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Cottage Day 2: Dockside/ Bear

August 6, 2010

Slow to rise, pulling the simplest clothing over our heads. Shoes are for a place not here. Swimsuits as foundation garments, for impromptu swims, which prove to be a common occurrence through the week. Feet dangling in water so warm it’s nearly the same temperature as me. Coffee in sturdy white mugs, the homely ones likely evicted from the at-home kitchen and exiled at the cottage where no one cares if they smash on the deck or plop into the lake.

Across the water, a gang of dads on weekend leave enjoy their last morning of faux bachelorhood, launching cannonballs from the dock, shouting from the veranda that Dan better not be down there peeing in the lake. Rating Yonge Street strip clubs (my vote? they’ve never been inside one and this is all shit-talk and bluster) and eating fistfuls of chips for lunch. Just as we started to tire of their man-tics, they packed up the car and zipped up the road. Homeward, brave fathers; your kids and wives await!

We stray from the cottage, believing our characters will be made stouter, more resilient, quite simply “better” by at least one productive task. I straggle behind, picking raspberries and eating them roadside, headless of dirt and bugs. M. politely suggests I am impeding our progress and slowing our pace, but changes his tune to one of gratitude, as a bear charges onto the road a few metres ahead. Of course, my berry-picking has saved our lives, or so I claim for the rest of the week. Whenever one of us suggests a constructive activity, the other first chants a few bars of our mantra (“let go relax let go relax”) then brings up the walk, the bear, the correlation between “doing things” and “risking being eaten alive”. And then, we take off our shoes, pick up a book, and let it all go again.

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