Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Day Off

"Anything's better than wages," said Montgomery Clift's character in The Misfits, but for some of us wages are our fate. Working in the arts means that I count myself lucky to be part of the 9-5 in a thriving business. However, there's nothing quite like that wonderful tingly feeling in my tummy and toes as the day before a day OFF draws to a close: Anticipation! A day of FREEDOM.

It's kind of like when you're a kid and school lets out for summer, although in this case it's just 8 hours of respite from the office, the phone, problem-solving and acquitting myself of responsibilities that primarily benefit my employer. That slightly seditious feeling of telling other worker bees, "Well, I won't be in the office tomorrow, so...tough it out without me." Adolescent rebellion or the eternal yearning of the proletariat, to realize that promise to "breathe free" ? Either way, an extra day of rest (or play) is good for the soul.

My loving husband is doing my car stuff on the magical day, so I won't be spending it running bloody errands, hooray! I hate doing car stuff, and once dreamed that being a married lady meant no more trips to the auto shop, those greasy pits of hell. The only scenario that works for me with mechanics is the hunky guy in the navy blue jumper, with the downcast, lascivious eyes. I don't run into him too often...and of course, he's usually married, like me! Oh well, a girl can dream.

A Day Off needs to begin, as all proper Big Sur Days Off begin, with a big, fat Gold Coast Margarita at Neptune's the evening beforehand. Don't forget to enjoy the deliciously guilty French fries (just a half basket, please) and of course the "view that changed my life" as many refer to the south coast vista from Nepenthe. Follow this with a dash down to Esalen for a soak and the sunset. I even did a little impromptu victory dance in the solarium at Esalen, post soak.

Then there's the thrill of sharing Big Sur with someone new, of experiencing a fresh viewpoint vicariously, but powerfully. My new friend and guest for the day, Linda Rosewood, is a writer, which makes our time together extra rich. I'm reading her work with delight, especially her short story about (what else?) pregnant teenage lesbians. Our plan was to hike, drink French champagne, and read to each other. We did all three and more, visiting gifted painter Sarah Healey and having a cup of tea with her in her garden.

Highlights of the day: laughing so hard I spit up my champagne, the feel of my silk robe as I sauntered about outdoors in the morning light, reading Kipling's Just So Stories out loud, and watching my new friend's eyes fill with tears as she watched a golden crescent moon (just like Artemis' bow) sink gently into the ocean.
Photos: Rowland-Jones collection

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