“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” Mark Train
Well, one day it just rolled off my tongue perhaps as I stumbled into my ten-year-old son’s room and beheld the sight and the smell of his room a foot-deep in filth that had risen there in just a few short hours since I had cleaned it last.
“I’m done!” I shouted. “I’ve had it! I’m moving to Bimini.”
I remember my son’s jaw-dropped expression and I wasn’t sure if it was the spectacle of my usually composed self losing it before his eyes, the finality of my tone that must have been frightening for a young boy, or the fact that he had no idea where Bimini was.
And to tell the truth I didn’t know where it was either. Not then and not for a long time. I just figured it was in the South Seas, though, like Fiji or Bali, Tahiti or Hawaii. If it ended with an “i”, it had to be in the South Seas. And it had to be the definition of Paradise. Bimini sounded to me even more remote than the other i-ending islands. The others were too touristy, I reasoned, and therefore not secluded enough. Bimini would probably be semi-deserted which would give me the solitude I so craved, yet populated enough to have all the modern conveniences like movies on-demand, one-cup-at-a-time coffeemakers, and one of those memory foam mattresses that I’m told NASA invented.
In Bimini I would rent a bungalow. (That’s really a more acceptable word for “shack”.) I would watch the sunrise but I wouldn’t have to get up early to do it. I would never miss a sunset either. I would make sure that I was fully awake and unfettered at precisely the right time to contemplate the sun’s lollygagging on the horizon. And I would remember each sunset, too. Or maybe I would take pictures so I wouldn’t forget. Every day in Bimini I would consider the hue of the azure water and marvel at the talcum powder sand.
And I would write.
Oh yes, I would write because I love to write. But only the things I wanted to write, like my feelings, my reflections, my philosophies. And then someone would come to my bungalow every now and then and pick up my hand-scribbled pages and publish them. And they would send me royalty checks in return. But not huge checks. Modest sums. I’m not greedy. These would take care of my basic needs like food and shelter and clothing and a hairdresser who would come to me and touch up my roots and add highlights for that sun-kissed look year-round. Hey, I wouldn’t even expect food delivery. I was willing, nay eager, to go to a restaurant and order from a menu.
It was…after all my Bimini.
Twenty years later, just out of curiosity, I decided to look this place up on the Internet – this place that had become my symbol of the perfect place. To my surprise Bimini is not in the South Seas at all but right off the coast of the US, forty-five miles from Miami, the closest Bahamian island to our country’s shore. I was a little disappointed at first but also a little relieved that my Paradise wasn’t so far away. Or was it?
More on the actual island of Bimini later.