Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Whole New Category of Getting Away

Yesterday we picked up our new boat. Yes, it’s a ski boat. Yes, it runs on blood sucked from the veins of small Middle Eastern children. Yes, I do feel some ambivalence about that. What I don’t feel any ambivalence about is how fucking awesome it is to be out on the water, wind and waves buffeting me, cruising around Lake Union, racing around Lake Washington—whenever I feel like it. I have wanted a boat since moving to our house eight years ago, a mere six blocks up the street from Gasworks Park. I can’t go outside without seeing some of the water that makes Seattle such a superbly beautiful place to live—and now I can go on it, whenever I want. And I can go fast, which fills my soul with joy.

Don’t get me wrong—I love kayaking, with the hybrid human/duck feeling of it, the intense physical effort of paddling, the ability to explore the multitude of rock shores and teeny coves that are too small for any sort of power boat. There’s a unique satisfaction in being your own impulsion.

But I also love getting from one place to another in less than a day and a half. We’re looking forward to a summer in the San Juans, where most of the 450 islands aren’t accessible by ferry, and where we can now, finally, visit some of my favorite childhood state parks. Sucia, for instance, or James, or even tiny Clark.

I had another interesting insight into my psyche last night, as we took our new boat trailer from Seattle out to Maple Valley where M&M are kindly storing it for us at their place (the boat’s in a dry-stack storage facility on Lake Union, blocks from home, but they didn’t have room for the trailer). I was driving along I-5 through downtown Seattle, in traffic (of course, even though it was 7:30 pm), glancing at my mirrors periodically to make sure the trailer was centered in the lane behind me, and I suddenly, out of the blue, got all choked up. And I realized that, for some reason, I have equated owning your own trailer with adulthood. I’m sure we have more trailers in our future—at least a horse trailer, and perhaps some sort of flatbed or utility trailer as well. But this, our boat trailer, is our first trailer, and as such it represents this new phase of life into which we’ve entered. New skills, new opportunities, new challenges, new responsibilities. And, of course, new fun.

Hey—anyone wanna go skiing?

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