Though we did not formally introduce ourselves to one another, a woman and I chatted ever so briefly today by the pool. She was sitting in a deck chair facing the sun when I arrived at approximately three o’clock this afternoon. My daily mission of cycling about the compound and lounging by the pool had earlier been interrupted by domestic and personal matters. As late in the day as it was for the performance of my customary régime I nonetheless felt obliged to expiate my simmering guilt for not having exercised or swum.
Our conversation was as I say, succinct. We shared the usual social commentary concerning the current atmospheric behaviour (which I am discovering in the Upper Keys is repetitive sunshine). She then added a laconic but insightful surveillance I had not anticipated; namely, “We have to do what makes us happy!”
I suspect one’s immediate reaction upon hearing such a propulsive mandate is that it invites untold and unrestrained intemperance. For some this may indeed be the interpretation of the adage (if I may dignify the phrase as such). What however came to my mind was something entirely dissimilar; viz., the conciliation of one’s preoccupations. Allow me if you will to explain.
His Lordship has today appeased his outstanding obsessions. It is a noteworthy event and a remarkable gradation. Long before we left Canada on November 2nd last, he had warned me to be prepared for a window (large or small he did not specify) through which he would likely travel for an equally unspecified time until at last he had reached his pinnacle of satisfaction with the particulars of the unit we were scheduled to rent for the season upon our arrival here. It was naturally a notable (though I thought entirely prospective) forewarning. Turns out he was perfectly correct in his prediction. There were endless matters requiring attention to reconstruct the unit to the thoroughly delightful – and I have no doubt advanced – state in which it now persists.
Frankly I have never been one to pay even modest attention to the workings of anything other than my watch, piano or car. All else of a predominantly domestic nature is – or so I have conveniently reasoned – beyond my scope and comprehension (which I suspect without a fraction of modesty is unwittingly true). I have for example allowed a water conditioner to become contaminated with blocks of undigested saline particles approaching a ruinous state. Routine housekeeping for me has forever been ruled by ignorance and is but a source of unblemished abandonment other than putting stuff in the dishwasher. I actively avoid cooking to spare myself the necessity of labouring with whatever it is that heat promotes on kitchen pots and pans.
But as I say, His Lordship is of a singularly different persuasion. I have learned in the process to steer clear of him for days at a time, sometimes weeks, before he arrives – as he thankfully did today – at that moment when he can proclaim victory over the erstwhile impediments of nature, time, dust, passage, weather, improper storage and general enforcement of cleanliness and reliability. It was midday today that the exceedingly pleasant gentleman who has carriage of maintenance of Buttonwood Bay arrived at the behest of His Lordship to dissolve the lingering annoyance of the storm shutters on the upper storey of the townhouse specifically those concealing the view in the direction of the North Atlantic Ocean from my bedroom. That alone would have signalled a triumph from my point of view. The breakthrough is indescribable! I have gone from cave dweller to room-wth-a-view! It was however but a blip in what have been the overall improvements which have incrementally evolved due to the steadfast opposition and encouragement of His Lordship.
Coincidentally like the subplot of a Shakespearean drama, shortly after one o’clock this afternoon Michael Cycle (as I call him for convenience of recognition and to distinguish him from Michael of Barefeet estate agency) arrived with short advanced notice from All Keys Cycles to correct the grinding sound in the right rear axle of my new tricycle. His mechanical precision was prodigious. Within minutes he had resolved the former vexation and dissolved the associated anxiety.
The summit of these elemental advances was further illuminated by this morning’s unanticipated bargains at the Trade Winds mall. Every point of industry within the orbit of our agenda was directed to the unanimous conclusion of success.