"Memories flooded in"
That fateful call.
I sat up on the sofa, shook my head a few times to snap my brain back into a semi-conscious state, and glared down at the offending phone. ‘Unknown caller’.
Could it be the young woman with the cute little blue ukulele from the market? Had she gotten my number from someone wanting to find out more about the musical gatherings?
She obviously enjoyed playing along and seemed to fit right in. Probably not. Just let it go to voicemail. But what if it was her? Doubtful. But maybe?
Whoa! … that voice. It most certainly was not the one I expected to hear. I hadn’t heard that voice in quite some time.
Memories flooded in.
We had been weekend sailing buddies a couple of decades back (it’s been that long?). Competition was fierce to prove who could ‘fly a hull’ for the longest time without dipping those glossy smooth fiberglass keels back in the water or wiping out in spectacular fashion.
Having one of those fast, nimble beach catamarans flip and 'turn turtle' under your skipperage would bring an adrenaline-fueled impromptu race to an embarrassing, ego-crushing, monumentally undignified end.
Hobie Beach on Key Biscayne in Miami was the place to be on weekends back in the day. It didn't matter if you were a multi-millionaire or a beach bum (I was contentedly on the ‘simple living’ side of that spectrum), we were all equals in our shared passion for showing off wind-driven, rooster-tail wakes while flying gleaming ninja-blade hulls just inches above the choppy turquoise waters of breezy Biscayne Bay. Good times, good times…
The times felt different back then, mind you. The world didn’t feel so busy, crowded, ... and strained.
I was not aware of any threats to the oceans and beaches I loved so dearly nor did I have any doubts about the vitality and direction of the U.S. economy — still offering so much hope and opportunity to so many.
The future looked promising.
Indeed, everything started to change course around the turn of the century.
There was a growing suspicion that perhaps the American Dream — and the wildly successful fossil-fueled infinite-economic-growth story it was built upon — came with a best-used-by date. And we had completely ignored it.
The product was beginning to sour.