Come Monday

The sunset did what the amber glow on the horizon always does.  I sat on a concrete step, a few feet from others with the same goal as I.  We clutched our cameras.   We held our breath;  we waited and watched.  A long sigh rippled among us when the last ray eased across the distant bank of clouds.  Sunday ended with a lovely feeling of rightness.

A squabble with the desk agent at checkout threatened to crater the joyful spirit with which I strove to embrace Monday.   Slightly disgruntled, I drove north to Pacifica, where the waves crashed against the flood walls and the mist rose in the morning air.    I parked in one of the accessible spots at Nick’s at Rockaway Beach with an appetite and a hopeful mood.

A friendly smile from the window washer prompted me to check the time.  Just twelve minutes until they opened.  I leaned against the door and watched a small crowd gather, folks as eager as I to partake of good, simple food and hot restaurant coffee.  I chatted with a couple who told me that they had met at Nick’s twenty years ago at a ballroom dancing event.  The wife beamed; the husband looked sheepish.  He seemed to be about seventy, perhaps a good ten years older than she.  We shared stories, though for some reason, none of us mentioned our names.

Breakfast did not disappoint, with fluffy scrambled eggs, a reasonable portion of potatoes, and extra fruit.  The server kept my coffee filled.  When I asked for the check, she leaned down to whisper that the couple by the window — they of the twenty-year marriage — had paid my bill.  I stood to thank them, to the man’s blush, and the woman’s radiant smile.  I still did not get their names.

I drove further northward, to the Pacifica Pier, where I watched a man scatter  clumps of bread to the seagulls.  After a peaceful hour, I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge in a fog bank and made for Sausalito and then, eventually, home.  I haven’t yet decided if I made the wisest choice to spend two days and a few hundred dollars on the coast.  But I hope to carry this pleasant feeling into the dawn of my sixty-ninth year.  The kindness of strangers and the song of the sea will certainly help.

It’s the fourth day of the one-hundred and seventeenth month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.

Come Monday, by Jimmie Buffett; RIP, sir; thank you for the music.

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