Today was a pretty great day.
I woke up, went and crawled into my mother’s bed. Called my friend, discussed plans.
She picked me up along with another friend, and the three of us stopped at the grocery store (contemplated stealing a boat), packed a picnic, and drove out to my favourite beach.
It isn’t a popular beach. Stone bottom, fresh water, cold. Grassy, a couple of picnic tables scattered in between a straggling selection of trees. The bay feeds into a shallow river, which is warm and thick with life, growth. At the mouth of the river tadpoles swim between your legs, and further in the bottom is entirely clay. You can dig the clay up, build castles on the stony shore.
We found a felled tree turned driftwood with age. Two friends joined us, and together, we dragged it off the shore and into the water, our shoes falling off our feet and bubbling to the surface, laughing so hard tears came.
One of our friends couldn’t swim so we all held the log steady and helped her up first. Panting, we took turns trying to climb aboard. The hard part was the smattering of irregularly placed spikes coming out of the tree - stumps of former branches, now positioned in just such a way that if the log turned slightly, a spike would quickly sink itself into your skin. So between our cries of pain and crying with laughter, we road it out into the bay.
We struggled ashore, some of us on all fours, covered in scratches and bruises. A flipflop escaped - I tried to help, but was paralysed with laughter.
Never get out of the boat, never get out of the boat.
We stumbled back to our picnic table, grabbed our blankets and towels, and collapsed into the grass. We lay there for a while, eating birthday cake with our hands, licking the icing off our fingers. A strange little girl tried to braid my hair.
We drove back into town. Went shopping, briefly. A patio umbrella launched itself straight up into the air, over a fence, and fluttered down in attack, its long arm swerving threateningly toward my face. I fought it back, bravely, laughing with incredulity.
We had dinner, a new friend joined us. Shared a plate of fried dill pickles, hot pickle juice hitting our arms, burning.
And then we went next door, into a dark theatre, and watched The Deathly Hallows.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s two types of Harry Potter fan. I mean, specifically, two types of those that have grown up with him.
There’s the type that will always love him, without judgement and beyond reason.
And there’s the type that will always remember him fondly, but will gradually see loopholes, experience ‘Wait A Minute…’ moments, laugh at the dialogue. They love Harry, but they’re logical people, and they have outgrown him.
The lights came up, I wiped the tears from my eyes (relentlessly sentimental for life), and we stumbled out the door and home, our legs jelly.
It was a good day.