There’s nothing better than. . .

There’s nothing better than standing in the kitchen of a rented beach condo eating a peanut butter, potato chip, and butter sandwich on plain old grocery store wheat bread. 

Wet hair, damp bathing suit, sand between the toes.  Slathered peanut butter, thick cold real butter, crispy salted potato chips on bread with barely enough oomph to hold it all.  Superb.

So much so that two are better than one.  The second one should be consumed in a chair on the balcony.  Maybe wash it down it with a Coke or perhaps an afternoon cup of coffee.

After a day at the beach, the body needs what that sandwich offers.  Salt after sweating, protein after swimming, fat just because it tastes good.  I love love love a peanut butter sandwich after a day at the beach.

I also love a frou-frou umbrella drink at the beachside bar. At about noon. I used to always have a daiquiri – strawberry — frozen, one shot and twice as much strawberry mix as usual – two drinks worth with half the alcohol, an all-afternoon sipper in a thermal cup.

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Walking

I like walking in the morning after a big snow.  The fluffy kind that eddies and swirls with each step.  When the silence is so profound it is a roar.  When all you can see is white. Frosted trees, curious mounds that used to be lawn furniture,  and the small tracks of some wild animal out foraging for breakfast.  When air sparkles silver and the shadows make interesting images on the white canvas of the snow.

I like walking at lunchtime with my close friend who is also my boss to the restaurant we have chosen for lunch.  I cannot often afford to do this any longer, but I miss those walks.  Idle chatter, not related to work, feet pounding cement,  me trying to keep up with a woman nine years my senior. 

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First Kiss

Gordon did a mean impression of Flip Wilson’s Geraldine.  He did.  I was always a sucker for a guy that could make me laugh. We were in sixth grade together and he was, of course he was, the class clown. He was a bit pudgy, had dark almost black hair, and big brown eyes.  He was taller than me – another trait I like in a romantic partner.  In sixth grade, it was hard come to find a boy my age that was taller than me. 

We were stationed at Camp Lejeune but living in town.  I was at a civilian school made up, primarily, of military brats.  Jacksonville was a very small town with absolutely nothing but 40,000 Marines.  My dad referred to it as the armpit of the world.

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The Odalisque

The odalisque sits staring off into the now.  Completely comfortable in her body, belly, thighs, and all.  She has come to terms with it and embraced her physical self.   

The artist is in love with color and is not concerned with flattering her, though she is gorgeous.  She is just what I need as a muse – a woman at ease in her skin, able to tell her story, and willing to do so to anyone who will listen or to remain silent – according to the whims of her audience. 

People talk of their muse as if a magical creature that drops art in their laps fully formed and ready to go.  No.  The muse is the inspiration for the art – the one who whispers in your ear….the stray thought that ties the piece together.   

Matisse’s model for the Odalisque series was Henriette Darricarrère.  She too was a painter.  She gives the appearance of complete comfort and rest while holding her poses – for ten hours at a time.  Art is not necessarily easy.   

The blue and white porcelain pot with the plant echoes the blue and white porcelain in the room I am in as I write this.  

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