Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Butter Tray

After my 16-mile bicycle ride yesterday to Ormond Beach and back I felt I deserved a day of rest. So today I lay by the pool in the sun. Even by noon when I landed on the deck of the pool overlooking the frothing green water of the Atlantic Ocean the sun was already beginning to secrete itself behind the towering condominium buildings.  Securing a strategic envelope in the direct sunlight requires planning. Luckily apart from the chap who conducted the pool maintenance, there was no one else there.  I chose the most hospitable corner of the deck, moved a small circular metal table, aligned the chair into the sun and flattened myself on the wide chaise longue like a stick of butter on a tray, melting in the heat. There was a vigorous wind but unless the sun went momentarily behind a shifting cloud mass the heat was intense. My face mildly burned.

When I first assumed my recumbent position, I was completely immobile - like a piece of bacon on an oven rack. I lay there inert for at least an hour before feeling any inclination to move. The pulsing heat dissolved my anxieties. My body was tranquillized.  The soothing warmth promoted evanescent thoughts. I recalled early mornings in Key West in the winter and hot afternoons in Fort Lauderdale in July when the dry heat is the only boundary between oneself and nature. The lethargy of the subtropics is ineluctable.  My eyes were closed and I listened to the crashing waves of the sea no more than 100 feet distant.  As I dozed I fleetingly touched upon all that had transpired recently, whence I had come and whither I was going; the jaunts to the Gulf coast and the Keys;  contacts with bankers and car dealers and jewelers, my family, my friends and associates; what I ate for breakfast and what I intended to eat for dinner; creeping age (and my hell-bent resolve to squeeze what I can from life); the past and the future and even a bit of the present; and of course the blissful heat, the vanishing worries and the tingling sensations.

More as an excuse to adjust my static position than anything else I disturbed myself and examined my iPhone for emails.  There were three communications of substance, one from our Canadian Landlords, another from our US banker and a third from my car dealer. I answered them all perfunctorily (it's difficult to type on an iPhone or to dictate when there's a wind). But I was relieved to get the news and advice. Things were falling into place. Then it was back to the sun.  I first swiveled the chaise longue to match the changing trajectory of the rays.  A middle-aged couple had plopped themselves on the swinging bench under the pergola and were staring out to sea. Soon I was lost again in my vaporization.

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