When my iPhone started to beep at seven o’clock this morning I was awoken with a start. Unusually I was in a deep sleep. I recall I was dreaming about something and whatever it was, it wasn’t – for a change – upsetting. Wouldn’t you know! I deleted the alarm on my iPhone and flopped back into bed, partly draping the duvet over me, holding my iPhone in my left hand. I began wondering whether I might fall back to sleep and drop the phone. I thought of other things to keep myself awake. At last I relented, peeked from under a corner of my eye mask to glimpse the dawn and then eased out of bed with a mournful sigh. Saturday morning. Breakfast at eight o’clock at Low Country Produce Market & Café.
After a month here I have cemented my morning routine. I grabbed my eye glasses from the bureau where I had left them last night upon retiring and put them on. In the bathroom I stripped off my bed clothes. I weighed myself. Best to weigh oneself at the same time every day; and presumably the least offensive time will be first thing in the morning – without any clothes on. I first removed my pinky ring just in case it mattered. The scale told me there was a very slight decline. Good news! Good way to start the day!
I returned to the bedroom to make the bed, a simple task as there is only the duvet and four pillows (two foam pillows provided by the Landlord and two feather pillows I brought from home). I then drew back the drapes. The view of the sand dunes and Ocean was welcome. We’re on the second floor so there is little risk of making an accidental display of myself. I marched back to the bathroom, collected my clothes and then threw them into the washer. Added the liquid soap. Pressed the Start button. Quick Wash, 24 minutes, cold water, medium spin, light soil. Start.
Back to the bathroom. Spray the lens cleaner on the iPhone and wipe it clean with a tissue. The spectacles are next but not before I decide to change to a different pair this morning, the One for One classic nerd look. They fit securely and the brown frame will match my shoes and the brown leather knotted bracelet I intend to wear.
Then it’s time to clean the pinky ring, my “disco ball”. It collects the soap and stuff during the day. I use a toothbrush and some toothpaste. Quick and easy. Set it aside on the granite counter where it makes a small musical chirp as gold hits stone. Then it’s time to take more pills, the Tylenol, the first two of six for the rest of the day. Stretch, stretch, make that old spine straighten out, leaning into the sink, bending my lower back.
Now I’m ready for my shower. New bar of soap, still smelling strongly out of the box. Face cloth lathered up, rub my face, my ears, behind my ears, my neck, everywhere else, all over, soapy, soapy, soap. Rinse, hot water, rinse. Next the shampoo. The bottle is upside down in the corner because the container is almost empty. Still lots left, always more than I think. I squeeze out a modest amount then lather my hair. Rinse, rinse. Crank the tap closed. Draw the curtain. Step onto the bathmat and shuffle it towards the sink.
When all the shaving and towel drying is complete I apply Gold Bond as a deodorant (no sting, much better than any popular commercial products) and Crew in my hair. I love hair products, I use one or more at once, some for slick and oily (Pomade), another for hold (Grooming Cream). And one just to try it (Foaming Cream – though it doesn’t really foam).
The clothing de jour is equally routine, walking shorts, white smalls of course, blue and white striped Polo shirt and red crewneck sweater. White socks, brown leather deck shoes. Add the ring. Presto! Ready to greet the world!
It’s just shy of eight o’clock and we’re ready to go for breakfast. It’s a pleasant ride through the cavernous roadways to the Sea Pines restaurant. First stopping for gas, just to fill the tank, a mere six dollars and something! A bit silly. But a fresh start to the day.
Breakfast goes as planned. In fact, so much as planned that we privately agree to go to Watusi restaurant for a change next time. They have a great menu too. Already I know I am going to have the Ocean Scramble.
Afterwards we head directly to Fresh Market where, as the name implies, we purchase a lot of fresh veggies and fish products (salmon and shrimp). We get a $10 discount automatically when I swipe my credit card (and the machine even says “Hello!” to me by name). It’s a bright, sunny day and starting to warm up. We return to the condo to unload our stores and put them away. I suddenly feel overwhelmed with fatigue. I proclaim I am going to lie down. I return to my bed, pull the duvet over me and pass out. For two hours. Whew! I needed that!
When I get up from bed I stumble into the kitchen and advise that I am going to the office (code for “lounge by the pool in the sun”). The sunny skies are too alluring to forgo! The next solitary hour is spent by the pool absorbing the rays, listening to the waves, the wind in the trees and the birds, brushing aside the occasional fly. The clouds begin to move in and I am becoming tired of lying down. The chaise longue is not that comfortable.
When I return to the apartment I say that I am going for a drive in the car. It’s Saturday and I want to drive my car. I don’t want to go shopping. Nor bicycling. I want to drive my car.
I drive down Pope Avenue onto William Hilton Parkway, all the way to the northern end just before the bridge to the mainland. I desperately try to locate the Main Street Car Wash. I have the approximate location but I keep missing it. I double back and try again, missing it again, but finally figuring out where to turn. There are so many narrow streets throughout the Island. The car wash is closed for the day. It’s after three o’clock and they want to go home (though there is still a line of cars being processed through the wash and detailing). My car can wait for another time.
As I leave the car wash property I head for Main Street Village, a popular collection of retail stores. The place looks like a village, old fashioned buildings, nothing like a traditional mall. I spy a jewelry store and resolve to visit it. When I get there a woman is at the counter having a good time with the elderly clerk and foreign jeweller. The jeweller invites me to ask for assistance if required. I tell him I am just browsing. Which is precisely what I was doing. I like looking at jewelry. I walk about the entire store and locate one item of interest. By this time the female customer is going on about her father having been a physician, that she was the youngest of nine children, that she is a business woman of some kind, do the proprietors know the Ritchie family from Savanah, blah, blah, blah. She was clearly pleased with her transaction whatever it was. Tiresome woman!
Upon the invitation of the elderly clerk (who has noticed me hovering at the counter), the jeweller moves to me with his display case keys and withdraws the item of interest to me. It is a 14K white gold pendant encrusted with blue sapphires and diamonds, $6,600. I examine it briefly. It has no weight. Back it goes. I leave the store.
When I regain my automobile, I snatch the Sea Pines Guest Pass from the dashboard and use it to pry a pine needle from inside the back window. I saw the needle there yesterday but hadn’t a clue how to get at it though I hard tried (but my struggle hadn’t prevailed). That was what initially prompted me to look for the Main Street Car Wash, the pine needle, thinking they might get it. I got the damn thing.
It was time to head home. I had exhausted my ambition for the day.