Every vacation reaches a mental zenith at which point all tasks are accomplished, all socializations are fulfilled and all appetites are snuffed like burnt party candles. With luck, C and I reach that point together, having extricated from our heads both the memory of our worklives and the foreboding of their return, and we dissolve into the clear and perfect turquoise of deep relaxation. The markers are obvious. We actually sit in chairs rather than admire them. We laugh like wind chimes, at anything. We watch the iguanas watching us. We fuss over little things like stubble, or the application of a particular moisturizer C stuffed into my Christmas stocking. It made me smell like carrot cake.
On the last day of 2006, I think we shared that moment. What else could have provoked me to put down my drink and go back inside to fetch my entire collection of flip flops, arranging them on our terrace like a school of dolphins yearning for the sea?
"You should add your sandals", said C, looking up from a book of photographs by Pierre et Gilles, but I was already chin to the tiles, steadying the camera in a pushy urgent warm wind, gently reminding me that we ought to get packing as soon as this last bit of nonsense was done.