When the immediate appeal is muted by circumstance one must look beyond. It is not guaranteed inviting or replacement. But if one is patient – itself a not uncommon challenge – the rewards of the alternative can be startling. For example today began with the initial disappointment of foul weather; that is, grey clouds instead of blue sky. There was the forecast of thunder storms midday. Though we attempted to surmount this defeat by swimming in the pool, the magic was not there on a cloudy day. My only option was to venture about in search of a photographic opportunity. I headed to the pier. There I propped my stick against the railing through which it promptly tumbled below ten feet or more upon the rocky beach. There was no way for me to reach it from above. And I didn’t want to attempt its recovery by scaling the rocky shoreline for fear of tumbling myself. I therefore regretfully resolved in my mind to abandon it to the sea.
Meanwhile as I hobbled back towards the apartment I stopped at the lounge nearby the boat slip whence the two gentlemen with whom I had earlier briefly chatted we’re making their way in the direction of the pier. We gossiped and guffawed aimlessly. I shared with them my photography misstep. The chap from Michigan (who welcomed my approbation of his 35 year friendship with his buddy from near Sarasota) announced his intention to retrieve my stick notwithstanding my objection to the need or favourability of the undertaking. He was unperturbed in his ambition. I followed the men towards the pier and soon saw the fellow gleefully approaching, mimicking a Fifth Avenue dandy walking with a stick. We exchanged cargo for handshake and thanks. The two confederates (whom I had earlier observed tippling themselves from a bottle on board their boat) announced seemingly by way of compensation that they were headed to a local strip joint. More guffaws!
When I afterwards returned to the apartment and addressed some email, there was a knock upon the door. Neither of us could imagine who it might be. It was a young man (Michael) from the estate agent’s office to address minor maintenance problems we had raised. The arrival quickly accelerated to a widely broadened scope including his former 10-year service in the navy, his honourable discharge, disability pension (which we suspect had something to do with facing down the barrel of guns in Iraq), his childhood and subsequent entrepreneurial ventures (including most recently the establishment of his own property management company), his and his girlfriend’s building of a new million dollar home, his father’s international drug trafficking and – not by any means the least significant detail – his mother’s ownership of the estate agency with which we are dealing in Key Largo (where Michael attended high school before going to North Florida for further education). All this by the age of thirty! He was a truly remarkable personality! His native intelligence was indisputable. He had polished social skills as well. And he later proved he knew his business. He quickly identified the root of the various issues about which we had called; and he later returned as promised to repair further matters requiring additional parts.
By this time the sky had begun to clear. It was however too late in the afternoon to head to the pool so I contented myself with another photographic exploit.
In defence of my shameless indolence and chatter I also replied to email at some length to my goddaughter and to two dear friends at home. There were in addition welcome communications from UPS and our financial advisor. In all the day was beautifully rounded out. The strong coffee was a treat too! And the Key Lime pie awaits after dinner!