Not every day on Key Largo is abuzz with fieriness. Today was one such day. It was instead characterized by an uncertain platitude if I may call it that. Yet it would be misleading to propose that today ought to have been otherwise or that the day was in any material respect wanting. Most certainly it was not. I liken the day instead to a commonplace work day; that is, attending to business, getting things done. Granted this is a small compliment given my present circumstances which on the face oblige me to no more employment than slicing my apple for breakfast and afterwards deciding whether to swim in the pool or in the sea, whether to float face up or face down, whether to cycle 4 or 8 Kms (I actually did 6.86 Kms) and whether to have a half or a whole squeezed lemon with my afternoon chilled tea.
My day began shortly after midnight. Today is the birthday of my ancient friend Scott Alan McKay who distinguishes himself as the most comic and at times acerbic person whom I know. Scott is as well an incalculable dinner guest, someone upon whom one can always count to put his shoulder to the wheel of sociability and conversation at table. And while on the surface he tends to have his nose well in the air (in keeping with his undying favour for fine automobiles, exclusive real estate, Persian rugs and hardwood furnishings), in the moment of need he reduces to compliance and contribution in manifestation of his deeper and immutable druthers.
At midnight today I composed my stock birthday greeting to Scott. I sent it by email to him. I did this with hesitation because Scott has told me in the past that he does not use (or answer, as I have discovered) email. By I hadn’t a telephone number for him in my contact information so I could not use what for me is the more advanced and puzzling Message platform. Gripped by this qualification I exhausted my duty as a friend to recognize his day of birth; and, I thereafter restored myself on the slumber couch.
Overnight – during one of my visits to “check the children” – I received an email from C. R. Gamble Funeral Home & Chapel announcing the recent death of Mrs. Irene Ladouceur. When examining the obituary I saw that there is now the capacity to contribute to an on-line Tribute Book for the deceased. When I awoke later in the morning I applied myself to such a contribution because of the unique manner in which I met Mrs. Ladouceur many, many years ago.
It was a weekend in the summer, a busy day at my law office, probably the end of a month when most often real estate deals were scheduled to close. For reasons I cannot now recall I was urgent to drive somewhere on or near Maude Street to get a last minute document signed. While I fashion myself an alert driver, that day I was not. In my hurry I drove through the intersection and the stop sign at Frederick Street without stopping first. I nearly hit a large automobile traveling in the cross direction. The driver of the other car was (as I subsequently learned) Irene Ladouceur.
Normally (as I am certain you’ll agree) the dangerous and irresponsible act of a driver such as I going through a stop sign without first stopping is utterly intolerable. It is an inadequacy which most usually triggers the utmost and sustainable objection; and in some cases the exchange of vulgar abuse.
I wilfully acknowledge my entitlement to contumely. In this instance however I was astonishingly greeted by a warm face and a moderate chastisement only. It was the start of an exceedingly favourable acquaintance. Whenever Irene or Marie or Bobby and I would subsequently meet, it was always with a laugh in recognition of my fortuitous escape from an otherwise discomposing situation. I learned too that Irene’s magnanimity was by no means reserved for me alone.
Sometime afterwards I succumbed to what had been a burning urge of mine since opening the package yesterday from Amazon containing my new pair of HODo Sport swim trunks. As much as I tried again and again to convince myself that the trunks were the appropriate size, they were not. Unfettered by His Lordship in this embarrassing enterprise, I once again tackled an order for a smaller size. This duplicitous retail endeavour is a petty economy with which to absorb oneself but it affords me unparalleled relief to do so.
Late afternoon today I stationed my tricycle nearby the gate to the pool. There was no one else there. But moments later, as I paddled about the tepid waters in the blazing sunshine (and in my oversized bathing suit which nearly pulled from my hips), a family of three adults and four teenage children arrived. The children immediately jumped into the deep end of the pool. They were speaking cryptically and staccato in a language which at first I had trouble recognizing. I believe it was Spanish. More importantly the children alternated between Spanish and English with uncommon facility, disclosing their perfect bilingualism. I noted too that all of them were adorned with substantial jewellery (necklaces and earrings). The older of the group wore gold; the younger, sterling silver. This proclivity was echoed later when I left the pool and encountered a woman of the group who was also ornamented with gold jewellery.