Tuesday, September 8, 2015


The irony that belies in the Labor Day weekend is that there is no labor in it. Not the financially compensated, mentally stressful, schedule driven sort anyway, one should hope. You are well praised for that thin film of sweat that graces your forehead at as early as 8am in the morning, if they are a result of all the exertion required to pack up your family, beach towels, surfboards and water bottles.

Once arrived, you will find yourself in the fine company of 10,000 other labor-day non-workers at the beach. The view is well worth it. The water is cold, making you shiver. Still you can't stand the idea of sitting around as the sun beats down on your skin in a way that is more than a little unpleasant.

So you dip your toes into the harmless layer of white foam at the water's edge, your feet still radiating heat from the hot sand you ran across to get here.

You seduce each other, water and you, dipping in and pulling back, like a pair of lover first testing each other's boundaries. Heat rises inside, the sun wants you too, as a small token of its growing collection of conquests.  But you long for the water, its cool tongue making your skin tingle. You kick it up, breaking its smooth lips into shattered white splashes that sparkle and then disappear under the hot sun, into the burning sand.

You catch some of its cool splashes too, all over from the top of your blistering scalp, to the reddening shoulder, and still curling toes. Then you succumb, and dive in.

The ocean, before we got closer that is

Why do we bother with what we do? The answer eludes you as you lay out catching your breath. The water, or is it the waves it throws at you, no, it's the swim - the willing effort you put up to tousle with such a cool and detached playmate - makes you spent, turned out like a useless piece of seaweed that has wasted too many lives swaying and floating aimlessly in the dark.

* * *

Since you have spent the day following rather than defying convention like you normally do, you rack up the evening by cooking for family and friends, rounding out that wholesome picture of the suburban you.  The result isn't bad. The diners go away happy as you collapse into a deep sleep that rarely visits you, wherever you may have fallen, fully clothed.

Stake Au Poivre, Country Potatoes and Mixed Greens Salad

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