…while waiting for a bus in Yugoslavia

Engineering the correct regard for one’s life is no mean task. The are two options: recapitulate or capitulate – summarize or surrender. When blathering with Dr. George by the pool today he astonished me by not knowing the name of the model of vehicle (Enclave or Encore) he had just purchased in December before coming here from Maine for the winter. He did however quite succinctly recall what some old fellow had told him over fifty years ago while waiting for a bus in Yugoslavia.

George and I have our differences. He is inclined to biology (he’s a periodontist by trade). I have little interest in science of any description – though he insisted my affection for logic approaches the scientific perspective. We agreed that family dentistry captures an artistic element – matching colours, metals, sculpting, etc. I had been quick to excuse my study of philosophy as one of rationality and not the household rendition of endless faith, belief and mysticism.

For whatever reason today my energy compelled me to extend my customary bicycle ride beyond Bayfront Park to St. Judes Drive South near Harry’s Continental Kitchens. I am now paying the price for my enthusiasm. Yet I am pleased to have ventured down the narrow alley where one of the young servers at the Blue Dolphin – our breakfast haunt – told us he resides. It has many of the characteristics of “old Florida”; namely, small bungalows, modest appearance, friendly and inviting and small dockside boats.

I cannot explain why there were so few people walking and riding along the sidewalk today. There was an eerie feel of abandonment. Approaching the middle of January I expect greater numbers will shortly arrive. The island will however remain unequivocally attractive whoever lingers. It is not possible to do other than marvel at the endless beauty.

A comparison of residency in the more recently built condominiums or the long-standing bungalows is fundamental. The condominiums resemble resorts appealing to interlopers while the older places are overwhelmingly domestic for year-round residents. There are as a result choices notwithstanding the ubiquitous Bentley convertibles.

Oh, as for what that old fellow told George over fifty years ago while he waited for a bus in Yugoslavia, “If anyone tells you they’ve got it all figured out, run – don’t walk – run!