I woke this morning with Linda Ronstadt singing BLUE BAYOU from a dream already dissolving in motes of dust. We live above a bayou now, shrouded from view by the jungle out back. It put me in mind of St. John, USVI, the only place on earth that I know with certainty “I’ll go back someday.” Come what may.
I wandered barefoot out to the back porch, watching butterflies dip and dive and disappear back into the verdant tropical green of our own personal garden of Eden. By now I had Ronstadt’s song on LOUD, and I sung along, also loudly, (albeit badly, and very off-key). Then I found myself weeping.
Vic doesn’t get it. He has absolutely no ambivalence about this huge change in our lives, and I hope that I get to where he is soon.
I knew why I had dissolved in tears. Already quite aware of my constant flood of ambivalence, something occurred several weeks ago, when a young couple was here for a day or so to install the back porch. Sitting at my little Emily Dickinson desk under the bedroom window, I heard them speaking quietly to each other, peacefully. It lulled me.
They both had those deepwater tans you see in the tropics all the time, and rarely, to be honest, in New York. Suddenly I was flooded, drowning in memories of St. John, “Love City” to those lucky enough to live or spend a lot of time there.
I spent (misspent?) the next hour or so searching images and any other media I could find specific to my beloved little island, dreaming, dreaming.
Then I went out to be a grown-up, check out how the construction was going. In what I believed was more than just coincidence, it turns out this golden couple were, like myself, addicts to St. John. In fact, the young woman had a tattoo of the Caneel Bay Resort logo on her wrist, a totemic little face looping round her arm like a bracelet. I marveled at it. I suddenly realized, hell, I’m in Florida now. I can get a tat like hers! In fact, I should, it’s practically obligatory.
We had a couple of laughs together about the mundane: for example, Andy Samberg’s Shy Ronnie persona on SNL, especially the skit with Rihanna urging him to “use his outside voice.”
I did my best impression of both Shy Ronnie and Rihanna. Then we hugged it out.
Later, I looked up wrist tattoos, and learned to my dismay it is the MOST PAINFUL area of the body to get inked. There was even video of one young woman, full of machisma, proffering her wrist, but quickly breaking down in tears of pain. As Rihanna might have said, “Uh-oh!” I’m not big on pain in general, physical or mental.
Maybe I’ll pick up some colored pens at Hobby Lobby and just draw the bracelet on.