Friday, October 18, 2013

miss marple visits melaque

I believe I have become a gentleman of a certain age.

Everything I experience is filtered through the gauze of analogy.  You know how that goes.  "Would you look at that, Martha?  That Eiffel Tower thing looks just like the Zimmerman silo back home."

I am starting to feel like Miss Marple.  Everything I see has a counter-part in St. Mary Mead.  Or, in my case, to my own experiences.

Last night was another of those resurrected experiences.  I was having dinner with three friends at a bay-side restaurant.  The food was fine.  And the company engaging.  But the peace at the center I was experiencing had tendrils dating back more than forty years.

The year was 1974.  The place was Greece.  A seafood restaurant in Vouliagmeni -- outside of Athens.

That summer was a time of turmoil.  Greece and Turkey had been on the verge of war over Cyprus.  President Nixon's fading grasp on the White House had just been released.  Friends of America were dying in Athens through the treachery of Philip Agee.

But that evening in Vouliagmeni, my thoughts were far away from the world's problems.  I was dining with friends who I had worked with during the previous year.  They were giving me a much-appreciate send off to England.

Like a lot of memories, the details fade into water colors.  But the setting is as stark as a Vermeer oil.

The summer heat fading into a warm evening.  The sun setting over the Saronic Gulf turning Sia's hair into cascades of gold.

The marina with its grab bag of boats and yachts.  My plate of octopus and feta.  They all mix together into something less than a clear memory. Closer to a warm emotion.  A joy that can be trivialized with a "One of the happiest days of my life" label.

And I felt that same way last night.  The four of us simply enjoyed one another's company.  The sunset?  Not very grand.  But we had great fun discovering Disney characters in the horizon clouds and turning them into evil creatures -- as redundant as that sounds.

At my age, being able to recycle last night as a fond memory forty years from now is not very likely.  In fact, that sounds a bit like a nightmare.

But I no longer need to recycle the new because my life is becoming a pastiche of enjoyable experience layered on enjoyable experience.  I am healthy and have all of the time in the world to enjoy my life here in Mexico.

And for a life lived as a musical comedy, that is not a bad final act.

Here's hoping for several more show-stopping numbers before the curtain comes down.

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