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Lugging it Long Distance

July 3, 2011

So far, all my lugging has served a professional purpose: getting things to and from work; getting things to my boyfriend’s house so I can head to work in the morning; getting things home from my boyfriend’s house after sleeping over on a weeknight. Running errands. Delivering supplies from my pantry to the pantry of someone else. And so on. But, this week, for the first time in a year, my lugging had a higher purpose. This week, my lugging was all about achieving a stretch of leisure.

I’ve packed up some projects and some baggy pants and some bikinis (yes, “some”) and some groceries and headed to the island to get some things done. Some leisure things, some writing things, some sleeping things, and some sunning things. I did this same thing two summers ago, and was surprised how quickly I relaxed, how easily I settled into a routine of sleep-write-breakfast-shower-nap-write-walk-nap-write-dinner-sleep, and how little I required by way of supplies to make it through fourteen days. This time, I vowed to pack lighter.

Pyjamas (bottoms only, since I can sleep in whatever t-shirt I dirtied up that day), jeans, shorts, sundress to throw on over one of the two bikinis I intend to wear like underpants all week long. Tank top for hot days, long sleeves for night time when the mosquitoes wake up and head to work. Sunblock, sunhat, sunglasses. Corkscrew and espresso pot. Snacks. Sneakers, since there will be times when I need to break my “no shoes” rule. A rain jacket for walking in island storms, which are always too beautiful to waste by hiding indoors.

Laptop (this is a writing holiday, after all), camera for documenting this and that, chargers, which weigh nearly as much as the devices they power.

Some underpants since really that’s just a bathing-suit joke and no, I will NOT be wearing a swimsuit as gitch. Suddenly, traveling light wasn’t happening anymore and I began nickeling and diming my luggage, removing an undershirt, a t-shirt, an extra pair of panties, my only pair of socks. The novel I thought I might re-read, since the residence where I’m staying has a great library of books people have left behind or written while staying on the island and donated as evidence that people really do get things done out there.

Everything in this armoire, except the navy blue pillow, I lugged to the island in my bicycle basket. In one trip. Well, a two-part trip. First, I lugged it to the office on Thursday morning where I put in a full work day, writing briefings, defending the content of my briefings, setting up cases for legal opinion to be delivered while I am away, filing all my paperwork so colleagues can locate anything they need to know while I am incommunicado. Tackling two emergencies that arose that morning, despite my declaration that emergencies were not welcome that day. Then, when the bell rang at 3 PM, I completed the next leg of the trip, zipping south down Bay Street through traffic so slow I got off my bike and walked it, in high heels, down the sidewalk, loaded with all the stuff you see in these photos, and still made it two blocks from Richmond to King Street faster than the cars I’d been squashed alongside.

Then, through the ticket line-up and onto the 3:15 ferry, and out to the island, less than 30 minutes from office to lodge door. It was hot and sunny and with Pride Weekend kicking off that evening, all the gay boys in small swimtrunks were heading to the nude beach to brown up their tans. One fierce bitch had a small silver ghetto blaster on a shoulder strap, Vuitton luggage for a beach bag, a perfectly sculpted Tin-Tin curl in his hair, and unlaced Doc Martens rolled (yes, rolled!) at the ankle to reveal a perfect inch of sweat sock. When the boat docked, he jabbed the “play” button and sauntered down the gangplank while Robyn belted out the soundtrack to his afternoon on the sand.

And, by dinnertime, I had unpacked, undressed from my office clothes and redressed in things that actually breathe and move and allow me to breathe and move, too. I had put my feet in a lake so chilly it made my shinbones ache while my shoulderblades warmed under a sun hot enough to make sweat trickle then pour. And, I had let all the lugging go…


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