This past Sunday afternoon, I went to collect on a Christmas present I had received; a gift certificate for a massage. Yummy. I got totally blissed out.
On my way home, I could see that the conditions were in place for a possible green flash and I knew I’d not make it home to my deck in time to catch the sunset; so I stopped at the SunSail marina and headed up to their bar, which is ideal for watching sunsets.
I ordered myself a cold beer and settled in to watch the earth spin the sun out of sight. Along came this pretend yachty to sit down beside me. (For those not familiar with the lingo, a yachty is a person who does yachting. SunSail is a worldwide organization that rents sailboats by the week, so the bar there is usually peopled by folks who don’t own a boat but want a sailing holiday and who get to pretend that they are yachties for a week.)
The thing with part-timers is that they never actually slow down enough to appreciate the rhythms of sea, sun and surf. So, while I am focused on the impending sunset, this guy wants to converse.
“Where are you from?” is his first question.
“Choppins,” I reply.
“Where is that?” he asks. I am sure he was expecting me to name some country, perhaps some state, since he is an American.
“Just up the hill,” I answer.
“What? Where?” he asks.
“About two miles up that way,” I clarify for him, pointing more or less in the direction of my house.
“Oh, so you live here, then?”
“Yes. I just stopped in to watch the sunset,” I say, hoping he will get the hint and allow me some quiet time.
“What do you do?” he pushes on.
“Write,” I answer, still watching the sun.
“Are you famous?”
“Depends on who you ask, I suppose. Right now, I’m only interested in watching the sunset, not in being famous,” I reply. I am not really trying to be rude, but the sun is already dipping below the horizon and I don’t want to miss a green flash should one decide to appear this time.
“What do you write?” He ignores my hint.
“Personal empowerment,” the sun is sinking fast.
“Personal development literature,” I say, louder and slower.
“You mean like self-help books, that kind of thing?”
“Yes, that kind of thing,” I say. Less than a minute now until old Sol slips below the horizon.
“I don’t believe in that power of positive thinking kind of stuff.” he tells me.
I didn’t ask and I don’t care. The sun sets. No green flash. Now he can have my undivided attention.
“Good thing you don’t run NASA then, isn’t it?” is my riposte, as I turn to look at him.
“I said that it is a good thing you are not in charge of the space program since you don’t believe in the power of positive thinking,” I tell him, smiling to ease the bite of my words.
“What do you mean by that?” he bristles a bit.
“My turn to ask the questions. Tell me, do you believe in the power of negative thinking?” my chance to be the pushy guy.
“What? No!” he answers, quite tersely.
“What do you actually believe in then?”
“None of your f%#@$g business,” he says, sliding off his stool and moving away.
The bartender slides me an unasked for beer. I glance at him. He nods his head in the direction of two guys sitting at the end of the L-shaped bar. I raise my glass and say thanks.
“Bravo, mate,” says one of the two, with a broad accent and a broader smile. The other is staring off into the sunset, watching the clouds and the sea color up, blushing at the knowledge that some, at least, are gazing at their sublime beauty.
“Aussie?” I query.
“No, we’re Kiwis,” he answers.
“Cool. What are doing in this part of the world then? Sailing?”
“No, we are kayaking.”
It turns out that they are kayaking, in an eight man kayak, from Trinidad to Puerto Rico, a total distance of almost 1,000 miles. What an adventure.
“That is awesome,” I tell them. “What made you decide to do that?”
“We believe in the power of positive thinking,” my new Kiwi friend tells me with a glorious smile.
That earns him, and his buddy, a beer on me.
Later, I head home to feed my dogs and cats. Speaking of cats, Sandra is away, crewing a catamaran sailing in The Grenadines.