On May 27th, I heaved my summer essentials into the back of my Chevy Blazer and prepared to set off alone for my two hundred mile adventure to the tip of New York State. I didn’t leave before double-checking that I hadn’t forgotten any toiletries and running back inside for my coffee maker and other various necessities. After locking the front door for the fourth time, I reconciled that anything else I had left behind could easily be replaced. Scanning the block, I paused at the church atop the vast hill that I climb with Tucker on our afternoon walks. That hill I would certainly miss, but the construction, traffic, and suburban monotony, I would not. Absentmindedly, I rolled down the hill and out of my neighborhood. Navigating to Westchester was a trip that the Blazer and I knew well.
I crossed the Throgs Neck Bridge and spent the night at my friend’s home just outside of the city. I knew Kerouac would be proud as I departed my friend’s house slightly under the weather after a night of catching up with college friends, in attempts to navigate my way out there with only the directions I had scribbled in my notebook. He would applaud my gutsy departure with the limited resources of $100 in my bank account, probably as much as he would admire the aspiration of turning the numerous business contacts penciled into my notebook into a secure job for the next two months.
With the angle of securing a job as a waitress, somehow Lucie convinced her parents that it was imperative to head out to their summer home over Memorial Day weekend, well before her family would be out for the season. She needed a friend there and I was dead-set on going from the moment Lucie ran the opportunity by me. Spending the summer in this ritzy beach town sounded more than appealing to me. Chalk it up to the business owners’ rudeness when I admitted to no prior food service experience, or my bland voicemails that failed to interest employers, weeks had gone by with no success for me in the job department.
I could return to the suburbs this summer: work at the same company I had for the past five summers, spend nights cruising around, listening to music with old friends, including my ex. To him I was the one, but I wasn’t the only one. This summer, I wouldn’t sit at the baseball field in chatting until 3:00 AM, but more importantly I wouldn’t sit at home waiting hours for him to text me back, well after he had dropped off his latest 16-year-old fling. In my mind, the stresses that lay behind were overshadowed with excitement of finally reaching the coast. After spending three hours in traffic on the Long Island Expressway, I flew down Sunrise Highway, cherishing every second along the desolate, sand-traced roadway. Arriving at my destination, five miles short of Montauk Point, I had arrived at my paradise, ready for all the challenges that faced me.