Today was another relaxing day on beautiful, sunny, warm Key Largo. It marked the second of as many days in a row in which I have attended to personal care. The adventure today was my acquaintance with Cindy of Cindy’s Hair Place located directly across the Overseas Highway from Buttonwood Bay. Nonetheless I drove there because even a half-mile walk would have drained me entirely in my present condition of near immobility. The drive did however afford my first glimpse of the North Atlantic Ocean since we arrived on Key Largo one month ago. Until now I have been preoccupied with the Gulf of Mexico on the west side of the Florida Keys where we abut. I intend to return to the ocean-side locale to capture photos which I missed today because of a wrong turn and I didn’t want to be late for my appointment.
Cindy is in fact the name of the hair stylist at Cindy’s Hair Place though by coincidence the previous owner – 21 years ago – was also named Cindy. The salon is a local hangout. One of the customers for example answered the telephone for Cindy while waiting for his own haircut. He knew enough to answer, “Cindy’s Hair Place”. But his formality quickly dissolved when he turned to Cindy and said, “Jeff will be here on time”. Cindy meanwhile continued attending my particular needs which, I have to say, she approached with uncommon interest. She did exactly as I wished; shampoo first, trim of the brows, pomade, no blow-dry and whatever she recommended for my hair (which to my surprise she characterized as a “bob”).
The entire event was precisely the introduction I sought to historic Key Largo. Cindy’s shop is the front part of her house where I believe she lives with her mother and her mother’s 1-year old Yellow Labrador named Cooper (both of whom gave me a shy but welcome greeting from behind the expandable door gate). The whole captured what I have always thought of commerce and business in Key Largo; namely, a collection of small, highly personalized sole proprietorships.
Energized by this early morning venture I drove back across the road to Buttonwood Bay. Immediately I changed from my more formal public attire of Bermuda shorts and semi-dress shirt to bathing suit and linen shirt. Then I set off upon my tricycle to begin what ended being a 5.29 Km cycle about the neighbourhood. I nested at the Island pool today because there was no one in sight when I passed by. The sky was predominantly clear for the next three hours as I lay upon the chaise longue and dipped in and out of the pool, stretching my limbs in the process. My cigar smoking acquaintance from the condominium apartment building parked his Mercedes nearby then trotted to his usual destination on the other side of the pool but not before pausing to sit and chat with me. I told him stories of my past in Washington DC with Julie Nixon and then Vice-President Richard Nixon and New York City with Mara Palmer. He is from Long Island. He informed me of his morning visit to a local physician concerning his foot troubles (which he says the local physician will attack with improved methods not advanced by his New York physician). My cigar friend then said he had the local physician telephone the New York physician to discuss the matter and things seem to be a go. At least the New York physician did not rebut the proposal entirely. When the cigar chap’s phone rang, he reported with glee it was his cigar store proprietor.
As I cycled home along the winding laneway after an afternoon of sunbathing, chatting and swimming, I encountered a woman walking towards me in the shade of the trees. I have seen her several times before in identical circumstances. She is always friendly. On this occasion I decided to stop to talk with her. We instantly took up a gossip session which would normally have been the preserve of old friends. She refused however to tell me how old she is when I asked. I chastised her for claiming the traditional female privacy of age. She is in better overall condition than I. Her posture is upright; she is sylphlike; her skin tone is good. We moved on to other topics. She emphasized in particular that one should accept whatever are the current circumstances and give it all the best interpretation. She is also reluctant to dwell upon anything that is unsettling because she finds it too disturbing. While I couldn’t resist thinking she was somewhat unbalanced, there was no logical objection to what she said. I will make a point of restricting our future discussions accordingly. She also added that she makes a point of saying encouraging things to and about other people.