He ‘s been attending day camp with swimming, sports, awesome sorties, fun and games and even a three-day camping trip so as far as I’m concerned he’s been on vacation for two full months.
“So, dad, where could we go that you know wouldn’t like cost too much?”
Planes, trains, automobiles, buses… the kid just wants to go somewhere that’s not here.
I know the itch.
He’s been trying to get us to go on a trip pretty much all summer. He complains in the morning about the daily routine. As we walk to his camp, every morning, he cajoles me by talking about past vacations or bullies by telling me how ‘everybody’ is going somewhere.
I would love to go on a trip. After all, I’ve been working all summer without a break. And no pay.
But where and to do what? Twenty-four hour fatherhood without any time to myself seems less like a vacation and more like an obscure punishment for some early sin of mine.
“I really don’t know, Noah.”
“Maybe we could go like to Matinicus, that was so awesome.”
Last summer we spent a week on an island, a 2 hour boat ride off the coast of Maine. Noah ran feral with the handful of children. I made out every night with a lover whom I had met a month earlier. When we got back to Montréal we went our separate ways. A vacation sexcapade for me, a beach folly for the kid.
“But, dad, I know that like you have no girlfriend so, yeah, this summer you would get so bored at Matinicus.”
“Where would you like to go, dad?”
Nowhere alone with you. Sorry, I love you boy, but …
“I don’t know, Noah.”
“But really, really, like if you don’t worry about how much it costs or if you don’t think about anybody else, like you know what I want or stuff like that, yeah…”.
Exactly the question I generally ask of others when trying to coax out their true desires. But I’m not free to imagine what I would want. What would I do with mini-me?
“I would love not to have to worry about feeding us for a few days.”
“Like when we went to Cuba, dad?”
“We could go to Cuba. How much does it cost, like for you and me?”
It costs a wealth of patience I don’t have. Last time, I was accompanied by another delightful, though ephemeral, companion.
“A couple of thousand dollars.”
“Oh! that’s a lot.”
Finally, that’s why we haven’t gone anywhere. I can’t find the energy and it’s expensive and I want a woman with me.
There, that’s what I really want on vacation: a female friend to get naked with during the night and to accompany my parenthood during the day.
Can’t tell my boy, that, for sure.
“I told you like before school was over, dad, that you needed a girlfriend for like the summer, so that we could go on vacation.”
Ha! That’s true. Kid already knows whether I tell him or not.
“Yes, you did, Noah. Almost happened with J… , but it didn’t.”
“You should have like made it work at least until the end of the summer. She was nice enough.”
Ouch. Mercenary? Gigolo? Or just smart.
“Doesn’t work that way, Noah.”
BY now, we’ve reached his day camp. He blows out a mass of air. Exhaustion. Boredom. And it’s 8:30 a.m.
Shit! Whatever happened to my crazy, impulsive sense of pleasure and adventure?
“Have a good day, Noah.”
I kiss him on the cheek. He waves disconsolately before disappearing in the stairwell.
Now I feel bored, lonely and guilty. Two weeks left before school to change everything.
But, first, another coffee. And a woman.