I can’t think of any predictions or expectations, ambitions or dreams for the upcoming year. I feel numbed from reading the innumerable, estimable 2010 articles. Partly it’s being on this island and feeling removed from the world, and even from time. I got to the boardwalk in Phillipsburg on New Year’s Eve just in time to see the fireworks at midnight. My friends and I got drinks and walked over to the beach. We waited. Someone had 4 minutes until midnight, the other two had 2 minutes. 2 minutes went by and nothing happened. Then another 2 went by and nothing happened. Nobody around us seemed concerned, and nobody was counting down. Then a rocket went spiraling up in the air. “Happy New Year!” I cried, figuring somebody had to call it. “Happy New Year” my friends said. Here even 2010 is on island time.
For New Year’s day, we had a big, fortifying breakfast and went to the beach. The weather was idyllic and I had some supremely Caribbean-themed light reading. Walking back to the car at the end of the day, we saw a baby donkey. It was just standing there, nibbling grass then walking down into the sand. While the island boasts more farm animals than I ever saw growing up in Georgia, a donkey roaming the beach was a whole new thing! We started to take photos when it’s perturbed owner appeared. He called to it and tried to grab its harness, but the donkey gaily trotted away through families of prone French tourists. All the beach-goers were startled, and the owner walked fast to herd (eventually) the donkey into the parking lot and away from the beach. It was very funny and very strange. It’s hard to think seriously about life when you’re laughing at donkeys.
So I’m on island time, distracted and amused by a new place, and, to top it off, hot. It’s very difficult to think when you are hot. While watching the long fireworks show, I felt that I really didn’t care about doing too much–that I was quite happy with things just as they are. I’m like a fat cat being scratched and purring. It’s a little ridiculous, and it certainly won’t last, but I am utterly relaxed. In fact, I might just take a mid-morning cat nap.