. Four days, because I couldn’t face having my first day back be a Monday. I was welcomed back warmly, and for that I’m endlessly grateful. But I’m nevertheless somewhat shell-shocked.
After 7 months, I’d almost forgotten what fresh hell commuting can be. We live near NSA, where thousands of jobs have been added in the last half dozen years. Except they didn’t bother adding infrastructure like, oh, road capacity. So I had to deal with that congestion. But once past it, I’d forgotten that the only appropriate speed to drive is 19 MPH over the speed limit. I’m not used to moving that fast; I was only going 10 over — in the right lane — and was being mercilessly tailgated until I stepped on it. Then I discovered that since I left, road destruction has taken over every route into the city from the south. I’ll have to refine my coping mechanisms if I’m to survive commuting in anything other than a dinghy.
Luckily, I have a pretty view in my office.
A picture of an Albury Brothers 20 we’d once rented, anchored over Tilloo Bank in the Abacos.
Which is a good thing, because I’m going to be spending a LOT of time there in the coming months. While my work had slowed to the point that a sabbatical was do-able last fall, I’m now in great demand. (Which makes me wonder whether my colleagues missed me, or my capacity….) I’m glad to have the work, but I’d been hoping for a gentler transition.
There are so many things to get re-accustomed to now that I’m working again. I have to wear more than sunscreen, shorts and a t-shirt to go to the office. I have to get up early in the morning to spare myself the worst of the commuting. I can’t just have a cocktail before dinner, followed by 2-3 glasses of wine, on a “school” night. I actually plan menus and make shopping lists, instead of picking up random available items in the supermarket. Life is much harder than just looking for a likely spot for finding sand dollars; I’m chasing American legal tender now.
Not looking for these dollars anymore. And the only sharks are opposing counsel.
But right now, the hardest part about coming back to “real” life is the ordinariness of it all. I don’t feel like I’m in the middle of being special and different anymore. I live in a normal house (not a boat), in a normal place (not an exotic island), doing normal things like working (not making overnight passages or exploring uninhabited beaches). I know I’ll be back someday, but it’s a long way off. Sigh.
But at least I can still dream about it.
Shroud Cay, Exumas.