It was slow going this morning. My neuropathy overtook me last night and kept me awake. Notwithstanding the lack of sleep, I forced myself to get moving around seven o’clock. There was naturally no reason to push myself so I lingered over breakfast – sliced green apple and steel cut oats with precisely five dried prunes. I also revived my spirit by listening to Christmas music, a calculated indulgence which I engage every year at this time and which I will precipitously conclude December 26th. Its ephemeral stimulation strengthens the purpose and success of religion while also reminding me of its fabrications, exaggerations and preposterous dramatic themes.
Of more acute diversion was my bicycle ride today. I made several mistakes. The first – and the most significant – was to attempt to cycle on the beach from Tower Beach. I had visited the site yesterday or the day before to have look at the beach from the boardwalk; but I hadn’t wheeled my bike onto the beach. Today however I did. It was apparent almost immediately that the tide hadn’t entirely pulled the water from the sand but instead had accumulated sand at that particular point. I should have known better. Many times in the past I have been caught in the same discovery at the same place. The difference was that in the past I was younger and could more comfortably survive the obstruction. Today I made the pointless effort to cycle over the wet sand but just sank into it. So I had to walk. Normally that would not have been a problem; but at my age (within days of 73) it is no small journey to walk one’s bike along the soggy beach to reach a point where the sand is more traversable. Thankfully the weekend crowds had dispersed and I hadn’t the additional indignity of publicizing my inadequacy.
Then followed my second error. For reasons I am yet unable to comprehend, in my continued path along the beach I somehow missed seeing my intended exit nearby our former residence on Turtle Lane. As I noticeably approached Coligny Beach Park (about half way along the Island from the southern end where I had begun) I realized I had gone too far. My recognition of the error was too late. I spotted a public egress at Marker 47 on the beach. Though the initial boardwalk from the beach was wide, the ensuing concrete pathway to the adjoining road was narrow. I couldn’t career myself without falling off the concrete onto the soft adjoining land covered in pine needles. I nearly fell a couple of times. When at last I succeeded to reach the roadway I turned right (intending to pursue my northern direction towards Pope Avenue) but the street (which was fairly long) was a dead end so I had to turn around and go south. When I arrived at an open road I recognized, it was precisely at the western Sea Pines gate which was blocked for tree surgery and road improvements. Maneuvering around that obstacle was tricky with my reckless knees and decomposing spine.
But my dilemma was not yet fully complete. After getting myself set in the right direction along Pope Avenue, the pathway came to an end and I had to go through back alleys to regain another bike path to the Greenwood Avenue entrance to Sea Pines. When I got to the gate I had to figure out where to punch in the code (which thankfully I remembered). As I traveled along the familiar pathway towards my home destination I stopped to relax on a bench. I am not certain but I believe I fell asleep. Yet another demonstration of my diminished state. I don’t honestly give a damn about the nodding appearance – the slump was actually very soothing – but I cannot escape the fact that I may have to temper my ambition.
Initially I had intended to go for a swim in the pool (located across the street from our apartment); but the further complications with the bicycle – and the prospect of having to crawl around the pool to get seated – exhausted that possibility. With decrepit struggle I parked and locked the bike then made my way to the apartment, clinging to whatever I could find for support. By the time I made it to the apartment door I was bent over almost 90°.
This unglamorous account has not however spoiled my appetite. I rode exactly 20.52 kms today. It’s a hard way to get around the Island but I cannot deny the advantage. I have already prepared my evening plate which is too boring for words but which is predominantly raw veggies with the luxury of some Maldon salt.
Meanwhile I am informed by His Lordship that he has unfolded the mystery of On Demand television to capture a week’s collection of our favourite late night talk shows; viz., Stephen Colbert with Jonathan Michael Batiste (American musician, bandleader, and television personality) and Jimmy Kimmel.
As I sat on a bench earlier today watching birds by a pond I contemplated Nature’s undeniable and limited (though imperative) objectives of survival and reproduction; and I thought how far removed we’ve become from such intrinsic purpose and delight. Seeing fishes suddenly jump from the water made me wonder what mysterious atmosphere it must be for one doomed to submersion.