I am sitting on the dock of the bay, humming along with Otis and waiting for my love to come sailing out of the sunset.
She’s flown down to St. Lucia to meet our friend Roger and help him bring the yacht up to our little island in the sun. We will then load our few belongings on to the boat and then she will sail it down to our new island in the sun and unpack it all into the new house she has found for us to live in for the next few years. Yes, we are moving.
“Can I help you?” a male voice asks, interrupting my musings. He has managed to sneak up behind me as my attention was focused on the various changeling colors of cloud, sky and sea as the earth spins the sun out of view. I turn to see a security guard from the hotel whose dock I am sitting on.
“Yes,” I answer, “I was wondering how far it is to the horizon. Do you know?”
“What?” he asks, seemingly unprepared to supply the assistance he has offered.
“I mean, how far is it to where the sky meets the sea, the horizon? How many miles?”
“No, I do not know. What are you doing here?” he wants to know.
“You mean besides wondering how far it is to the edge of the visible world?” I ask, smiling to ease his frustration with me. “I am waiting for my woman.”
“Oh,” he says. It still does not add up for him.
“You see that boat out there at the horizon?” I ask him.
“Yes,” he replies.
“Well, I am hoping that is her and I was wondering how far away that is. I was trying to figure out how long it would be before she got here. Let’s say that they are going 18 knots. If it was six miles to the horizon, then I thought she should be here in 20 minutes or so. I was just wondering, you know. It doesn’t really matter. It was just something to think about while I waited. It is ok that you do not know the answer.”
“I see,” he said, although I don’t think he did.
“Before you go,” I directed at him him, “I have another question for you.”
“Yes?” he tenuously offers.
“Do you think that the Beatles song ‘Fool on the Hill’ is a better song for this circumstance than Redding’s ‘Dock on the Bay’?”
“Huh?” I’ve got him again.
“Well, you know…Otis sang, “Now I’m just go sit at the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away, ooh
Sittin’ on the dock of the bay
and Paul sang, “But the fool on the hill,
Sees the sun going down.
And the eyes in his head,
See the world spinning around.”
“Which one would you pick to listen to while you waited?” I ask him. “I was humming along with Otis as he sang in my head when you came along; but I was thinking of changing the tune.”
“You’ve been drinking?” he asks me.
“Not yet,” I say, “but when my baby gets here, we’ll be going for a beer. That’s something you can count on.”
“Make sure she registers and pays for the mooring then,” he says, trying to get back to solid ground.
“Sure, of course. Don’t worry.” I say.
He turns to go. I can’t help myself.
“I know. I’ve got the song now.” I say, “It’s John Lennon.”
“What?” He does not know when to quit.
John sang, “People asking questions lost in confusion
Well I tell them there’s no problem, only solutions
Well they shake their heads and look at me as if I’ve lost my mind
I tell them there’s no hurry…
I’m just sitting here doing time
I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go.” I repeat for him.
“Jesus,” he mutters as he walks away.
I kept my thought to myself. “That would be cool; walking out to meet the boat. That would really blow your mind.”
“Hey”, I called after him, “ever see the Peter Seller’s movie…Being There?”
He ignored me. Should have done so in the first place. Sure enough, some 15 minutes later, my love is hooking the mooring and Johnny is still keeping time in my head as the wheels go round and round, like the world and the galaxy and the whole universe, spinning gloriously while no one one pays very much attention to the beauty of it all and too much attention to shit that don’t matter at all.