One day my friend Y and I decided to go on vacation. We left our moody spirited teenage children along with our obsessed fun and creative husbands behind and headed for North Fork, Long Island.
Besides our plans to chill out on Long Island, we were also on a mission to work on our art projects.
Y was working on the series of drawings artfully depicting death and decay of some sea creatures
and my work was about soldiers fighting and losing to different forms of carnivorous plants.
With these cheerful subjects in mind, we rented old decaying romantic bungalow in Greenport. The place was a top secret, and the secret remains, so it stays cheap exclusive and available to its loyal followers.
Even before unpacking, Y succumbed to the call of the wild swimming naked in the cold water of Atlantic. And I submitted to my OCD ever-present urge to chronicle everything instead of simply enjoying the moment.
She went deep, Y is an ambitious swimmer.
At some point, I started to worry that she might have drowned, but she re-emerged from water with a healthy appetite for oysters.
The best oysters. Ever. With no drugs, sex, or alcohol on our menu (Y is intolerant to all but a few rare and fairly expensive grapes from South of Italy, and what fun is it to drink alone?) oysters and endless espressos were our only daily extravagance.
And so it went like this, "a self inflicted retreat", as Y proclaimed it:
This was the very first time that Y went on a trip without her husband and daughter, so she was stalking checking on her daughter every two hours.
With the summer crowds gone and the crisp September days rolling into dark chilly nights, we felt completely secluded in our private paradise until Y paid a visit to motel's manager who, as it turned out, was her devoted Instagram follower.
We did have a good time. We treated ourselves to a visit to a lavender farm and a winery.
The picture I drew at the winery had a slight hint of approaching Apocalypses. Was it, perhaps, born out of an unconscious feeling of guilt for being away from a work desk our children?
We walked over old rails which triggered some traumatic experiences nostalgic memories from my Soviet childhood.
I remember traveling with friends then I was young. It was insane dangerous amusing and only slightly less deadly than the fun that Thelma and Louise had. In my 20’s, that was my idea of living to the fullest. Life after the age of 35 seemed dull and filled with dreadful chores and responsibilities. It didn't help that my mother was cheerfully adding her 5 cents to my fear of growing old.
In Soviet Union women retired at 55 only to take on a responsibility of raising grandchildren. I always suspected this was a government plan to ensure that young mothers go back to work without delay. My mother expected me to do the same. She was deeply disappointed that I had a different plan. Even though she was very involved in caring for my son, he was never given over to her the way I was to my grandmother. In a way, I robbed my mother of her chance of bringing up a small child all by herself.
So she tried to induce some guilt trip common sense in me.
Well, it seems finally on my way to maturity, turning 50 next summer, and I never felt better, or more alive. I feel like waving to the fellow younger creative mothers who struggle with small children and their art and jobs and husbands and shouting at the top of my lungs: "There is a life here after all, you too will get to it in some time!" Of course, my priorities got some upgrades on the way too, and now Grandma Moses is my ultimate role model. Like her, I aspire to be discovered at 70.
Sometimes I think: what would have happened to Thelma and Louise had they lived? Perhaps, they would have settled on a lavender farm?
Real Time In Ink is a series of graphic stories by Dasha Ziborova. It covers a broad range of topics from people, places, parenting, art, music, cats, food, travel, to occasional politics and scary crazy Russians.
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