Writing, working on Book Two, late afternoon downpours, thunder and lightening. I make another withdrawal from the walking bank. I am down to one deposit. Need to start saving again.
It’s Saturday. My husband tells me he’s going to the job, just for the morning. I contact the realtor to see if we can visit three houses this afternoon. She gets back to me. Two are contingent which means they are under agreement. One is not available for showings until Tuesday. That was our favorite. Things are moving fast in the Florida real estate market. Rich decides to work a few more hours then we will go the beach for a picnic dinner.
As I pack the cooler with beers, sandwiches, chips and a bag of cherries, the sky grows darker. An ominous cloud over our left shoulder follows us all the way to the beach. It’s flat in Florida. Sometimes the horizon appears to be endless. This cloud is frightening, huge and dark. It rolls across the sky, as far as the eye can see. A huge, black thunderhead that in my mind has the potential to turn into a twister. “It’s nothing,” Rich says. Nothing?
When we arrive at the beach, there are just a few people sitting under the pavilion. I grab a table. We have decided that we’ll eat first, under cover, then Rich will go for a swim and I will take a walk. He says although it is nothing, there may be some showers. Suddenly, a huge lightening bolt flashes across the sky. One one thousand. Two one thousand. Bam! Thunder. That was damn close. “This is going to be more than showers,” I say. A life guard walks briskly by. “Very dangerous. Take cover,” he shouts. Most of the remaining people leave.
We drag the table to the center of the covered area. If things get really bad, I decide I will hide in the ladies room. The only other people are a couple speaking German and drinking beer (sometimes the stereotypes hold) and a man casually reading the New York Post. He looks like Peter Falk. “No way,” my husband says. “Columbo had black hair.” This guy has black hair. It’s the smile more than anything that reminds me of Peter Falk.
One couple is still out under the large tarp, sitting on a bench, kissing. When the downpour begins, they run for safety, joining the rest of us under the wooden roof.
The lovebirds ask if they can sit at our table. Of course.The man, who looks to be around our age, asks my husband, “Are you from Boston?” It’s the accent, a dead giveaway. We strike up a conversation. We share our beers as the rain pours down. Corey is from New Jersey. Mary is from Ohio. We all make jokes about Ohio. Rich says, “The best thing about Ohio is Chrissy Hynde.” We talk about The Boss. Corey ran into Springsteen at a Starbucks in Wellington, a wealthy horse town not too far from here, popular with the polo playing crowd. He was wearing jodhpurs and muddy boots. I don’t like the idea of The Boss playing polo. Corey says he was with his daughter. All young girls like horses. “Young girls who can afford horses,” I say. Naturally, because we’re talking about Jersey, we get onto the Sopranos and are once again mourning the loss of James Gandolfini. We talk about our favorite episodes. Seriously? I liked Gandolfini but it’s been a week now. Time to move on to the next 24 hour news cycle. I’m really falling behind. I have no clue what Kim Kardashian named her baby.
Then we’re onto sports. New York versus Boston. Mary has two daughters the same age as mine and loves LeBron. Corey says, “How do you feel about that trade?” “What trade?” Hubby asks. “Pierce, Garnett and Terry are going to the Nets.” “What?” Rich shouts. “When did this happen?” “Yesterday?” “How are we not keeping up with these things?” Rich asks, as if this info lapse is my fault.
“It’s because you always have the TV on the Golf Channel,” I say. “And if you’re not watching golf, it’s on the Matt Damon channel.”
Corey laughs. “How come I don’t have the Matt Damon channel?”
“It’s the one that always has a Jason Bourne movie on and sometimes they throw in Good Will Hunting.”
“Love that movie.” We all agree.
Peter Falk walks over and hands us his NY Post. “Here, there’s a good article about the trade.” Then he joins us in a conversation about hockey. Corey knows Mike Eruzione and Peter Falk met Bobby Orr, who lives somewhere in Florida during the winter.
The worst of the storm has passed. Corey and Mary have plans to go dinner in Fort Lauderdale. We exchange phone numbers and plan to meet at the Key Lime House some Friday night for happy hour. We’re like kids on the playground, we’ve made new friends.
We decide to go home. It’s still raining and more dark clouds are headed our way. Damn, I didn’t get a walk on the beach. I can’t bottom out my account. There is a break in the rain when we get to the apartment. I walk the neighborhood. An elderly black man on a bicycle is circling in the opposite direction. Each time we pass each other we share words of encouragement. “Keep on walking.” “You’re doin’ more laps than me.” “Rain’s not bothering me.” I quit before he does. As I sit down at my computer, I see him pass by my window.