So many people have said it before, the secret to success is to get out of bed in the morning. Add to that incontrovertible prescription the equally common recommendation that one should continue to work as long as possible and you have the makings of full-blown Protestantism. Nothing so penetratingly dissuades lethargy. From the moment I awaken I am stricken with existential terror. Instantly I begin contemplating the Work Ethic.
As I lay in bed today – shrouded from the morning light by my sleep mask – I tried to guess the time. I imagined it to be anywhere between 8:00 o’clock and 11:00 o’clock. In the middle of the night I had quelled my chronic restiveness by watching You Tube videos of Milo Yiannopoulous, a pleasant-enough looking chap and unquestionably entertaining though I believe in my heart that his well-rehearsed diatribes are like Mediterranean food – all presentation. When I was on the verge of discovering the code to his rhetoric I at last exhausted both the content and myself and magically fell to sleep. Later – however many hours later, after the black sky had dissolved into blue light – I struggled to disentangle myself from the limp synthetic duvet (containing some kind of alternative down), rolling my left leg over to my right side, eliciting a moderate crack. I regained the prone position and with a puff threw off the cover. At least the numbness of my left leg exceeded the customary resistance of my lower back tension and I was able to walk to the bathroom with some dignity.
The routine had begun. I pondered whether to commence the day by the sublime act of cleanliness – a habit of throwing everything in sight into the laundry – but decided instead to head for the kitchen to make the coffee and to split the Sumo orange. It was already almost eleven o’clock! The purification of my corpulent body in the shower – first the application of soap suds then the rigorous scrubbing of my scalp with 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner or the necessary stuff for greying hair to remove the strains of yellow – could wait. My agenda had been so inconveniently condensed by my late arousal from the lair that accommodations were required.
A degree of organization and corresponding passivity returned with the production of the fruit and coffee. Because it was Sunday morning there were notoriously fewer emails to address. Le Weekend survives! I sipped my coffee, jabbed the blackberries and wedges of orange while clicking between BBC and CNN news. Pretty much all the same. Then I recalled I wanted to investigate the story behind Jack Strong (the movie rendition of whose life we had watched intently last evening). What ever happened to his two sons! I became lost in the indulgence.
By now it was pushing 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon. I still hadn’t had my ham and eggs and I certainly hadn’t yet done anything yet to expiate my guilt of indolence.
The eggs and muffin routine was a bit hurried but adequately accomplished, including slabs of semi-soft cheese and hurriedly diced tomatoes and red pepper. Afterwards it remained only to dental floss and career the Sonic toothbrush about my gums. I splashed more water on my face and hair – even applying some argan oil of Morocco (“Creamy Hair Butter“) – and thus passably reconstituted and legitimized then directed myself to my bicycle.
Sweet, soft air! Glorious blue cloudless sky! Burgeoning blossoms! A strain of cool air from the north persisted but welcome. Previous days of tracking the tides informed me that there was no use to attempt to cycle on the beach. Besides it was Sunday. I would take my time. I savoured the views, the tranquillity. We’ll be gone in three weeks. Perhaps never to return. I wound through Sea Pines in a short circle and was lying by the pool within an hour.
The sun was hot, almost searing. I could tell the temperatures were climbing and that before many days I won’t be able to withstand the intensity of the rays. But that is in the offing. For now I closed my eyes and drifted among the oddest recollections. There was no mantle other than utter complacency. How often we are urged to recall the happy moments of our life. I had difficulty imagining anything other. Perhaps once when at Horace Mann school I was punched in the stomach by two other little boys for having worn dark instead of white socks. Life for me has been an endless treat. And now I am so far advanced along life’s continuum that nothing can rob me of that praise. In the meantime I intend to exercise my own brand of pilfering from life, to steal whatever else remains of its riches and delights, its luxury, texture and flavour!