Blue Bird of Happiness

Posted: June 9, 2014 in World On The Edge

post_display_cropped_open-uri20130628-18510-1xmmjkbMerry Monday!

Here is the first page of the sixth story in Birds of a Feather, the question of the day, and the multiple choice answers for the comment box below.

Guess the story theme. Is it…..?

1. A day at the beach
2. Bluebird calls
3. Resurrection

Blue Bird of Happiness

Halloween. Old Florida Highway 98. Right turn toward the Gulf, a procedural deviation from integrity. Procedure is programmed into the mind of a physician. Even some deaths are scheduled.

The sun roof is open and the windows down. I turn the Lexus into the parking lot of The Boat Dock Bar, crushing primeval oyster shells beneath Michelin Energy tires while triangular flags slap plastic, carrot-colored polka dots against a hallowed, sapphire sky, and an incongruent blast of music shuts out the pious breath of waves.

There are lots of bars in Destin, but this one is set apart. The Boat Dock Bar claimed her Gulf-front spot when the town was just another Florida fishing hole, and then held to it, regenerating like the tail of a lizard after Hurricane Dennis. When the hurricane hit, my wife, Felicia, heard about The Boat Dock’s fate and called from her law office to tell me. Four people in plastic masks, drunk enough to think they could ride out the hurricane on a walkway with weak railings, were swallowed by the sea.

The walkway was the bar’s first renovation. Crossing the wood planks, I pass a memorial sign that reads: ‘To the Flawed and Fallen,’ and I’m envious of the bar’s resurrection.An outside voice enters in. Envy is normal  and shouldn’t be suppressed. It simply needs to be properly channeled. A lesson I learned in Group Therapy. Never mind the maternal negation in my head —that envy is a cardinal sin opening the soul to greater vices.

I didn’t have time for a change of clothes, so I’m still dressed in a pair of new khaki shorts I paid eighty-five dollars for at the outlet two weekends ago, the last time I was down here. I wear no socks with my loafers, no underwear for easy disrobing, and no shave since I left Birmingham. A wealthy woman I met here once—a woman with hungry eyes, but too old for me—summed me up by saying I had a neat, charmingly passive, appearance. I doubt she would say the same today; there’s a salsa splatter on my expensive Polo shirt from a drive-in lunch on the way down, and then a swerve of the Lexus to avoid the unavoidable.

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