Late morning was pleasantly warm. Jeremy directed his feet toward the deli overlooking the boat ramp. He was hungry.
A water taxi on a trailer was being slowly backed into the bay. 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 the deli, carefully analyzed the choices and ordered a turkey and avocado sandwich.
He returned to the patio to wait.
The sunlight felt good. Shining pleasure craft bobbed on pools of light in the small 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 singly, legs and arms glistening. 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 to walk or 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 empty 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 chosen sandwich. It stood perfectly still. The eyes did not move.
Is there meaning in light? In its warmth?
Jeremy, the philosopher, looked at his sandwich and felt the deep pain: his desperation for an answer.
But philosophy vanished the moment he took one bite. The sandwich tasted very good in the warm breeze.
Shining water lapped gently up the boat ramp.
Trailing smoke, the water taxi was laboring out across the bay into the distance. Its purpose: to pick up those many people who had places to go–places where sunshine might be.