For the third time in as many days, I’ve awakened too early, vibrating with exhaustion. I thought when I exorcised my ex-husband Pretty Boy Boyd from my life, I would be facing a stress-free future, but nature hates a void, and the stress has rolled back in.
In this case, the stress is the result of that peculiar promise, “No good deed goes unpunished,” and my punishment seems far more severe than my good deeds. Ah, well.
In many ways the stress has been almost nostalgic, familiar. In other ways, it has been the enemy, sneaking in through the back screen door, having taken special care to oil the hinges and drug the cat.
So, this morning, as I walked up the lane from my turquoise conch cottage to hit golf balls at 3:00 a.m., I was glad to hear Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young drifting down from the jukebox. Since The Morning Guy was playing CSN&Y, I knew he must be in a good mood, the soda machine must be fully restocked, and Prentice the Pie Apprentice must have done well on her algebra exam.
I saw them both, sitting at opposite ends of the counter, bathed in the yellow glow of our faux gaslights, and I immediately relaxed, thinking some honeydew-yogurt dream pie would taste good, wishing I still drank coffee, and kissing stress good-bye at the door.
Friends, that is the magic of the Slice of Heaven 24-Hour Pie Shop and Driving Range, and how I’ve missed spending more time with you there. That, my dears, is the greatest antidote to stress that I know.
I was not the only one with her hair blown back by the winds of insomnia this morning either. Nurse Crotchett was already on the putting green, working her way out to longer and longer putts. Soon she’ll be at three feet, and then who knows what new challenges she will attempt.
I would love to have more customers like Crotchett. She pays her $10 for all the balls she can hit, but makes each effort such a study in preparation, she sometimes does not hit more than 10 in the same time that it takes me to hit 90. She certainly saves us a lot of wear and tear on the balls.
The sun is up now, and soon it will be time to read the headlines to your second-cousin Darnell. No, he’s not illiterate, but he did take the “What kind of learner are you?” quiz on Facebook, and now refuses to read since he’s audio-oriented and reading would be a waste of his precious time. (I, on the other hand, just refuse to take quizzes on Facebook.)
Perhaps tonight I will sleep. Perhaps I’ll dream of you and see your wonderful smile. For now though, I’ll just enjoy the pale light brightening around me, here at the little pie shop on the edge of the ’glades.