Friday, 29 January 2016

Planning For No Plan

Some days are a wasteland of intention. Other days are an intentional wasteland. Such was yesterday, a full day of emptiness, a complete day of incompletion, a planned day of unplanning. It was that kind of day, where waking at noon seemed like the right thing to to, where coffee in bed provided to me by a more than generous Katherine was a wonderfully slow awakening, where nothing was the highest achievement of my morning.

The rest of the day moved on like that. We breakfasted at lunch. We wandered out to the lobby in a vain attempt to connect to the non-functioning Internet. We struggled with a couple of rum overloaded Pina Coladas while we discussed our non-plan for the day. Do we go to the beach? Do we struggle with the sand between the end of the walkway and the palapas surely beckoning us? Do we go instead to our room, sitting on the patio and hurtling comments at the passers by? Such indecisiveness. Such glory.

The beach won, sort of. We were unsure how to get my sorry ass over the sand, the way to the beach bar causing us to transit the sand dune between ourselves and the beach. Beyond the dune lay a passage of sand, much to much for me and Katherine. Instead we spoke to the hotel staff, where two rather sturdy young men muscled me down across the sand to a shaded palapa immediately adjacent to the purveyor of Pina Coladas on the beach.

With some effort I managed to transfer to a beach bench, slung out low across the sand, back rest perfectly adjusted by Katherine. My task, while she explored the warmth of the Caribbean Sea, was to holler for drinks and read my book. I managed, just barely. There we wasted the better part of the afternoon, I positioned so perfectly as to not have to move one iota as the sun slowly slid across the cloud spattered sky. One Pina Colada. Two. Three. Four. All of them seemingly growing stouter as the afternoon wandered on.

Then it hit me. I cannot drink endlessly while sitting on the beach. At some point, nature and my body will demand release from containment, not just of my body, but of my bladder too. Now what? Here I am, trapped in my beach chair, several drinks into a lazy afternoon, desparate to do that which I must do. I had to go. At this point three strapping young men from the hotel lifted me bodily into my chair and dragged me back to solid ground.

A short wheel later and I was ready for relief. I expressed to Katherine the importance of this need, to which she replied "I know. I went into the ocean twice." She left to my imagination what she did therein. After a bit of rest, dinner called. We went to the buffet hall and settled in to a surfeit of whatever.

In the midst of all of our food, one of the hotel staff found me, telling me that we had 8:30 PM reservations in the Lighthouse for a seafood dinner. Katherine was pleased. She was still in her beach pants. I was also pleased. I get to eat two dinners in one night. I may be struggling with the wheelchair here, but at least I am eating well.

Today will be a day of adventure as we wander through rural Cuba, our guides attempting to show us a side of their country most don't see. It's an early start, 7:00 AM, and a full day, with a return at 7:00 PM or so. We will be watched; we know that. We don't care. It's another day where we aren't doing the planning. Someone else will do that for us.

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