Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Lake Charles, Louisiana is flat. This whole part of the world is flat. Water runs downhill, even here. We are thirty miles from the ocean and only thirteen feet above sea level. That's about the height of a basketball hoop or a good sized wave. There's not a lot of downhill here. It's so flat that if you stare at the horizon long enough you can see the back of your own head. It's Regina flat only without the weather.

Of course there are some hills. They make little bumps in the golf course. I can see them right outside the window of my brother's house. They manufacture them, putting massive rises into the Interstate bridge over the river nearby. When it rains the water sits in little puddles crying out to the mosquitoes "Breed here!" Based on the TV news, you would think nothing ever happens here but the weather.

Lake Charles is pleasantly rural. There is none of the hubbub and rush that you would find in a big city. It seems calm, restful, relaxed, veritably bucolic. I am staying at my brother's place, alongside a golf course, right on the 17 fairway. With today's rain and cold, the course is empty and quiet. The street is a cul-de-sac set behind a lattice-like indented roadway into the neighbourhood. No traffic noise.

The only noises I hear are the sounds of the clock on the wall and the TV in the corner. Everyone else is out, most probably for a walk or to do some sort of errands. I sit here tick-tacking on my keyboard, interrupted only by the odd blast from a commercial. I decide to mute the TV and now it's only the clock and my typing, along with the sound of my breathing.

There is no rush, no reason to move. I have nothing to do, no time in which to do it. I have no work that must be done until I check my email from the office, something I will do at some point today. Is this what retirement looks like? How long will I last with this calm, quiet, peaceful life? Can I do this?

Adam and Lisa are back. My interlude ends with chatter and coffee and banging in the kitchen... and life.

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