Grades closed this morning, which means that my semester is officially over. In addition, I have the weekend off. I have worked in the restaurant and retail industries since I was fourteen, which means that aside from pre-scheduled vacations, unfortunate bouts of unemployment and grave illness, I have not had a weekend off since probably sometime in 1994. With my free weekend, I intend to go to the Island Of Misfit Toys and spend some long overdue time with friends who’ve probably begun to forget that I exist. In addition, I intend to achieve nirvana by Monday.
The way I see it, this endeavor will require me to do the following:
1. Buy A Book.
I just finished a semester in which I had two literature classes and two writing classes, the reading loads of which required a remarkable amount of ocular tenacity and a fair amount of sacrificed sleep. What this means is that I have not read anything (I mean, truly, nothing) that was not assigned since September of 2006. That’s nearly eight months without voluntary reading. I have been looking forward to this day–the day I’m allowed to buy a book that no one told me to read–since about a week after the Fall semester began, more than half a year ago. In my quest for a book, I intend to simply meander around the book store, preferably one which allows beverages so that I can meander with coffee, and look at everything I feel like looking at until something hollers, “Buy Me!” If I find two, I will buy both. If I find six, I will buy them all. I will not rush myself, or give myself a budget, or feel guilty for buying something that one might not actually be able to count as “literature.” If it’s Michael Crichton I want, it’s Michael Crichton I’ll get (not that there’s even a remote likelihood of this).
2. Get A Sunburn.
In the past few weeks, as the weather has been getting gradually more and more fantastic, I have practically become a shut-in. As I do my best work in the middle of the night, I have been up until five or six a.m. almost every night for nearly a month. As I also need a pretty tremendous amount of sleep in order to function properly, and have great difficulty actually getting to sleep, I have wasted a great number of sunny days away in the grey cave of my room, restoring myself to a passable level of lucidity. It is almost summer (though my gut tells me we will probably get walloped with another Northeaster before the end of May), and I intend to celebrate by turning my pasty (redefining white) skin the color of ruby-red grapefruit juice. I will then go into my sister’s garden or living room and find the biggest, juiciest aloe plant she’s got, maim it severely, and slop the goo all over my toasted self until I feel better.
3. Wear A Skirt.
When I think of the word “leisure,” which is normally used in reference to other people, what comes primarily to mind is comfortable, flowy clothing. Light, soft garments which lift and switch with the wind, swirl around your arms or feet when you walk. I am in possession of a rather sizeable collection of hippie skirts, that I wear almost never, which just so happen to epitomize the term “comfortable, flowy clothing.” I’m going to bring them with me to the island, and I’m going to wear them, in true beach-bum style, with hoodies–because there is nothing I can think of that’s more comfortable than a hippie skirt with a hoodie.
4. Go Barefoot.
I hate shoes. I love boots, but I hate shoes. I love (love, love, love) walking around barefoot, particularly if I happen to be wearing one of the aforementioned gauzy hippie skirts. It makes me feel like I am allowed to relax, to do nothing, to sit in a hammock in someone else’s yard (I have neither a yard nor a hammock) and read a book about nothing in particular. As I currently live in a city with icky, dirty streets, and work in a business that requires full-coverage footwear and an inordinate amount of standing on concrete in said full-coverage footwear, the only times I’ve been barefoot since Labor Day have been in my bedroom. I can’t wait.
5. Have A Cocktail.
I do not intend to get uproariously or pointlessly drunk–I have done that enough during the semester that it need not be repeated for as long as possible. However, I am looking forward to sitting on stool by the harbor–preferably while the sun is shining and I am wearing a hippie skirt and no shoes, carrying with me only a freshly-purchased book of no literary merit whatsoever–and having a (1, one) colorful cocktail, mixed and delivered by someone else who is getting paid $2.67 per hour to stand on their feet all day, delivering food and beverages of dubious quality to complete asshole strangers. After I have consumed said fruity beverage, I intend to give the monumentously underpaid liaison of liquid a tip so large it will make them gasp, slip on my flip-flops, and wander aimlessly down the harbor, perhaps down to the beach to slip my un-shod feet into the too-cold ocean just once–a baptism of sorts, in the only water I consider to be holy.