Late morning was pleasantly sunny. Jeremy directed his feet toward the delicatessen overlooking the boat ramp. He was hungry.
A water taxi on a trailer was being slowly backed into the bay. The boat’s hull was black with decay. A man waving his arms near the water suddenly shouted: “Stop!”
Jeremy lingered on the deli’s sunlit patio, looking down at the scene with vague curiosity. He then stepped inside, carefully analyzed the choices and ordered a turkey and avocado sandwich with extra peppers.
He returned to the patio to wait.
The sunlight felt good. Shining pleasure craft bobbed in the quicksilver marina to one side of the ramp. The boats were empty. They shrugged on the water in rows, bright white, waiting, waiting.
A small pug waddled up from nowhere to the chair where Jeremy sat and pressed its nose against his ankle. Jeremy scratched behind the dog’s ear. The small dog pressed itself against his leg.
Runners from the nearby fitness center ran along the boardwalk. They ran with pumping legs and arms glistening in the sun. They followed a line, from the fitness center, past the marina, past the deli, to the boat ramp, back to the same place where they started, back and forth, up and down the boardwalk, sweating, arms swinging, back and forth, back and forth, wishful perpetual motion machines. Younger females. Older males.
Two motivations, realized Jeremy.
Fear of rejection. Fear of death.
It was a perfect day for a walk or a run. Sunlight in the open air always feels good. The runners passed through the warm sunshine on a day like any other.
Jeremy heard his name.
He returned to the patio with his fresh sandwich and found an open table. The pug came up to him again and pressed its nose against his ankle. Standing on the casually littered concrete, it stared up between Jeremy’s legs.
It was a fat little pug with demanding eyes. The animal stared directly at Jeremy’s carefully selected sandwich. It stood perfectly still. The eyes did not move.
Is there meaning in sunlight? In its warmth?
Jeremy, the philosopher, stared at the sandwich and felt sudden pain: his desperation for an answer.
But philosophy vanished the moment he took one bite. The sandwich tasted very good in warm sunshine.
Sparkling water lapped gently up the boat ramp.
Trailing black smoke, the water taxi was laboring across the bay into the distance. Its purpose: to pick up those many people who had places to go–places where sunshine might be.