When your hands are empty, and you look around, you realize life has slipped by while you’ve been dreaming. Somewhere, far away, traffic jams and red lights exist, supermarkets with florescent lights. Skyscrapers and business suits, contracts and wars and CNN.
But here on the beach, waves lap the rocks, and everything seems muted, peaceful. No one is in a rush to go anywhere. Life is soft and warm and right now.
My sister Brigitte has been living on the beach for years. She loves the waves, the sun, the seashell wind chimes. She adopts exotic orchids and hangs them from her bungalow porch. She makes bracelets and gives them to her brown-skinned boyfriend. She paints and naps and goes barefoot everywhere. She ain’t ever in a hurry.
She’s been meaning to make it over to this beach for days. Every morning I call her, she says, Yeah, today, I’m coming.
Her voice is scratchy and she’s almost irritable. I’ve clearly called too early. And every night I turn in, my big bed all to myself, and smile, wondering if she’ll ever show up.
This morning I called again. I’m coming today, I swear, she said, and I could picture her rolling over in bed, the shades drawn.
Whateva, I said. I’ll see you when I see you.
She still ain’t here. No problem. I wasn’t really expecting her. In this place, where waves are your lullaby and hammocks hold you captive for entire days, you have to account for Island Time. So I’ve accepted the fact that Brigitte is perpetually running about a week late.