Thank you for your encouraging comments on my last post. They are seriously helpful, and I’m once again looking forward to our trip. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning to get whatever drugs I can bring along and I’ve confirmed that my work benefits include emergency travel coverage. Slowly, to-do boxes are getting ticked.
Last week, I convinced Swee’pea to try some of his summer clothes on. The week before I’d pulled out his sun hat to see if it still fit, and he screamed and threw it across the room and refused to let it near him. Once or twice recently we’ve put short-sleeved pyjamas on him and while he liked them at first, when he discovered that the sleeves didn’t pull down to his wrists he wept until we took them off. I was worried that he would never adjust to warmer-weather clothes, certainly not in time for our trip.
Last week I could no longer postpone the trying on of Swee’pea’s summer clothes because my mom was coming to visit and we were going shopping. So I pulled out his old anti-UV suit and persuaded him to try it. It’s a bit snug but it still fits. Hurrah! Then I put on a newer (to us) pair of jean shorts, and he loved them. He refused to take them off. I tried to explain that these were clothes for Cuba and it was still too cold to wear them outside here. But he was adamant. “Du Ba! Du Ba!” he yelled. I couldn’t figure out what Du Ba meant and I asked him to point at what he was talking about. He pointed to the door. “Du Ba!”
“Outside?” I asked.
I explained again that we couldn’t go outside in those clothes, they were for Cuba, where it’s summer already.
And then the penny dropped.
Du Ba = Cuba
“Ya!” He said, and spent the next hour running around the house yelling, “Du Ba! Du Ba!”
* * *
Today at lunch I went clothes shopping for myself. Throughout the expedition, I tried to channel all the What Not to Wear I watched while laying on the couch this weekend. I could practically hear Stacey saying it’s all about accepting and accentuating what you’ve got, not giving up or covering up because you want to be 10 or 20 or 30 pounds thinner. I looked for shirts with an empire waist and I tried to find Capri pants that fit instead of baggy ones that droop my ass. I tried to go beyond my colour comfort zone of brown and orange and injected a little turquoise and khaki. All in all, I think I did reasonably well. I may not have any money to spend in Cuba but at least I’ll have clothes that aren’t ripped, frayed or paint-spattered.
As I drove back to the office, I rolled the window down for fresh air. Led Zepellin’s “D’yer Mak’er” came on the radio. Immediately, I was transported to a summer in high school, probably the summer before I went away to university. I remember spending a fair amount of time with a girl and her boyfriend, who had his very own car – a Chevette with a souped-up sound system and tinted windows. He drove us around and we listened to the same Led Zeppelin album over the muffler noise every time. It was that song, “D’yer Mak’er” that I most remember; that and “Dancing Days,” which back then had just been covered by a grunge band whose name I can’t remember right now (God, I’m old!).
"Oh oh oh oh oh oh, You don't have to go oh oh oh oh oh
You don't have to go oh oh oh oh oh, you don't have to go.
Ay ay ay ay ay ay, All those tears I cry ay ay ay ay ay
All those tears I cry oh oh oh oh ay, Baby please don't go."
Pulling into the parking lot, I felt just like a teenager on the cusp of a summer of freedom. I slotted between the white lines seeing an old open road and endless possibilities. I sat there listening while the song ended and remembered some sweet melancholy I felt that hot summer of unfulfilled desire, all potential and nothing realized. I didn't once think about the friendly cube farm that awaited.
Weekend Reading: The Trying to Rally Edition
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