It is only now - approximately one month after our arrival on Daytona Beach Shores - that I am "settling in" so to speak. A good deal of the past month has been devoted to adjusting to our environment, getting to know the immediate area, maintenance issues in our apartment and securing a rental contract for next year. It feels like we've been "working". Now however I am at liberty to indulge myself in the very elements we envisioned so fondly, really nothing more glamorous than prolonged breakfasts, bicycling on the beach, playing the piano, writing, reading, swimming and sunbathing. While that agenda certainly doesn't warrant the elevation of productivity it is nonetheless all I feel obliged to do. Lately I have found myself lingering rather pensively upon the increasingly prolific obituaries of former acquaintances; and no amount of self-deception is able to disguise the frightful reality of reflective surfaces.
Though I had hoped our venture here would have sparked more social interaction I appear to have miscalculated. It is not as though there isn't the opportunity for interaction; rather we haven't discovered a favourable platform. "Happy Hours" for example are not our preferred choice. In fact anything involving alcohol tends to diminish our vitality. In an ideal world I can see that the occasion to fraternize with others is all that matters but I am not convinced that the model is suitable. The truth of the matter is that after years of intense socializing we have both exhausted our interest in third-party congregations. I regret to observe that the lack of pragmatic utility also seriously dilutes the ambition for mingling as it once did. In addition there is an inhibiting feature to being a mere tenant in an environment of entitled owners. Given our six-month tenure we haven't the strict contamination of a tourist (a universally maligned class) but we are not far removed. I won't say that our status alienates us but it undeniably regulates the participation. In any event I consider my own withdrawal to be symptomatic of a natural descent into curmudgeonly behaviour. As scintillating as I can imagine others to be and as distracting as their tales of personal adventure no doubt are, time is running out and I am preoccupied to extract the nectar from my lifetime private ambitions. There is some earnestness prompted by the prospect that the amortization of my automobile may exceed my own.
Submerging oneself in the soup of one's own contrivance is a limiting exercise. Whenever I come up for air it is primarily to get my bearings and take in the latest political scandals, at times to connect with famiy and friends. Otherwise my focus is one of pure indulgence. For years I applied myself to the generation of capital to expend on things I subsequently barely glanced at. Now I am hard pressed to imagine there is anything I want. I have collection of untouched things secreted in drawers. I wear practically the same thing every day - or at least revolve the wardrobe until it expires then replenish as required. By abandoning the ownership of real estate we have eclipsed a thousand opportunities for profligacy. Increasingly what remains is the elemental features only, in our instance the sun, the sky, the sea and the wind.