Tonight I was driving home from the store and I heard Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville on the radio. I never listen to the radio, but I happened to be driving a car that didn’t have an auxiliary outlet to plug a phone into, so… it was either Bette Midler on NPR or Jimmy Buffet. I went with the beach.
I got a bit depressed today. I’m not sure why. I think it’s seasonal – it’s not uncommon for me to feel down this time of year. Today is the first really cold day of the year, it’s the end of Daylight Savings tonight, and you can finally feel things starting to hunker down for the winter. Seems my heart does the same. At least I guess that was it.
When my mom was sick and dying, I became obsessed with Jimmy Buffet. I had Sirius XM at the time, and whenever I could, I’d listen to the Jimmy Buffet channel. He’s so easy-going, and fun and happy – and he sings about things like cheeseburgers and Margaritas and mangoes… I kept telling myself, when this was all over, I was going to go to Florida and be a beach bum and not do a damn thing for a very long time.
“This” ended up being 13 weeks of the coldest, loneliest winter ever. Every night for 13 weeks, I would go to bed scared to go to sleep because I was afraid of what might happen that night. Every day I got up afraid of what new pain would reveal itself that day. Thinking about Jimmy Buffet and escaping to Florida was sometimes the only way I could get by. And I didn’t really care.
I never made it to Florida after my mom died. I took a few days off and finally went back to work. I don’t know if I didn’t have the courage to do it, or if it just didn’t seem as important anymore. Whatever the reason, I pretty much just forgot about it. Until tonight.
I did go off to the beach later that year, though – my grandma’s beach house in Sunset Beach, CA. I went by myself, for 2 weeks. I had a few adventures, and met some new friends, including a real nice pen pal. It was lonely, but it was good. But I’m not sure I’d categorize it as escaping. It was simply a vacation…
Regardless, I don’t listen to Jimmy Buffet anymore. I guess I don’t need to escape so badly after all. Even on days like this, when I am down, and feeling disconnected and a little lost, the sky is still blue enough and the air is still clear enough right where I am.