Dave says he’ll take care of the Brigadoon reservation card, which arrived yesterday with some other mail I ignored because I’d gotten a package.
He carried it into the kitchen, where I was cutting open the box from Coastal.com — my free glasses, which turned out to be sort of horrible because the frames were way too wide for my face and not in a fun way, and the lenses seemed glarey, or maybe the new prescription was just throwing me off. Anyway, they were only 31 bucks—11 for shipping and 20 for the silver-level lens upgrade (maybe I should have gone for the gold) – so I guess the chance was worth it.
I was cutting through the packing tape when Dave brought in the blue envelope. “Coldest day of the year it comes,” he said. For a moment we looked at it, handwritten, postmarked in Arcadia, and we approximated the feeling of happiness we always have when the reservation card arrives. It’s an official reminder that summer is coming, but this year one of our number is ill. A friend we made in Brigadoon, who has become part of the place for us, and part of what summer means.
Dave opened it and we looked at the contents. As usual, a printed rate card and a handwritten reservation card in the manager’s flowing cursive, “Irish #48, Sept. 24 to Labor Day or ??” I wondered whether he was thinking about our friend. He said, “I’ll take care of the deposit” and then “I can’t tell if the prices have changed.”
“Nope, they look the same,” I said. We laughed at the question marks, which so perfectly capture Brigadoon’s manager, a husky-voiced former Detroit secretary and fight manager who runs Brigadoon less like a tight ship than an amateur fishing boat she can’t believe is still afloat. How could it be, with guests never quite sure when they’re checking out?
He set the envelope on the floor. That’s where he puts stuff he doesn’t want to forget. Bills, dry cleaning, a letter for the mail box. In the place where it shouldn’t be, so you know you need to do something about it. Though sometimes, there’s nothing to be done.