Thanks for the Fantasy

Dear B—,

Thanks so much for the invite to the two-day Rally-O trial in New Hampshire later this month. For sure I’d rather be there than here on Martha’s Vineyard at the height of tourist season, but I just can’t make it. Shelling out $90 for a round-trip ferry ticket is daunting, true, though my Inner Summer Person is sneering at me: “90 bucks? Get outta here. We pay $135 round-trip to get here from the mainland. You year-round people have it easy, and besides you live on Martha’s Vineyard. You should be grateful.

Yeah, right. I paid $4.259 a gallon for gas yesterday at Up-Island Automotive, best gas price on Martha’s Vineyard, and I can’t remember the last time I gassed up for less than $4/gallon on this side of the water. If I drove to New Hampshire, I could remind myself that somewhere in the wider world gas prices begin with a 3.

The real problem isn’t the cost of the ferry ticket. The real problem is that centrifugal force tethers your mind to the rock and your body forgets it can move: If you start swimming from Vineyard Haven harbor, you won’t have cleared the jetty 24 hours later. You’ve lost the Martha’s Vineyard where you live most of the year, and you’re not sure you’ll ever find it again.

Right now the summer is c-r-a-w-l-i-n-g by. We’re not halfway through July yet? It’s still more than a month till the fair? No, we aren’t, and yes, it is. Schoolkids love this, and I confess it has its attractions — three whole weeks till rent’s due! — but getting off-island for a couple of days makes the summer go faster. Why? Partly it’s the anticipation, partly it’s the being gone. Whyever it happens, I could use a little acceleration.

So I’m going to indulge myself in a little fantasy. Friday night the 22nd I’ll visualize myself packing trusty Malvina Forester, and Saturday morning I’ll rise at first light, load Travvy in the car, and head off for an early boat. 6 a.m. or 7? Whatever I can get. We’ll make our usual pit stop near the Falmouth Ice Arena, top off the tank for $3.60/gallon or whatever it is, then head off to New Hampshire. We’ll get home late Sunday night, and when I wake up Monday morning August will be just around the corner, the fair less than a month away.

Thanks again for the invite, B. I’m sorry we can’t make it, but you’ve just drawn September a little bit closer.

Hope to see you at the fall trials!

Susanna and Travvy


About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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