In every direction, as far as I could see – nothing but water and sky and the sound of the wind whispering in the cup of my ear. Halyards clanked against the mast and the ocean curled past, creamy streaks of foam serving only to highlight the deep blue-green of the rushing water.

And then – what is that ahead? An island!

An island of tropical delights and temptations.

No – wait! A chain of islands! A miracle of islands! An archipelago! (One of my favorite words.)

The ocean is my determination – it is my good choices, my glasses of water and “oil and vinegar, please” requests and pumpkin seeds every morning; the sea is my pathway to better health.

The islands are where you can score some good shit – cane sugar and French fries and fresh, hot rolls. Islands are dangerous; it’s best if you avoid them. But if you’re sailing from here to there and your path takes you through the Federated States of Micronesia (which is nothing but islands), then you just have to do the best you can.

Christmas is my archipelago. I’ve got to pick up the kid over the next two days, and that means breakfast, lunch, and dinner at fast-food drive-up windows. I have the aforementioned box of goodies from my favorite client. I have lunch and dinner invitations. I’m going to the movies tonight with friends and the path to cinematic escapism lies, as you know, just past the concession stand.

And a lovely woman who just recently found out about the death of my husband expressed her love by sending me two containers of cookies – and so I IMMEDIATELY put on a pot of tea.

Go with the mint tea and honey? Or the Earl Grey with cream and lethal table sugar? Oh, what the hell. The islands are calling to me.

I’ll try to stay in deep water as much as possible, but I think the next week might just as well be considered shore leave. I’ll pay the sugar hangover price in the new year, so I’d best enjoy this indulgence while I can!


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