May 6, 2003

From Gerald R. Lucas

Dinner and a Walk

Giles took the afternoon off yesterday, so we made a geek run to Tampa. We met in Borders to browse some magazines—Giles flipped through car and amateur pilot mags while I scanned the latest offerings from BMW in a British motorcycle rag—then we went to CompUSA to see the Apple products have been moved to the front of the store. Curious to see the new iPods, we continued to the Apple Store in International Mall. The new design is nice, but it's not yet time for an upgrade. I can’t understand their choice of red backlights for their new buttons; nor can I understand the need for new buttons. Well, a hit product must remain hip, I guess.

After the mall, we sought out BMW Motorcycles of Tampa Bay on Gunn Highway. I looked at the new bikes for 2003; I think I like the R1150s—sporty, but capable of carrying hard luggage for touring. I still like the R1100R, but they don't make that anymore. That's fine, since I have no business buying a new bike right now anyway, for several reasons. Terry’s old BMW will be just fine for me for a time. Once I have ridden that for a while, I can trade it for a later model, maybe even my favorite R1100R. The BMW place left much to be desired, compared to the two dealerships I've been to in Atlanta, so we went off searching for food.

Giles and I had a good conversation over dinner. We talked about the allure of New York City and the possibility of moving there one day—not just Allenesque fantasies of Manhattan, but actual logistical stuff, too. He recently had a lengthy phone conversation with a relative who lives up there, and rather than dissuading, she suggested that if he could find the means to actually make it happen (read: money), then she thought he would never leave. Quite an endorsement. Possibilities.

I was able to get back to the beach before sunset, so I took some photos while walking. The sea calls to me through time, I guess. Perhaps spending most of my formative years within a short driving distance of the gulf has written itself into my psyche. I sat on a sea wall for a time listening to the siren song of the breaking surf, thinking about where I am in my life right now. Sunset gazers passed periodically, but the encroaching twilight made their features indistinguishable—just passing shadows for my company. How many shadows have passed by me in my life? How many shadows have I made of others; how many have I become for others? The scythe of a moon (waxing, I think) quickly chased the pink residue of the sun as the world receded into darkness, leaving only the calming white noise of the gulf. I vacated my seat after a while to walk back up the beach, but I think I was smiling.