A restless night. Awake practically every two hours. So much for going to bed early! I turn in my spongy bed with its featherbed mattress to peer at the clock. Seven-thirty. Not too late, still time.
Up now, no going back. I press the buttons on the SoundLink and iPhone to sync the two, then engage Songza classics. Shostakovich (Jazz Suite No. 2:VI. Waltz 2). Perfect! Who was the artist of the album cover? It is whimsical and sophisticated.
Into the bathroom. The 3:00 am Celebrex hasn’t entirely worn off but I take two Tylenol just in case. I’m an addict. Then the ritual ablutions. But first examine the healing abrasion. The zinc is working. Gargling with Listerine. Pull aside the double curtains, climb into the shower. This house is becoming as hackneyed as my own. The interior of the shower, familiar as the walls of a prison. Soaping and lathering, the first course, followed by aggressive application of the face cloth especially in and behind the ears. The shampoo. Done! Still the shaving, but almost there. The ears with Q-Tips, the drying lubricants. Mess with the hair. Ready for fresh clothes.
Do we want to go out for breakfast? Yes. It’s Saturday. We always go out for breakfast on Saturday. No need for coffee, I’ll have one there. We’re in the sunshine, in the glistening black car and moving. Going to a marina, close to the water. The place is busy. Tomorrow is February 1st. People are arriving on the Island in droves. They’re tourists, we’re Islanders. The server is exceedingly bouncy. Is she trained to act like that? We both have the Eggs Benedict “special” (crisp pancetta, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves). And grits. Afterwards I’m still craving. I require some compensating sugar. We conspire to go to Signe’s Heaven Bound Bakery & Café on Arrow Road. My favourite is the lemon crumble but I adventurously go for the chocolate peanut butter square. I should have had the lemon crumble. Too late now. That indulgence will have to await another moment of calculated weakness.
The day just isn’t going as it should. It’s not even 10:00 o’clock when we get back home. I putter about, accomplishing nothing, going nowhere, resisting my creeping fatigue. At last I submit and crawl back into bed, burying myself among the covers and duvet with my eye shades on. Only to be awoken by an Amber Alert screaming from my cell phone: Jefferson, SC Alert: LIC/IUF593 (SC) Black Nissan Maxima 4 door sedan. Who is this guy? Is he panicking? Has he stolen his young son from his custodial mother? Where will he go? Will someone identify the car?
I might as well get up, start again, to hell with the hair, who cares! It’s 12:23 p.m. I have to go bicycling. The day is just too sunny. I announce I’m going bicycling. I dress and go. It’s cool but sunny. I draw the hoodie about my neck and tighten it with the collar of my worn Nautica jacket. I’m wearing shorts.
The ride through the caverns of trees is shady and nippy. Into the sun, warm! Through the golf club to Beach Club. The tide is out but the wind is from the east. I’ll go with the wind. Towards Tower Beach.
Sailing across the expanse of the beach! Wings upon the air! Into the sun! This is what I meant! I mustn’t go too far though, the wind’ll be cold going back. I stop and throw myself upon the dunes, propping my head upon my plastic sandals. The wind blows across the sand, spraying it into my face. But the warmth of the sun takes me away as always. Time to think dreamily again, wandering about my past, wondering how I got here.
Was that a dog? I sit up and see approaching an old, meagre yellow Labrador, looking for a pat. I smooth her head, asking her if she’s enjoying her walk on the beach? Her master leads her on. I stare into the distance, the glittering water, the dazzling sun. I can go home now and lie in the sun for the remainder of the afternoon by the pool, sheltered from the wind, until the long shadows withdraw the heat from the sun as it descends behind the towering sea pines.