Thursday, February 11, 2010

Subterranean Sunset Blues

What’s the point of a vacation when you have to go back to work? Most vacations to tropical resorts result in malaria, dengue fever, even Marburg’s syndrome. Once home, you have to shuttle from the toilet on which you have been sitting to your desk, with its window overlooking Fifth Avenue, from which you are tempted to jump. Pleasure is disappointing, but adjusting to everyday life after attempting it is even worse. Better to just work all the time so you don’t feel like you’re going to run out of batteries as your engine cranks up. At the very least, a case of gastroenteritis or hemorrhoids comes with the Dominican package. But let’s confront the de facto condition of having free time in a supposedly beautiful spot. Beauty is one of nature’s taunts. It’s like the Sirens luring an itinerant traveler through life to his or her death. The wages of sin are death and the gift of God is eternal life. Amen. Gambling is what it is. You see beautiful topless women one hundredth your age lying on the beach and you want to die, but being a follower of Milan Kundera novels, you attempt to make contact. Even a word, rather than a mere look of disdain, is a triumph. Up the ante, the next day and the next and the next, until your ticker is bursting out of your chest like Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart. You are already planning the next vacation before the first is over, spreading catalogues across the bed of your refrigerated room, which smells from decades of mildewed sex—couples grasping at each other while dreaming of anything better than what they possess. Then there are the piña coladas with umbrellas at the good-bye party, and that last horrible fight, in which years of dissatisfaction explode, which transports you to the luggage depot  just as other hopefuls arrive to samba. Your charter to nowhere is eternally delayed and you study the S&P while taking a leak. 


  1. Thanks for making me chuckle, and I think there is a lot of truth embedded in what you write. But in fact I really enjoy my vacations (or most of the time I am on vacation), and I don't mind coming back because I love my work and I need the money it brings.

    Maybe this will help ... a quote I once found on a paper place-mat in a restaurant on the shores of Lake Geneva. It had a photograph of a fisherman in a boat taking a fish from the lake, and it said: "Happiness is being able to desire what one already has". Works for me...

  2. Another quote I have heard, "You have to want what you have. We're on the same page whoever you are. Who are you? I detect a similar intellet behind the response to the parallel u post. love SP


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.