A lot of things were cleaned up at the pool today. For starters, even before leaving the townhouse early this morning, I had removed all the band aids covering the scrapes and bruises from my recent fall into the sea at the north end of the property. As I had anticipated the damage on my wrist and shin had nicely healed. Yet another profit of clean living! With my carcass thus restored to cosmetic vitality I resolved to spend my day by the pool instead of floating in the sea and contemplating the possibility of acquaintance with either the 8′ alligator or the shark lately reported to have been sighted in the area.
I was the first to arrive at the pool this morning. This in itself was odd because it was already 10:40 am possibly a bit later. This normally would have been considered late in the day for getting settled by the pool when chaises longues are traditionally already at a premium. I had preceded my objective at the pool today by cycling for approximately 50 minutes about the entirety of Buttonwood Bay (about 6.69 Km to be exact). Yet when I stationed my tricycle by the pool gate no one was in sight. This in spite of the fact that the early morning cloud cover had by then almost entirely vanished. The seclusion by the pool was a unique experience, one which frankly I relished. It was pleasantly reminiscent of our first days here last November. Not long after my arrival the gentleman wearing a straw fedora and carrying a book arrived, assuming his customary position furthest from the pergola pointing directly into the sun. We spoke at some length this morning for the first time (although we had in the past shared the usual pleasantries by way of acknowledgement). He, like so many others staying here, hails from Michigan. When he told me where, he gestured with his fingers, pointing to his left index finger in what he characterized as the upper portion of Michigan. I quickly lost the thread, first because of my geographic ignorance, second because I sat opposite him and was uncertain whether I should be thinking east or west when absorbing his account. And then there’s my dyslexia. So there was complete confusion! I just nodded. I think he mentioned Traverse City which from my subsequent map search appears to coincide with what I believe he meant to illustrate. Anyway he’s not far from Canada; and my mention of relatives in Detroit went predominantly unheeded because I see it is on the other side of the map. The two of us soon abandoned further conversation and melded into our respective chaises longues, he with his book, I toward the sun.
It was some time afterwards, possibly over an hour, before anything further transpired by the pool. When I disturbed myself from a state of somnolence, I was once again alone by the pool. The man from Michigan with the book and the fedora had silently vanished. The heat of the day hadn’t yet overtaken me so I persisted in elongation upon the chaise longue. It had been several days or more since I had devoted myself unreservedly to sunbathing. As I continued in my current euphoria Mrs. C arrived and we instantly took up, as is our custom, a vibrant conversation. We pursued endless themes of no especial consequence other than to invoke story-telling and sporadic bursts of hilarity.
Shortly before Mrs. C’s departure a family laden with an infant child in diapers arrived and there followed a progression of screams from what I can only assume was a horribly dissatisfied child though for reasons I shall never know. When the infantile chaos subsided, and the child (and presumably the mother) had withdrawn, there lingered two gentlemen who engaged in a long and seemingly purposeless confab about theirs’ and others’ recent vacations from the Virgin Islands to Vancouver Island, including the Stratford Shakespearean Festival in Ontario. They had in addition some very kind things to say about Canada which naturally sat well with me. One of them asserted that many famous actors in Hollywood are Canadians. This too sat well with me as I reflected upon my niece and her husband who are in the entertainment industry in California.
Then appeared the doctor and the counsellor, a married couple whom I had met many weeks before. They were determined to catch the rays of the declining sun and a late afternoon swim. We are seemingly of a similar mind about many unspoken matters as the level of our fraternity would attest. We exchanged successive quips and barbs and not long afterwards parted on the most favourable terms as always, having first heightened our informal discussion with a meaningful allusion to homemade Key Lime pie containing 40 freshly squeezed limes and condensed milk!
It was by this time late in the afternoon. Another of my long-term acquaintances, Carol, arrived with her husband. Carol admonished me for lingering in the sun too long, reporting that she had seen me by the pool three hours earlier. I could not contradict her. It was time for me to move on. I finally did so but not without the conviction that a great deal had been accomplished by the pool today. There is more to purification than mere cleansing!