I’m writing this on the same device that is currently supplying music to my ears and A book to my brain. (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). This beach required wristbands and towels, which I picked up from an automated kiosk littered with children and discarded memories. The machines don’t work though, they sit Idle, blinking confused as a woman with a heavy island accent asks me how many in my room. I wonder if she feels sad when I say I’m alone today. I wonder if she’s alone, too. A bathing beauty passes by, carrying a tray. You can tell she’s self conscious by her posture and also by her ranch-drenched salad accompanied by a diet Coke. We must look so silly, aspiring to be something but only ending up trying to smash ourselves into other people’s boxes. I bet her daughter thinks she’s the most beautiful woman in the world. There’s no local coffee here, only Starbucks, and I begrudgingly wait in line. I note that their holiday drink specials are different and I think that it’s supremely sad that the only thing distinguishing their culture from ours is the drizzle on top of a mocha. I had no idea Bahamians were so fond of cranberry. I hold a foreign dollar bill in my hands with wonder. The exchange rate is one to one, but this holds so much more value to me. The man at the register offers a smile. “That man there, he was our first prime minister. The equivalent of your president. He’s dead now.” Another smile. I turn it over and ask about the flip side. “The police band,” he grins, “more famous than the police. You hear the police are coming, everyone ignores it, but if someone says it’s the police band, that’s something people run to see.” His willingness to share the culture in such a white-washed resort makes me smile from somewhere genuine. The woman preparing my drink is singing. A beautiful melody interrupting the same monotony of people escaping their reality only to come to a comfortable variation. I compliment her and she seems surprised. I guess it’s just what people do here.
Walking back through the hotel, a line forms. I’m curious. Turns out it’s just people waiting to take photos in a giant fake plastic throne made to look as though it’s real. I go around them and make my way to the beach. The Man in uniform nods at me, another asks if my hair color is real and offers jet ski rides for free. I smile. “Maybe. Thank you.” I’m appreciative for this trip. It’s relaxing and easy. But much like anything in life, without a challenge… Someone running side by side and with a gaze of their eyes begging you to try to keep up, it gets boring. Challenge each other, and challenge yourself. Go outside of what’s comfortable; get out of your parent’s, or society’s, or your own box. Imagine how good your limbs will feels when they can stretch out. It’s ok to choose comfort from time to time, but choosing it every time leads to Wall*e like humans, obsessed with making sure nothing ever hurts. Without pain, without struggle, without exploration, there can be no gauge for pleasure, and a lethargic Existence is not one at all.
A sun shower hits the beach. Paradise.