It Hardly Matters

Friday, July 14, 2006

Anatomy of an Expensed Martini

I’m drinking the most delicious dirty Bombay martini at this very moment. My computer is on a backgammon table. The hotel bar is itself delicious--it has that old New York bar feel, with dark wood and a hodgepodge of leather armchairs, rattan sofas, old sewing machines, and floor-to-ceiling windows allowing the aggresive sunset to pierce through the low-lit room. My table is too high for typing, ergonomically designed for drinkers, not writers. I always thought they were one in the same.

I’m a new woman after spending 2 hours by the pool. I went from an overly-air-conditioned, fluorescent-lit, windowless exhibit hall to a blindingly sunny patio with geckos running about, a few nonscreaming kids in the moderately-sized pool, and flowers, flowers. I hottubbed. I talked on the phone to my mom and to a friend, both in mid-crisis—they were lucky to have caught me at the only time on this trip when I was psychologically able to calm them down and respond earnestly, sympathetically, to their problems.

There is a woman sitting near me, part of two couples. She is elegant. Her arms are simple bones with flesh draped over them. Her shoulders are sunburned, her watch glints when she stirs her Diet Coke. An acceptably funky wooden costume necklace hangs from her roped neck. She knows her arms are her best feature, and in the mornings as she dresses she furrows her brow and bites her lips but then sees those long, thin arms.

I move outside to the porch. Much better. Sunset, pink flowers, cigarettes. And, as if it couldn’t get any better, the bartender brings me an ashtray. It’s glass, and old-fashioned. Perfection. Sunsets are so dramatic. In Egypt, the ancient people believed that each day was born to the goddess Nut, and died each night. So poor Nut would have to give birth every 24 hours. When I think about that, my life doesn’t seem so bad.

The olives taste like they’ve been surrounded by blue cheese for several weeks. Scrumptious. A storm cloud is passing overhead. Thunder. Weather changes so quickly in Florida, she’s a moody girl, like me.

I’m not seeing cross-eyed yet, but I’m close. It’s delightful. I’ll keep you posted.


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