It was 65℉ out-of-doors before eight o'clock this morning. When I began my bicycle ride 2½ hours later, I was in a tunnel of cool wind from the north. For the first time in a month I sported a light charcoal sweater over my stripped blue and white golf shirt. Not long into the ride - still hidden from the sun in an emerald shade by the giant sea grape bushes - I contemplated turning back to collect a heavier sweater. And socks. But the dry, cool air and the cerulean blue sky spurred me along. All the way to the end of the barrier island where it meets the Longboat Pass bridge to Bradenton Beach. Approximately eight miles I am informed. The 3' elevation above sea level makes for an easy ride.
I turned around at N Shore Road where the sidewalk ends, before crossing the bridge. The return tour was a cinch! The northerly wind was at my back and propelled me like a roller coaster. I momentarily thought of removing my sweater. However when I paused at Bayfront Park to rest and check my email the cool wind in my static condition reminded me of its keen effect. Again however the cloudless sky won the day, elevating me and repeatedly taking my breath away. It was an irrepressible glory!
Overnight I had not slept well. Too much coffee. Strong French roast which I first prepare then put into the fridge to transform it to iced coffee (sometimes with the impenetrable surface of a skating rink). The diuretic effect was inconsolable. Between visits to void my bladder I lay in bed contemplating whatever happened to occur to my agitated mind. In the middle of the night everything is strangely compelling (even though the morning brings little if any recollection of the inscrutable images). There are only so many hours one can sleep, after which it is mere gnawing at life's spiritual contemplations whether of living or dying, success or failure, need or want. Our virtuous existence means we no longer pass out but rather sleep when we're sleepy; and arise when likewise prompted.
The routine of the day revives me - though I hastened to avoid the immutable and irreversible evaporation of the morning. It was imperative to get my matutinal exercise, to purify my spirit by the existential production. The hours of the day slip away so rapidly. It inconceivable that even one day will be spent indolently. After accomplishing my dutiful bicycle ride it was time to wallow in the sun, itself a mechanical commitment to satisfy the absorption of the exercise.
A gaggle of middle-aged New Yorkers clung to the edge of the pool where they had obviously sought to seclude themselves from the penetrating wind, sheltered somewhat by sea grape bushes. I positioned myself on the other side, closer to the sea, directly in line with the irradiating sun. The heat tingled my face like a hot plate. Aside from the crashing of the waves there were only murmurs from the distant corner of the pool (though one woman babbled interminably, an annoying voice that sounded as though she were speaking through an empty package of gum). I had propped open the large umbrella in the centre of the wrought iron table, a manifestation of my local office. When later my companion arrived with a bundle of letters from the mail, I sat on the end of the chaise longue with my back to the sun and perused the contents. Meanwhile the New Yorkers were drifting back and forth between the condominium, returning with glasses of predictable contents of their own.