School had been over for about a week,
My legs hurt,
My body was tired,
An ankle was acting up,
My mind was tired,
I needed a break.

Along came a vacation,
Which, technically, I was already on,
But this was one that was away from home,
Off in an exotic location,
With none of the trappings
That were chipping away at my psyche.

Funny,
I ran more,
I swam more,
I rode more,
I worked out more
I drank more and probably ate more, too.

My legs felt better,
My body didn’t feel tired,
My ankle quit hurting,
My mind was fresh,
I was living in a perfect space
Free from whatever was causing the tension.

I’ve been home a little more than twenty-four hours,
I’ve exercised three times,
Gotten a full night of sleep,
Stayed away from the booze,
Rearranged my basement and cleared out
Some unnecessary stuff.

My ankle is talking shit again.
My legs want nothing to do with movement.
My shoulder has that old trendy fitness pain.
I’m having a hard time concentrating.
The general tightness is returning and
I’ve still got three more weeks of summer vacation left.

What could be the issue?
Familiarity?
Routinization?
Heatwaves?
Mouth breathing?
Who knows.

I miss those lazy days at the beach.
Carrying that damn palace of a canopy was a chore.
I miss waking up at the crack
To go run or ride all alone.
I miss hanging on the deck
Laughing with my family about all sorts of nonsense.

Soon school will start.
The mornings will go dark again.
I’ll spend my days without any sunlight.
Maybe I’ll find a way to be one of those super teachers,
I will be counting down the weeks until SIC,
Forty-nine and counting.

All alone with my dog,
Listening to Phish,
Wondering where the days have gone.
In a few hours, twenty-one of them
Will have passed by in the blink of an eye.
This last one started out under red flag fog
And gave way to about the best day
Of body surfing
Since the 85th and Atlantic days
Back in my youth.

Everyone has gone home,
Everyone who made this time so great.
Each day a test of endurance,
Beach time,
Clean-up time,
Alone time,
Each day better than the last,
Each day a surprise,
Whether it was sandwich pickpocketing seagulls
Or surprise waves with wrestling top rope force.

It’s just me and E, my trusty pit bull,
Who won’t take his eyes off me,
I think he is worried I’ll leave him,
But that’s not the case,
I’m looking for one more short morning run in the sand,
A ceremonial retirement of some old shoes, and
Then he and I will jam to Phish all the way home,
Some two or so hours away, back
To the oppressive heat sans the ocean breeze,
But back with all the people I love.

Last night, I waited to find some inspiration.
I waded into YouTube,
The algorithm provided with nothing,
Nothing except for a good meditation
Which is usually good for some inspiration.
Not last night.
So I deep dove into Netflix,
Setting for a long-timer in My List,
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,
A movie I must have seen with my parents
Or on cable at some point.
I could not remember anything about the movie,
Not even this morning
Just after watching it last night
Which is either a commentary on the movie
Or where my attention span is at this point.
There are only a few days left of this
Vacation within a vacation.
I at the perfect level of peacefulness
Realizing the lack of need for most of what the
Routinized life has to offer.
Soon, I’ll be back in there,
Toiling in the mundane,
Jelly headed from reality
And whatever 1970s action flick I watch next.

I woke this morning tired,
Sun weary, just beaten down
By a non-stop week of family,
Exercise, beaching…
Vacation.
With two more to go,
Sitting this morning out
Became a real option,
I’ll exercise later,
Set up the beach stuff,
Maybe even swim a very little,
But today I’m about restoration,
A little break from the grind
Before getting back at it tomorrow.

Yeah, right.