I have been dreaming of Maine. For the past few years, we have gone to visit Boyfriend’s aunt and uncle for a long weekend of stolen days out on the ocean. They are amazing hosts and they have an enviable boat where they practically live all summer.
As soon as we arrive, I don Queaz-Away bracelets and nibble ginger cookies until I get my sea legs, which are often slow to arrive. But once I do, I lay languidly like a lizard across the bow of the boat until I am certain I am getting sunburned. Then, I pull on a t-shirt and a sun hat and move to the stern for shade and champagne. In the cool mornings, while we are docked off the shore of one of the Calendar Islands, I dive off the back of the boat, cleaving the waves, peeling away sleep like the skin of a ripe mango. It is cold in a refreshing, good-morning-new-day-I-am-glad-I-am-young-and-alive kind of way. As a former swim team champ, I show off for the gulls and the seaweed, swimming laps to and from the other boats docked around us like an accidental, bobbing trailer park. Then I climb out of the water, pleasantly exhausted, to let my salty hair crinkle dry in the blooming sunlight.
But, when I dream of Maine, and Portland and the boat, what I really dream of is lobster. Last year, we flagged down a lobster boat and bought 10 squirmy crustaceans that had literally just been plucked from the ocean only moments before. That night all of them went into a giant pot and we had nothing but lobster and wine for dinner. Well, lobster, wine, and butter. Or, as Boyfriend’s aunt—a New England transplant from Long Island—pronounces it, “Butta.”
This year, we aren’t going until October for a tragically abbreviated trip, but I know that when I get there the lobsters-in-butta will be waiting for me.