In the previous note, written a while ago, I mentioned that Sandra was off sailing in the Grenadines. Now she is in Corfu still sailing into her new life and I am now a single man about town.
For a while, my life was a country and western song: no more woman, no more dogs and no more pickup truck with no more gun in the rack. I poured myself a rum (or two), put on Bob Marley’s No Woman, No Cry and cried in my glass. A month later, I stood atop a mountain watching the sunrise, feeling happier than I can ever remember being, with Van Morrison’s song Standing on the Threshold echoing in my mind.
As I am wont to do, I was in the bar at the SunSail marina some days ago watching the sunset, sipping a cold Hairoun, thinking about what a glorious adventure life is when you allow it to be, when a total stranger came up to me and asked, “Would you please tell me what direction I am facing?”
I blinked. This is surely, I thought, a surreal moment; not a real question, but an angel’s message for me.
“Well, I am facing the sunset,” I answered, “so it is my best guess that direction is called West on this planet. On a larger scale, I suppose I am staring down the gravity well of old Sol.”
“Huh… oh yeah; silly of me,” he replied, with a touch of an embarrassed smile.
“No, not at all,” I replied, “I thank you for the question. It reminded me to be aware of what direction I am facing.”
“And that is?” he queried. Now I knew for certain he was an angel, perhaps disguised as some poor holiday sailor who was about to go out on a rental not knowing anything about sextants or pole stars, but an angel nevertheless.
“If”, I explained, more to myself than to him, “I am standing in the present, I can face into the past or into the future. The direction I face is my choice, isn’t it?”
“How’s the local beer?” He replied. Maybe he thought I had had a few. Maybe he was just changing the subject. Maybe he was just thirsty. Maybe he had more wisdom to offer me. It mattered not.
“Pretty good,” I answered, ” Can I buy you one? It is the least I can do.”
“Two Hairoun please,” I told the barkeep. “Where you are from?” I really wanted to hear this answer.
“Los Angeles,” he said, without even a hint of irony in his eyes.
“I figured it would be something like that,” I said. “Long way from home then. Here to do some sailing?”
“No, I’ve come to visit some friends in Mustique. That’s south of here, isn’t it?”
“Yes, that way,” I pointed, “you could see it if we were on that point out there, instead of in this bar.”
“This beer is good.” he said.
“Yes, it surely is,” I replied. “My name is Leslie. I’m happy to meet you.”
“Michael,” he said, “how are you?” sticking out his hand. We shook.
“Blessed,” I answered, “and you?”
“Yeah, I am feeling pretty good too. You live here?”
“Yes. I do.”
“Good place to live,” he said.
“Yeah man, it is,” I smiled.
God, life is such a pisser.