I’m sitting on the terrace at 7:30 in the morning, listening to the flag halyard creak in the omnipresent sea breeze. The lawn chairs stand like sentinels watching the bay.
Very few people are about. The papers haven’t arrived—they’re on a later plane today—but the coffee is available in the inn, a cup next to my lap top at the moment. People will start wandering by for breakfast soon, though most of us wait until much later.
There is a surprising calm here in the morning. In the distance I can hear the waves lapping the shore, and more closely a rustle of wind through vegetation (which grows before your eyes). But no gulls shrieking, no insects clicking, no random conversations (and, thank heaven, no cell phones, which are restricted).
Last night we were at The Pearl, another favorite, where the exotic fish swim behind your shoulders watching you eat, while they eat. I had my first “sparkling sake” for desert, which strangely enough went well with my dish of sticky rice.
Before dinner, at the bar here, I had my usual fine “people experience” over a martini, which fuels a bit of extroversion in me. I met a very young couple who live only four blocks from my daughter in Manhattan (whose baby shower we threw just last week). He’s an investment guy at Morgan Stanley and she’s just out of law school. Then I met a woman, bedecked in bling, whose eyebrows could not move, done up like a donut, who had at least ten years on me. She lives in Florida, but spends time here, in California, and in Capri.
Last year I met a doctor working on an important medical paper on his lap top at the bar, and Stone Phillips, the reporter, entered and made sure he introduced himself to all of us. The year before that, Ted Kennedy wandered in to chat for a few minutes. One year I met a dazzling woman who told me she spends her time in Fisher Island, San Francisco, London, and Rome. Her work? “Oh, I don’t really have any,” she said honestly enough, sipping her Chardonnay. The bar is never crowded, just fascinating. Who know who I’ll meet tonight?
Or, thinking of Cal LeMon, who looked across a boat in the Caymans and said, “Aren’t you Alan Weiss?”, who know who will meet me?!
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© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.