Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Place in the Sun

I came down this morning to make coffee before an 8:00 a.m. meeting and Nick took one look at me and said, “Mommy, you have really, REALLY big bags under your eyes!” Which corroborated what I noticed yesterday in that my eye sockets look like they have been lined with kohl. I thought I had smudged newspaper print on them, but then I realized that those hollowed-out black shells were the result of some kind of massive, epic fatigue wrought by Herculean stress, upheaval and stupid job detritus.

My family used to go away for Christmas and one year we went to a spit of an island in the Bahamas. We would ride our bikes to the beach and I would find one white slice of sand, elevated slightly above the rest, gently surrounded by pale turquoise water. I would lie on that finger of eyelet sand, just flat, in the sun, trying to burn everything out of me. I was a young professional DC gal, working for the Uber-Man, at the time. I wouldn’t even read. I would just lie there and become enveloped by the atmosphere. For a break I would walk, sun-blinded, to Mama and Papa T’s thatched roof enterprise for a Beck’s beer or a rum punch. There were always a couple of crusty old preppy dames playing cribbage at the bar.

The point of which is, I have come to the Slice of Sand moment. All I want in the entire universe right now is to lie on that one piece of sand, isolated under an unforgiving but ebullient sky, waiting for the poison to be baked out of me and replenished with poisons of my own choosing. Like rum punch. I want the sun to color the fish belly pallor of my skin and erase the weird black pirate smudges around my eyes.

Mostly, the rum punch. And the sand, and my own spot in the universe, salted, cool and remote.

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Cynicism is another word for reality

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