Lime in the Coconut. Free Nelson Mandela. Take on Me. 4 Non Blondes. It’s that kind of morning, the sky lowering and sullen, the mangoes fading into the branches, the cottage dark and gloomy. I hold it back with a mug of coffee and good music, that brash sensibility from the 80’s that was so delightfully pre-self conscious hipster irony. There’s such a delicious earnestness to 80’s music that it washes away the moody patina of the morning and makes me yearn for a good black leather jacket.
It’s Wednesday morning here in Miami, and the day yawns before me, a vast tableaux of hours in which anything may happen. In Libya today people will continue to shoot at each other. In Japan, radiation will continue to spill out silently like the world’s most lethal invisible confetti. Ash will plume over Iceland, Barack Obama will address the British House of Lords, people in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas shake their heads in bewilderment and anguish at the destruction wrought on their homes.
The world! 7 billion lives, 7 billion dreams and nightmares, hopes and struggles, elation and despair. From Bangladeshi’s turning their rice paddies into crab and shrimp farms as the ocean rises to hermits in the southern reaches of Tierra del Fuego working with chapped hands on timber processing plants. Research vessels shadowing the calving coast of the Antarctic to crowds climbing onto the Trans Siberian railroad to cross the vastness that is Russia.
Think on it: Amsterdam, Recife, Baghdad, Kyoto, Austin, Quito, Abuja, Istanbul, Bristol, Apia, Buenos Aires, Beijing. Billions waking and going to sleep, eating, squatting patiently over their toilets, reading newspapers, scraping the dirt, thinking amorous thoughts, thoughts of vengeance, consumed by avarice, boredom, despair, hope.
And here I am, in my little cottage in Miami, mug of coffee in hand, listening to 80’s music and putting off my freelance work. Soon I’ll get back to it, roll up my proverbial sleeves and put all fancies and daydreams aside. But for now, I look out the window at where the palm fronds shiver and marvel.