Paul looked at the I-pad. it was barely 7:30 AM. “Why can’t I sleep?” He tried to force his eyes shut but couldn’t, so he got up and got ready for morning ritual. Shit, shower, and shave. No shave this morning though. He dressed to drive home and had his diet breakfast again; non-fat yogurt with fresh blueberries, half a banana, and a protein shake. He had enough time for one last beach walk.
It seemed a bit hotter and more humid going down the stairs. He crossed the street to see beautiful silky-smooth water, and at high tide, a yoga group on the beach facing the water. He smiled. Then, for some reason, “goat yoga” and altered the serene image in his head. Now he was seeing goats walking among and on some of them. “What if they leave goat bites, or goat hoof marks, or… goat droppings?” He shook his head and continued walking. He really needed more sleep.
He turned to walk the length of the boardwalk. It is 8:45 and no one is at the beach Silver Sands Park really is beautiful at this hour.
Walking back, he saw that the huge Pink Flamingo float was still there. He pulled out his I-phone and holding it at knee height, took some low-level shots, so the sand’s wet reflection would glimmer.
Some random guy from the closest beach house holding a coffee mug as Paul was figuring out how to shoot this bird stumbled over to him and mumbled. Paul turned to him, “Imagine if a drunk woke up on the beach at 4 am, opened his eyes and saw that hovering right over him? That’s something I would pay to see.” The guy side eyed Paul, hesitated, then turned and walked away. “Maybe, chuckled Paul, “he thought I was talking about him.”.
Before he hit the road, Paul went back to Scratch Bakery. It had a far better “capp” there but when he drove up to it he saw the line was out the door. He drove the extra 3 blocks to the much quieter Café Atlantique where he was the day before. He heard the barista tell another customer the same thing he was told two days earlier at Scratch. “Why is does it take 20 minutes to prepare food here too?” Too hot for a “Capp”, he bought an iced cold brew.
He drove, incident free, back to the apartment. He checked that he left nothing behind, loaded the car, and tried not to run into the dragon lady killer nurse landlady again. He lowered his six-four frame to climb in, closed the door, and was just about to turn the key…
“Why do we still use that expression when cars now are button pressed to start?” he thought to himself when suddenly the dragon lady magically appeared. “How the fuck does she do that?” “How did she know I was here?”
He and she had the usual end of Air B&B stay chat. “Gimme a good review.” are her final words. “Are we on Broadway?” “Was she viewing me in the room?” “I wonder if she reviewed my morning routine.” Now that was creepy.
“What could happen next?”
Paul pulls out of the drive way and goes the half a block to swing around to get outta town and suddenly he sees a guy standing in the middle of the street pulling back a hunter’s bow and arrow and shooting it up a driveway.
“Holy Shit.” He put his foot down and drove a bit faster than he had planned.
He checked WAZE and was shocked to see it said it would only take 1:04 to get home using the usually traffic jammed I-95. “Good. Now I don’t have to get slowed down by the Merritt Parkway Fools on the Hills.” Until that is, he got stuck in non-traffic traffic. Once again WAZE told him there would now be delays. Paul wondered if the app could say what it really means…
“Stupid people drive slowest in the far left passing lane. It is faster passing everyone in the right lane. You have been transported to the UK.”
“Stupid people drive slower as soon as they see any orange construction related sign whether or not there is construction.” “Stupid people will resume speed at the ROAD WORK ENDED sign.”
Then Paul thought he heard WAZE say, “God help you.”