Sunday, March 4, 2018

Return to Luxury

A scant forty-eight hours after my blessed and hoped for return home to the condominium from the comparatively harsh and unforgiving environment of the hospital I have rediscovered the very persuasive features of private luxury. It began with a drive in my automobile.  I am a confessed vehicle enthusiast so getting back into the driver's seat is no insignificance. Though I am constrained to a measurable degree by the stiffness of my recovering ribs and the collapse of my lungs, it was no great effort to manage the steering.  These cars are labelled automatic power for a reason!

We initiated my pioneering drive by heading to Publix to do some much needed household grocery shopping, to gather a collection of Navel oranges, California figs, raw almonds, salmon filets, freshly ground peanut butter, "the everything" bagels, veggies (spinach, grape tomatoes, celery, green pepper, cabbage, carrots, avacado), black bean hummus with olive oil and roasted red peppers, tomatoe soup, ancient grains Cheerios, Kéfir, yoghurt, zucchini spirals, cauliflower and pea curry, etc.  I remained in the car while that seminal duty was performed.  My first step as I lingered self-indulgently in the vehicle cabin - aside from opening the landau roof to savour the pleasing morning breeze - was to tune the Sirius radio station to my favourite pre-sets, including symphony and opera.  Because today is a Sunday morning (and a dazzlingly sunny one at that) I was treated to cherished choral music, specifically Antonio Vivaldi's Beatus Vir in C Major performed by the King's College Choir and Antonio Caldara's Vaticini di pace. Afterwards I changed to Gioachino Rossini's Guglielmo Tell: Non mi lasciare.  It was all a happy reminder of the elevation of mankind above life's sometimes tawdry daily challenges.

I wasn't however so totally immersed in the fabrications of our greatest minds that I did not see or appreciate the simple but spectacular panorama of the day. The palm trees tossed about in the wind which roared off the Atlantic Ocean and across the Boulevard. Everywhere above and around was cerulean blue sky.  The air was fresh and healthful. The glistening early morning sunrise (it was after all only shortly before 8:00 am) reflected like slicks of pastel colours in the nearby commercial window panes. People wandered about gleefully in the awakening moments of the day. It was quite impossible not to be grateful.

As anxious as I am to return to this indulgent atmosphere, the frozen truth is that I must yet endure the necessity of prolonged sleep and rest. The mere recovery of my broken ribs may require as much a month or more particularly in light of my advanced age. Though we had deliberately undertaken our morning exploit at an early hour to ensure the avoidance of traffic if possible, when we returned home and at last ate our breakfast it was not long before I had regained my sofa in the cocoon of my duvet where I slept peacefully for hours thereafter.

Otherwise my greedy reabsorption into the high life is limited to reading E. F. Benson's "Mapp and Lucia" while sipping an improving cup of black tea.  In fact it has been over three weeks since I last had a cup of coffee and my present inclination is that I can bare the deprivation. The allure of the yellow sunshine is likewise diminished, a product of not contaminating my wounds and the avoidance of conflict with certain pills I'm taking. For now I am content to regard the rollicking green surf without the necessity of submerging myself in the arching sun's rays.

“It is distressing how important those material matters are to us. The deeper emotions do but form a kind of background to our coarser needs. We come down in the morning feeling rather miserable, but we eat an excellent breakfast, and, in spite of ourselves, we are obliged to confess that we feel distinctly better.”

Excerpt From: E. F. Benson. “Dodo: A Detail of the Day. Volumes 1 and 2.”

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