Paradise Without Sex
The syncopated pounding of the driving rain on the taut canvas umbrella mirrored my pecking on the keyboard of my laptop, as I sat safely under its protective covering, grinding out prose and peering through the sheets of grey rain, fighting a growing frustration.
I saved, stood up, still under the umbrella, hesitated, then dashed through the raindrops, with every single one of them seeming to hit me, so much for being lucky. I reached the sliding glass door of my deck and slid it open and stood inside on the mat, wondering how I got this wet during a mere six foot gallop.
I toweled off with a sweater that was on the arm of a chair, and went to the kitchen and leaned on the sink. Outside, through the bay window, the rain was unrelenting. I'd grown used to an interesting dichotomy that came with a tropical rain storm: 85 degree temperature, and you could even break a sweat. Growing up in California had forced me to always associate rain with winter and winter-like conditions. It simply didn't rain when it was warm there.
Mexico had helped expand my horizons, learning to enjoy perspiring walks in the rain on the beach.
My cabana, balanced on 40 sturdy wooden legs driven ten feet deep into the sand, faced the Pacific Ocean, which even in this pelting rain, still lapped casually onto the beach about forty feet from my deck. That was another visual oddity in the tropics. The sky violently assaulting the ground with a paint ball of grey water, yet the ocean remaining indifferent, as if it was a bucket under a polite spicket, allowing itself to be filled.
I had all the creature comforts of my California condo here. Satellite TV with all the channels a man could want, refrigerator with ice maker, a must down here. No neighbor within 100 yards in any direction, which encouraged my loud Jimmy Buffett concerts each day at Happy Hour, to come rolling out of the oversized oak-encased speakers which hung from the ceiling in soft cotton macramé plant hangers in all four corners of my living room. Hammocks for my speakers. How appropriate. It was a designing technique I stole from a brother-in-law years ago, but always looked out of place in polite society. Here in the tropics, they looked natural and rarely drew a second glance from visitors.
I continued staring out the window at the mesmerizing rain, coming down hard and unrelenting. It still felt odd to me to feel frustration. About anything. Since I'd moved here 4 years ago, wealthy enough to live as I please, wealthy enough to write only when I wanted to, wealthy enough to keep my condo in the Bay Area just in case I needed to dip my toe into a cold ocean, I'd wholeheartedly embraced the concept of paradise. Of a hearty breakfast, when desired. Of skipping lunch for a couple of Margarita's. Of listening to Frank Sinatra at Happy Hour as my lead-in to Buffett and the occasional Kenny Chesney tune. Of assuming a bad Aussie accent every time I put some wonderful Pacific Ocean prawns on the Barbie.
I'd reduced life so it consisted only of the things I was passionate about. Accomplishing a long-coveted goal, while at the same time lowering my blood pressure, escaping the rat race of city life, and crafting an existence that allowed my mind to go wherever it wanted, all the time.
Freedom. I like to distill life whenever possible, and that word comfortably fits as the solitary descriptive term for what I had created for myself here in Mexico.
Which is why I was curious now, turning away from the sink and pulling a cold bottle of dark Mexican beer out of the refrigerator, as to why frustration had burbled to the surface of my sunset-soaked persona. I turned again toward the deck, watching the rain soak into my hammock, the accompanying light breeze making it sway slightly. It was a peaceful sight. I felt better.
It was my writing that was bugging me. I was trying to create a sex scene, and it felt forced. Ironic. Writing a bad sex scene, where there was awkwardness and fumbling, was almost exactly like living it. It was frustrating. How nice, I thought. Sex translates to paper, and vice versa, very cleanly and seamlessly. Or so it seemed. A well-written sex scene will get you hot. A poorly contrived one will leave you mildly annoyed.
I shook my head and took a long pull on the bottle. The rain began to let up. Storms floated overhead in cells down here. The sky could often go from deluge to sunshine within minutes. Not unlike life itself, as any Lottery winner would tell you.
I decided to abandon my story for the moment. Went back outside, where it was now a weak drizzle. Logged off and closed my lap top and toted it back inside.
I returned to the deck, closed the umbrella and unhooked one end of the hammock and shook it violently to remove any water that might choose to fall off, like ridding a blanket of potato chips on the beach. The direct tropical sun that hit my deck most days would dry it out in a matter of minutes.
I leaned on the railing, beer in hand, and watched the clouds scud past my slice of heaven. It was almost 4 O'clock. The sun appeared, as if by magic.
Happy Hour awaits, I thought. A real drink, some tunes, and probably a grilled steak dotted the mental calendar of my immediate future.
Who needed sex?
Especially bad sex.