I remember reading a short story when I was probably in my late 20’s that was written by an exhausted young mother who decided to take a 3-4 day vacation for herself. Just to get away from the constant stress and pressure of being a mother, and even a wife. She couldn’t wait to go. She took a couple of books, her swimsuit and plans for lots of sleep. The first couple of hours was great; pool, book and rest. Then within a few hours unplanned thoughts set in. Her children, her life, her worries…everything she was trying to get away from came creeping back into her mind.
I took a break like that when my kids were younger, still living with me. I went to a conference in Tampa, Florida but decided to go a few days early before the conference started so I could get away from everything that the young mother I spoke of was trying to get away from. I brought two books and my swimsuit too. Unfortunately, like anyone else, I brought my thoughts with me too. Why I thought they would stay in Austin…I’m not sure. Never really can run away from thoughts, especially when you give yourself time to think about them!
Hot sun = Baked skin. But as my skin was baking lots of thoughts from my brain come creeping out like crazy. I mean I’m not crazy but I’m talking about thoughts I hadn’t thought about in a long time. Keeping busy keeps thoughts at bay. As I try to keep my thoughts at bay I look around the pool and to one couple I want to say “No public displays of affection please.”
I then see a helicopter coming close, and lands on top of the hospital that is right across the bay from the hotel I’m staying at. Not a good sign. Here I am outside getting sun…and somebody is in bad enough shape to get to the hospital really fast. So fast they needed a helicopter. I think it could be somebody’s mom, or daughter, or son or sister or dad. This is an unexpected kink to my day. I rarely have an opportunity to think about so many things that tug at the heart. (I later found out that nobody got hurt or anything because someone was filming a John Travolta movie that involved flying in a helicopter over Tampa Bay! The Punisher )
I look around and see more and more people joining me and the affectionate couple, at the pool. Kids, more lovers, grandparents and readers like me. I also notice the music being piped in is pretty good too. I look around and see that one couple just prayed before they ate their chicken nuggets they brought with them to poolside. Hmm…pretty cool.
I’m drinking a $6.42 strawberry daiquiri. Lots of strawberry but no daiquiri, if you know what I mean. I guess the $6 was for the strawberries and the .42 was for the daiquiri.
The lovely couple that likes showing public affection had left for a while but came back out to poolside about 30 minutes. Hmm. Anyway, she is still dressed in a bathing suit but he is now nicely dressed. I notice now that she is beautiful and he is too…but she knows she is beautiful and he doesn’t know he is beautiful. I like him better. She’s a photographer, I have figured that out but I don’t know what he is…should I ask him? She is one of those beauties that don’t come around very often. The kind that women envy – but I think she needs to smile more. I’m not sure if they are really happy – something is missing.
I do like to see people happy though. That makes me smile.
I think one of my assets is my smile, but the problem is I don’t smile enough. I remember at my one and only wedding I smiled so much that my face hurt by the end of the day. It kind of put me off smiling for a while I think. My lack of a smile also makes me remember that I could always tell when my mother was faking her smile. I mean I could really tell! I always hoped that I was the only one who could tell.
Reading a really interesting book now – just got started and I can already tell it’s going to be really good. ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan. I wonder if the girl, the main character in the book is bi-polar. I may never find out. I may be the only one who knows this; Ian McEwan may not know this. But I think she might be.
A little boy walked by me with his family. They were going inside from the pool area as I hear the little boy say to his family, “I’m going to press the elevator buttons and you guys can’t!” Gosh it was so cute. He was so happy … oh to be a child again.