Saturday, November 25, 2017

Sunny Saturday Cycle

In the middle of the night I had checked the weather forecast.  Sunny skies were predicted.  Knowing this made me restive as the dawn began to break into my bedroom early this morning. Although we have an uninterrupted agenda of beachside living for the next 4½ months I nonetheless greedily embrace the alloted time for fear of missing an opportunity.  By degrees in my inert state I rationalized that I would get up soon, prepare myself for the day, have my usual breakfast of orange slices and protein then get on my bicycle.  I imagined that it could all be done by noon at the latest.

And indeed that is precisely what transpired.  There is some merit in having protracted the adventure until mid-day because by then the sun would be at its peak and I could take advantage of the entire afternoon.  The only qualification was that high tide was at 12:14 pm which meant that the beach was impassable.  Frankly I didn't regret the deprivation as I enjoy the broad, silky smooth sidewalks through Willbur-by-the-Sea and Ponce Inlet.  Today I decided to detour off the sidewalks into some of the adjoining residential areas where there are gated communities and yacht clubs bordering the Halifax River which separates the barrier island on which we reside from the mainland.
I have a shameless passion for the sun and for a suntan in spite of its current raging unpopularity.  One day sunbathing may amortize as did my erstwhile habits of smoking and drinking but for the time being I'm a confessed indulgent addict.  At my age - with my protuberant belly and other unattractive features - I resist doffing my shirt and wearing shorts only.  But resist is all I do; eventually I succumb.  On Hilton Head Island where we formerly spent the winter it made more sense to wear a shirt because the weather was often cooler.  Here however the temperatures are warm enough to warrant stripping. I assuage my modesty by privately arguing that nobody cares anyway - which I have every reason to believe.  If I see another old fogey doing likewise, I derive comfort from the similar display.  It is a hackneyed reality in Florida that dilapidated men and women sport an obscene tan but it is a vulgarity to which I have adjusted.  The plain fact is that having a tan makes me feel better. I like the residual glow at the end of the day.  I will say in defence that I have learned to apply sparingly suntan lotion which I have happily works as it should.

When I made my way to Ponce Inlet today I resolved to go to the end of the celebrated rock pier.  Customarily I have only stood looking at it from the beach.  There's the business about abandoning my bike for example.  As decrepit as my bike is (I bought it "used" from a local rental agency), I am not about to invite the possible misappropriation of it. Its loss would just present a nuisance.  So today I decided to take the damn thing with me. I at least had the courtesy to "walk it" alongside me as a trundled down the pier.  There are other pedestrians and fishermen there so it would be irresponsible to presume to bicycle along the relatively narrow passageway.

My secret object in venturing onto the pier was to capture the tumult of the sea.  Nor was I disappointed. The further I went towards the end of the pier the more I was treated to the violence of the sea.  At several junctures on the pier the breaking waves broke over the rocks and crashed onto the pier, sometimes casting a very palpable spray.  Because the performance is repeated again and again there is some danger of slipping on the concrete walkway as it becomes affected by a progressive slick of minute algae.

My return home was strictly along the sidewalk bordering Atlantic Avenue.  Upon reaching the condominium building I stashed my bike in the underground parking lot then retired to the pool where I lounged in the sun for the remainder of the afternoon.  I punctuated my sojourn with a 15-minute wallow in the hot tub then a refreshing plunge in the pool.

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