365 days and a few insignificant hours. It all comes down to this.
Unlike most days here, the sun has not had anywhere near the power to warm the vacation air. The rain has been more or less the weathermaker of the day, driving those who would normally have sand around their toes, to an indoor enclave of cheesy games and way too much to drink…which in turn makes cheesy seem…well….entertaining!
The indoor music booms , the same as the pool, but with 4 walls to intensify the base note. If you are at the party…you love it, but for me….I am trying to get work done.
The emails are piled up as usual, all asking the same basic question….or should I say….expectation, to which I respond in my carefully worded response.
Another day in paradise.
Feeling somewhat guilty, I call it a day at 5:45PM. Nothing left in the mailbox…a a few things I could do to complete the 10 hour (short) day.
Escaping into the cool drizzle that has enveloped the region, the wipers keep beat to Billy Squire’s “Rock Me “, as I plow through the poorly drained streets of Bavaro, soaking those silly enough to be standing next to the “impossible to miss” bodies of spent precipitation. Destination…..the Corner Bar.
Given the day, I should think of something more exciting to do other than visiting my local watering hole. But, I like knowing how long it will take to get my rum….where all the leaks are and the knowledge of no matter how dead it might be due to weather…there will always be someone there!
The last thing I expected on a cold blustery day like this was to see a full bar…such as it was! Oxymoron shirts were worn by a bunch….CANADA boldly written on the back of their crimson shirts and…. um….. Budwieser” written on the front. Most had that… “I have been here awhile” look on their faces, and after attempting to converse, it was obvious that they were only about 14 beers ahead of me! St. Catherines has some interesting people living there!
The last taxi driver finally rounded up his happy wanderers and left some much needed room at the bar, thus allowing me a flat surface to place my laptop. For a rainy day at the bar…a day which would keep most Dominican women within the confines of their home (hate getting their hair wet), there was a substantial amount of visual distraction to deal with! As today is like the coldest day of the year, most are bundled in ski-wear and thick sweaters, while the tourists are comfortable in t shirts and shorts!
It is about 40 minutes until I have to pick up Carmen. I have kept more or less to myself, thinking about the past year and the year to come. I have a 100 reasons to complain….but 10,000 reasons to be happy. I have had another great year. I have faced the daggers that get thrown during a resort opening. I have moved no less than 11 times during this time. I live in an apartment I refer fondly to as Guantanamo Bay…complete with a view of 10 foot walls topped with coils of barbed wire….not sure if that is to keep people out…or to keep us in! I have watched my paycheck decline and my workload increase. I have hit potholes that are refered to a sinkholes back home. I have eaten way too much chicken and rice. I have learned to drive like a seagull flies over a garbage dump. I could go on…..and I know that this is a year where many have been effected by things beyond their control.
But, what is much more important to me….way more important….infinitely more important, are the events of the year that have changed my future. A few years back, it was a sailing adventure…casting off the old and sailing into an unknown future, which in turn…is where I am now….not bad at all!
Knowing that Carmen has the patience to put up with a free spirit like me, should be enough to make anyone happy! She has proven, more than anyone in my past, that passion can be mixed with discipline! Dishes must be done…but not always the same way!!!! She has stood by me through my blowouts, reminding me that I can not change a society...but my efforts are noticed. She has taught me how to make con-con….what we would refer to as brunt rice at the bottom of the pot. She has allowed me to become the head chef. She has taught me how to sleep on the last 6 inches of the side of the bed and still wake up refreshed and un-bruised. She has allowed me to watch HOUSE literally every night for the past month. She has resigned to the fact that for me…the best place to keep my clothes is hung over a chair in the spare room. She has reminded me nightly, that my feet stink.
She is one in a billion. She has taught me that even for an old middle aged guy like me…I am not dead! She is the mother of my only future child….one whom I talk to nightly, although the reality has yet to really sink in as she outgrows her jeans and is enamored to her ever increasing bustline. I love every moment of her moodiness, her critiques and her…well…moodiness!
In a few hours I become 365 days away from that magic age of 50, although Debintore decided that I had already reached that pinnacle based on the card she gave me on Wednesday!!!
Tonight….who knows….maybe I will have a drink…maybe I will watch HOUSE…..who knows. All I know is that when I wake up in the morning, I will be one year further into the books and loving every year more and more.
Many of you have become a part of my life over the last couple of years…many of which I have never met! Just the same, I have appreciated your support of the issues I feel are important.
I am running out of time….but I think you get the point!
Only 365 days and a few hours to go…I know this coming year will eclipse all others!
Cheers from a dark rainy night in Bavaro