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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Despite it all...

I'll admit, my first and final post from the Bahamas was a bit bleak. It was one of those times when I should've just hit delete and waited until I got home. However, I use this blog to help me remember the high and low points in my psyche, so it remained. Thanks to all the people who e-mailed pep talks.

Despite it all, though, there were more than a few interesting things that happened while I was gone. I don't even know if I feel like writing about them. Here are just a few highlights to help me remember that, if anything, this life introduces me to some very interesting and fun people.

***

The lounge is no more than a hotel bar during most weeks. This week, however, it is home to some of the most ridiculous gambling and drinking in the world. I made it my home away from home in the few hours I wasn't working. One night, I sat with my friend B.J. and several other friends. B.J. had been given an uninflated soccer ball and was trying to inflate it with his mouth. I offered him 10-1 on $50 that he couldn't blow it up enough to make it roll across the floor. He didn't take the bet...and then proceeded to blow up the ball with his mouth. In this case, I got lucky to not lose $500, while still seeing the feat performed. I'll just let you guess how he did it.

***

It was going on 2am and I was standing on a balcony overlooking a harbor full of yachts that cost more than my entire neighborhood. I was talking to two guys, neither of whom are American or live on the same continent. As you might guess, the subject of obscene wealth came up. We wondered aloud how we would handle ourselves if we had enough money to buy and maintain one of the yachts. One of the guys said that his aunt and uncle had become unexpectedly very wealthy and later wished they had not.

"If you don't mind me asking," I said, "how did they earn their money?"

"They invented Trivial Pursuit."

***

For the first time in seven days, I was sitting down for a real meal. My wife and I had been invited by a friend and his girlfriend. They were a good couple. I'd known the guy for a long time, but was just getting a chance to chat up the lady. As the conversation wound through every topic you might imagine, the subject of musical festivals and hippies came up. The girl revealed that she had spent the first five years of her life on The Farm, the nation's longest-running hippie commune. I couldn't help but be a little surprised. I might have even been an little incredulous. By the end of the night, however, I was not. By the time the wife and I were wiping the sand off our feet and changing clothes for the night, I felt better about the entire week.

Despite it all--the long hours, thankless work, and obscene disregard for money--I get to meet and hang out with some really interesting people.

And sometimes I think it's all worth it.

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Rapid Eye Reality is the personal blog of writer Brad Willis, aka Otis.
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