the books                  the author                  journal                  contact                  play

Jude McLean Author

Sneaking Out - Part 4

00:00 / 06:34

It turns out I hate sewing. And the husband only has so many pairs of boxers. Once I had sewn all the trap doors closed, there wasn’t anything left to do except his socks. I did a few of those, then decided I was bored. Never mind that I had stabbed my finger umpteen times and bled all over my favorite shirt. Sewing ain’t my thang. It got exceedingly dull when he would check the boxers and socks before putting them on and simply tear open my lousy sewing job. I would sit there with a look of anticipation oozing from my eyes and a secret giggle, only to be thwarted. He doesn’t understand that I sewed all the holes closed to irritate him enough to return to the office. If he won’t leave, I will. 

The first thing I packed was my margarita machine. One must have priorities, and I wasn’t willing to take any risks. My precious margarita maker got a seat with an airbag and seat belt- safety first! The second thing I packed.....- who cares  I had my credit card and a full tank of gas. I was good to go.

I was driving through the good ole state of PA, guzzling coffee- I’m not a morning person but will gladly turn into one if I get to run away to the beach- when the call of nature rang. I stopped at the local gas station Sheetz. I put on my mask like a diligent citizen and dragged my half asleep, half jacked on caffeine behind, out of the car. When I returned, a man was standing beside my car door. This is never a good thing. He either hit my car or is an undercover officer who caught me doing 90 in a 55. “Good morning,” he said and tipped his head with a smile. “Hello,” I said as brightly as possible. “You’re not from around here, are ya?”. Oh, brother, it’s worse than I thought. Could I have a speeding ticket instead? My hair is a mess, my eyes are tired and probably slightly crossed, and I am in sweat pants, buddy. What part of this ensemble screams come and get it? Never mind that you’re trying to pick me up at a gas station of all places. I raised my left hand to my eyes to shield them from the sun and give him the signal that I was married. Thankfully he noticed the diamond bling in the light and promptly wished me a good day but didn’t hide his ‘last look’. Okay, fine, so maybe I can be a little cute when I’m irritated. I can’t fault the man for his excellent taste. On the road again. Ten hours, 9 cups of coffee, and a quarter pounder later...

Hello Outer Banks, NC!

Perhaps it wasn’t quite as warm as I would have liked on a couple of days, but hey, I was all alone. No one irritated me and asked, “What did you do today?” when they already knew darn well what I did that day because they were home, and so was I. Cue sarcasm. Gee, I don’t know what I did. Why don’t you tell me? Then this conversation can be over, and I can get on with screaming into a pillow. 

I sat on the beach every day, freezing my sunburned feet off, a rookie mistake, simply because I didn’t want to go inside. I had an ear warmer around my head, a swimsuit, a rash guard suit, sweat pants, and a sweatshirt. Did I go inside? Of course not. The sun, the sand, and the salty breeze were relaxing. I know what you're thinking. If it was so cold, why did you bother with a swimsuit and rash guard? I wanted to be prepared in case it warmed up, and I could go swimming or surfing. I’m the worst surfer on the planet, so don’t be impressed. Some days were gorgeous and I hit that water with gusto only to yelp like a sissy when the freezing temperature bit me like a junkyard dog. In short, the sun was warm; the wind and water were not. 

Junk food, margaritas, my snuggly new Seas The Day slippers - I love a corny play on words- terrible thrilling midnight thunderstorms, sun that burned through the biting wind, and reruns of the Golden Girls filled my days and nights. It was awesome. Whoever said 'one is the loneliest number' obviously never felt the thrill of throwing your Toblerone box on the floor instead of the trash because their chocolate-stained face can't be torn away from the TV when Sophia Petrillo tells someone to go to hell. Classic!

Although having another person with me while on a beach walk on Wednesday might have been a good thing, I started a leisurely stroll feeling the soft sand between my toes. I found myself hypnotized by the rushing waves. They were angry waves sounding a warning to anyone who dared to enter “I will swallow you whole.”  The varied shades of green, blue and white foam swirled together into a kaleidoscope of color. The waves barreled into the shore with fury while I walked and walked and walked. My stroll turned into an Olympic Event. Fourteen miles is a long way, you know?  SMH! Eyes front dufus. Welcome to a new zip code! 


There I was in my sandy bare feet, wild wind-blown hair, no cell reception, and miles from my hotel. Of course, that was the moment my bladder decided to chime in. Excellent timing. Lucky for me, there was a bar just ahead on the pier. I crossed my legs a minute then quickly proceeded inside. The moment I walked through the creaky fish-smelling door, the weather-wrinkled faces of the local fishermen all turned and stared as if I were a mythical creature the sea had just belched up. "Hello," I chirped. "I'm one of those moron tourists that lost track of my whereabouts." They all stared with a look that said they didn't need me to explain. "Long story short, could I use your bathroom?". 


Read Sneaking Out Part 5

More from the Journal...