11 BC. Beautiful sunny day, prelude to fall, some trees having shyly begun turning red already. The wind is blowing steadily from the southwest, raising white caps on English Bay, shaking the relative summer heat off. The air smells of coffee, literally and metaphorically.
I’ve had Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville in my head all morning, God knows why. Marc and Danny, sipping on their 12-year-old Flor de Caña, would roll in laughter if they knew – Vinny mumbling to himself in the streets of Vancouver, “Don’t know the reason, stayed here all season…”
Not sure if I should be ashamed or amused, or both. But after so much water has flowed under foreign bridges, these songs I used to mock have taken place into the brightly colored picture of my Caribbean days. They bring up a sweet nostalgia. Those were the days. Buffet’s song are about nothing serious, about beach bums and the unbearable lightness of being. They speak of the eternal quest for a reason, quenched by a few drinks and re-triggered by a few more. They remind me of a lifestyle without a style, hypnotically regular, lacking shirts and shoes but filled with salty sun, with for only season one of hurricanes, for only calendar one set by the landing of small planes. A life splashed by the hilarious antagonistic stories of outsiders and locals, tourists and residents, them and us…
Back in the Little Cayman days, our two dive boats were called Havana Daydreaming and Banana Wind. Now I finally see why.