I had, what appeared to be, a picture perfect life. I hit several of the picture’s requirements – nice job, lovely little flat with a nice commute to work and a dog for companionship. The job gave me the ability to travel and meet interesting people. I had it all. Except, maybe, a job I cared about. I punch in, I punch out and the hours between pass by slowly. I need a break and some excitement. All this is probably why I find myself renting a beach house in an out of the way of corner of the world. At least I still had my dog.
I’d been with the company long enough I qualified for the sabbatical granted to employees who managed to stick around fore more than seven years. Most of the people who stick it out that long are the ex-academics who use the sabbatical to tune back into their former lives on this or that. I didn’t have that connection, and more surprising to my coworkers was the fact that I had been around long enough to qualify. I was low enough of the hierarchy that most of the lifetime employees didn’t notice my existence and most of my level rotated out after three years to more lucrative positions with other companies. Somehow, I never had bothered to move on and because of that, they’re trying to find someone to fill in for me while I try to figure out my life in thirty days or less.
The beach house where I planned on finding myself was a find in itself. The house was a sprawling affair on stilts on the end of the island. The real road ended a mile up the island. To get to the house, you have to have a jeep or decent four wheel drive and not slip too much in the packed sand. From the wrap around deck, the view of water and untamed land beckoned. The houses out this far were spaced so you didn’t feel like you were on top of one another. The solitude was a wonderful contrast to the cubicle living I had been in almost constantly since I finished college.
I had known since I finished college I would have to pay my dues professionally. Since then, I have made friends and talked with the right people. Somehow, others have always received the credit for my work. And because the work has been nothing I’ve been proud of, I have yet to see the point to argue. What drove me to this sabbatical was finally having a project that I did care about and worked very hard to get launched only to have it corrupted and stolen away from me as it neared completion. With this change, I couldn’t focus on even pretending to play nice with others. It was time to get out.
But the big question – What Next? I hoped to find out here.
For those curious, I did get a late start. Very late start. But I’m going to see how much damage I can do for the next fourteen days anyway. You might have noticed an entry below called Last tango at Paris hotel. I have no idea why that has stuck with me…but I’m using it as a proceeding event. For the curious…here’s my start:
Rain dripped drearily against the window. The sound, on any weekend morning would be a soothing balm against whatever plans she originally might have sketched for the day. Can’t do yard work, it’s raining outside. Those errands here and there would have to wait as well since nobody in their right mind goes slogging packages to and from the stores when rain could drip into them and make your car smell like wet dog for weeks afterward. No, the rain would herald a chance to roll over and cuddle deeper into the down comforter and reach for the book and glasses sitting on the nightstand. A few hours later and she would emerge from the realms whatever was on top of her stack had taken her and she’d stretch to start her day with whatever could be accomplished around the weather.
But this rain dripped down as if to further her misery. Instead of being a gateway to staying in her little haven it made leaving it that much worse. There would be fewer cabs available for the harrowing trip to the airport. Flights would be delayed once she got there. And the outfit she had carefully figured out was not meant for puddle jumping. This was probably the worst start to her trip that could possibly be imagined.
If anyone has any comments, please feel free to leave them here. If I do manage to get more done, I don’t know where I’ll post them but I can send the Nov 30th version to anyone curious.
The sun beat down on her. Drops of sweat beaded on her skin under the intense rays of the sun. Taking a cooling sip from her drink, she turned the final page and sighed over another happily ever after. The thing is, nothing happens like these are written. Disgusted with herself for dreaming for a moment, she tossed the book into the bag. The towel she had been laying on followed the book. The sarong she had set aside earlier was tied around her waist again and she headed off to the lobby.
“Ma’am, will you come with me?” A sleek, well dressed man slid up next to her and grabbed her elbow. “Quickly please, and no fuss.” He smiled down at her “I just need a dancing partner. We can leave your bag here.” He dropped her bag with a quick nod to the coat check as the two approached a grand ballroom off the lobby. “You know how to tango?”
“I’m – what – no?” Her heals clicked across the tile as he lead her onto the floor.
“Just pretend for the next few minutes that you want me naked upstairs and the only thing that’s keeping us from that is we have this dance.” He smiled again. “I just need you for a few minutes and then I’ll let you go, okay?”
“Um…sure…” As the music started flowing around them, her body tightened and locked into position. Her sarong swirled around her calves on the twirls and licked at his pants. Slowly she saw other couples drop off the floor and he led her masterfully through the the sequences and coloring it with his own flavor. Her leg wrapped around him and he pulled her up and then dropped her into a dip as it closed.
Polite applause followed them off the floor. Conversation resumed and the music changed pace as nobody wanted to follow that display. “Did I do okay?”
“You did fine.”
“Should I ask why you needed a tango partner enough to accost a strange woman out of the lobby?”
“Who says I needed a reason? Maybe I just wanted to feel you wrapped around me. For a woman who’s read three romance novels in a little more than a day, maybe I just wanted to see if her skills matched her reading taste.”
“what would you have done if I had argued? and why have you been watching me?”
“Have dinner with me and find out.”