Thursday, January 1, 2015

From Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

From Saltillo, I drove to Corpus Christi, trying to be understanding to the border-crossing Praetorian of the US government. From Corpus Christi it was a short hop to Dallas. From Dallas, I flew to Atlanta, then on to Miami. From Miami, I caught a fight to Barbados. Then from Barbados, I took a small plane to a small island where my wife has been vacationing, Bequia, part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

It might be dumb to do all this traveling for four days of putative relaxation--laying flat and fat on a beach, but god knows, I need it.

I need it thanks to the busiest work-year I have ever have (touch wood) and I need it to decompress after the ordeal with Hector and his death.

I think a fair amount about death. Not because I am gloomy, lugubrious or morbid, but because, well, we're not, none of us, getting any younger. I think about what I'll do to keep my mind alert. What I'll do for revenue--will the tumescent teat of freelance copywriting run dry and wither? I even think about where I'll live if I can no longer afford New York, which of course is always a possibility.

The better part of the day I spent in what Homer called--at least in Chapman's translation--the unharvestable sea. Unharvestable. Deep. Sad. Powerful. Menacing. Abiding. Lonely. Mean. And wine-dark. I wondered what journey Hector had set off on, unfathomable, like Odysseus'.

Around lunchtime, just when I was ready for my first nap of the day, a troupe of local kids showed up with steel drums, which they set up not far from the stretching-fingers of that unharvestable sea. They began banging out with the three or four notes that make up the musical range of steel drums, a litany of Christmas songs.

I thought about playing the role of Scrooge, or John D. Rockefeller and offering each of the six or eight drum-banging moppets a ten dollar bill to amscray. I'll admit the incessance of their rendition of "Jingle Bells" had me hoping for a rogue wave that would wash them out to sea.

In the end, their playing stopped and my mood--my reverie, if you will--improved. My wife got some lunch in me, that helped. And of course the sun, the surf and over-grown young things in under-grown bikinis didn't hurt either.

The waves, the waves of the wine-dark met a rose-fingered sunset.

I walked once more into the unharvestable. I had picked up a stone on the beach and walked/swam beyond the breakers where I treaded water.

I held the stone in my right hand, like a baseball. And though my right arm still suffers from a rotator cuff I have yet to get repaired, I threw the stone as hard and as far as I could, out to sea. I couldn't hear and could hardly see even the splash.

It hurt like a mother-fucker. A torn-rotator will do that to you.

But I'm pretty sure Hector fielded the stone, however. And pocketed it. In the unharvestable sea.

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