I’m not the type to relax on the beach, and I would never think of sleeping. I might sit for a minute and people watch. I might even read for a few. But relax? No, relaxing is walking or swimming, or exploring or, well, just about anything in the world other than just sitting. Sitting on a hot beach was my personal idea of Hell on Earth. The idea of sleeping on a beach was repugnant.
Imagine my surprise when I woke up.
Of course it took me a moment to establish were I was, and then another moment to recall sitting down to dry after a quick swim. How had I fallen asleep?
I have no idea why it took me so long to realize that the beach was completely empty.
Another day, another dozen old buildings. A lot of them were called “castles”, some “towers” and then there were the ancient manor houses, though anything newer than 15th century was right out. This struck me as strange since most of the restoration jobs made these places about as authentic as Disneyland.
OK, I’ll admit, my sense of romance had worn a little thin after the first dozen. As I entered, my first thought went to lack of indoor plumbing and how cold and damp they must have been. Brrr.
And let’s face it, it wasn’t just the castles. I had lost the romance over pretty much everything in life.
What did they always say? One of us hairless apes needs just water, food, clean air, shelter and clothing to survive? Something like that? And what do we do when all of those things become contaminated?
I think they also used to say “man does not live on bread alone”, but, you know, that’s pretty much all that is needed to survive.
Want to know about my last Saturday night? I was lucky enough to get invited to cover the superhero convention. I was some psyched!
Until I got there.
I quickly discovered that not only was the main hall packed with a million other journalists, but that the actual superheroes were segregated into two camps with a big wall between them and refused to talk to anyone except their own sponsors. Boring….
I left after a few minutes.
It didn’t take long walking around the campus to discover where some of the lesser, non-affiliated superheroes hung out.
I knew I had hit a more interesting place when I noticed the guy by the door smoking a joint. He gave me a peace sign as I joined him.
The boy jumped then turned sheepishly towards the voice.
“What are you doing there, young Tom?”
Tom looked down at his feet, as if whipped by the stern words.
“Wasting time again, aren’t you?”
He glanced up at the lady and was surprised to see a smile.
The lady, Anne, moved next to Tom, put her hands on the battlements and stared out.
“It’s just, just, my Lady, it’s just that I wish I could go over there.” He nodded his head outward. “I wish I could cross that bridge and go into the village. I want to see what they are up to. I want to find children my own age to play with.”
Although I guess I had always known, it was really at her funeral that I realized how different Mom was from her younger siblings. Looking down the row of mourners, I thought she might have been even more different from hers than I was from my own younger siblings.
It was brought home even more when I overheard Uncle Pat talking to Aunt Ann at the wake. I don’t remember everything, but the way Ann said, “She was so much like our mother in oh so many ways,” that struck me. Pat nudged her after that statement and tilted his head towards me.