By The Sea, By The Sea
GUESS WHERE I’M AT? NO. NO. NO, NOT THERE EITHER. I AM IN FLORIDA -The Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Area. What am I doing down there when there is a perfectly good winter going on in Indiana without me? Well, for at least a few days, that is the idea.
Ever since our five week visit to Ireland I have been cold – freezing even. I needed to do something or I was afraid that I would not survive to see another Springtime. The cold feeling exhausted me. I was empty Physically, Emotionally, Creatively, and even Socially. I felt like I was an empty shell with freezer burn. I hated feeling like that and I don’t think I was very good company for anybody. I was either silent or snapping at everyone – and that’s just not like me. Going to where it was still warm so I could thaw myself was the solution. So here I am in Florida.
I have never been to anyplace this far south in Florida. It is like a different world. The temperatures are still in the 80s and there are abundant places where I can throw myself in the sand.
I arrived here on an early flight on Sunday and the plan is for me to go back to Indiana on Friday. I’m praying that this short dose of Sun, Sand, and Warmth helps.
I promised myself that I would not work while here for these few days, but I can’t just turn off my “Popeil People Watcher” like it was a light switch. I have my eyes scanning the crowds that I see and I’m not the only person down here from the icy North. I’m seeing a lot of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh T-shirts and ball caps.
One thing I have noticed is, somewhat sadly, are two groups of men who seem to be everywhere. There is one group that looks to be made up of men who appear to be in their 50s who look to have spent the last ten years at the bottom of a Gin bottle. They might be younger, but whatever they’ve been drinking has taken its toll. They are not staggering around in a drunken stupor, but are more zombielike just moving along the beach boardwalk going on without any destination.
The other group is also of middle-aged men pedaling along on rented bicycles stretching their Speedos. They zoom, shirtless with deep tans and beer bellies sneaking peeks at everyone to see if maybe they might possibly make a Last Chance Love Connection.
Both groups impress me as slow motion suicides that have picked this bright and sunny place to eventually do the deed.
I can’t help but watch these men, hoping that no one thinks that I am part of one or the other group. I don’t drink and I can’t ride a bicycle. I’m in a one person group: The People Watchers of Indiana.
This morning I went to the beach for about two hours until a fast moving squall zipped through dumping large wet rain drops. Almost everybody hustled for cover. I found a dry bench and sat until the rain stopped after a five minute run. The heat returned and I was dried out in another five minutes – just in time to see the Zombies return on their way to no place and the Tanned But Hopeful pedal up and back with a thong in their heart looking for Love in all the Sandy Places.
Tomorrow I will return to my spot in the sun and continue my own personal quest for a body temperature above that of a frozen fish stick.