The fall appeared to have finally fallen in our ever expanding city. Last weekend the water in the pool started to feel cooler, and I knew I was going to have to find an alternative exercise for the following few months. As the summer flutters away, and the autumnal evenings set in, the reminder that seasons come and go, in my opinion, is never more evident. As the days get shorter, the shelves in the supermarkets are filled with Christmas goodies, and normality gives way to fantasy, and I ask of the former, 'When will I see you again?' Fantasy is not always so bad. After all, (to digress slightly) when the Three Degrees made famous the song mentioned in the previous sentence, I was living a teenage fantasy. The smash hit always brings back fond memories as when this was top of the pops I went to Spain for a vacation with my friend Lesley, her sisters, her parents and her grandmother! We were leaving behind our forlorn boyfriends, and serenaded them with a rendition before our departure. At 14 years old, we were in love, and in the words of the trio, we were all going to suffer (suffer) and cry the whole fort night through. Whenever the tune hits the airwaves, it never fails to bring back happy thoughts, of times long gone, and the summer!
However, back to reality, as the weather was somewhat dubious, Samantha suggested we go to the car dealership for a test drive, to determine once and for all whether her choice of car was suitable. Although it was not my ideal way to spend a Saturday, I acquiesced and Dana agreed to come and negotiate, as I do not play well with others when it comes to salesmen. Their patter does have a negative effect upon me, as in my attempt to not be taken in, my tone becomes slightly more aggressive, and my 'no nonsense' policy causes me to say 'thank you and goodbye!' As Samantha was adamant about the purchase, I felt I would not be the best conferee and therefore enlisted my very capable husband to do the honours! The salesman led us inside the main building, sat us at his desk, and said he was going to find the keys to the vehicle which Samantha wished to test drive, with the anticipation of eventual purchase. A trip to the manufacturers in Japan, with a flight delay and a thorough search by customs officials would have taken less time! (Literary license is a beautiful thing!) We sat waiting at a desk, watching as the clouds overhead clustered and eventually burst. Thoroughly bored, I sat back and listened to the piped music, determined to look frustrated and aggravated, but as the salesman returned, the words, 'Oooh, aaaah, precious moments' came wafting through the room, and my lips could not help but curl into a smile which in turn transformed into a very large grin, as the talented trio continued with the timeless line, 'When will I see you again?' Try as I might, I could not convey the sheer irritation I wished him to see, but instead looked like a Cheshire cat! Completely at ease, and assuming I had accepted his apologetic excuses, he took Dana and Samantha to the waiting vehicle, and I sent Lesley a message to let her know what had happened!
As the trio (the dragsters rather than the degrees) returned, Rod Stewart was debating on whether he should return to school, as the ever popular Ms Mae was giving him a 'hard time', and once again, although the mind was willing, the look of lethargy was absent upon my face. Unfortunately, and not for the want of trying on the salesman's part, the purchase could not take place, as the other dealership with whom the diplomatic mediator (Dana) was talking, were able to give Samantha a better offer. After what seemed an eternity, three disappointed faces were upon those bidding each other farewell. The fourth face was beaming as Elton John confirmed, 'The Bitch is back!'
The rain had subsided, and I chose to spend the remainder of my afternoon, by the pool, as I returned to my house. The water felt tepid as the outside temperature had dropped considerably. Once again, the only people taking advantage of the cooler, more pleasant surroundings, were the Europeans. My German neighbour, Frank, welcomed me. We spoke for a while, and noticed a buzzard circling around the trees behind the pool. Before long there were enough birds to encourage Alfred Hitchcock wannabees into a studio to direct a sequel! After a few minutes of fidgeting, I got up to see if there was any reason for the mass influx of winged beings, and spotted the very black cloud surging towards our little piece of paradise. I hoped the birds were flying away from the storm and were not purely looking for a feast! With the chance of a tempest, Frank announced it was time for him to leave. He had the phone number of a lady whom he thought may be worth pursuing, and I told him to let me know whether I needed to buy a hat! Totally bewildered, I had to explain that it was, indeed, a joke and it became apparent that only the English talk about the purchase of head-apparel when referring to forthcoming nuptials! Alone again, and before the sun started to set, I took out my book and began to read. Interruption came in the form of a phone-call from the ever disappointed daughter. Although the northern dealership would honour the price they quoted, they didn't have the exact colour she required, in the model she wanted, and they would have to drive it up from San Antonio on Monday. After expressing more than three degrees of disenchantment, and how she would have to suffer (suffer) and cry two whole nights through, she asked what I was doing. I told her that I was enjoying some precious moments by the pool, 'just me and some birds'. Presuming I was talking in slang as we have a tendency to do when wishing not to be understood, (oooh ahhh) she replied, 'which ones?' Explaining that I was talking literally, referring to the feathered variety, she reverted back to her disappointment. Trying to spread encouragement, I attempted to lift her countenance by a degree or three, but failed!
Reducing my pool time to the weekends is always a little sad. As the degrees rise and fall, and this time of year it is normally by multiples of three rather than single digits, I do look at the cool blue water and wonder, 'When will I see you again'. We do not often suffer (suffer) through the winter, but we can never really be sure from one day to the next whether flip flops or boots will be preferable footwear choice. Having said that, I do live in Austin and boots are always an option, even when the degrees rise into three figures!
Samantha, I might add, has spent many precious moments with her new car, which she did acquire, then had to send back for a couple of things to be attended to, but she did not have to wait forever, and certainly did not suffer (suffer) for very long. As for me, I had to dig out the walking shoes among the handbags and glad rags (mixing artists as opposed to metaphors!) and shall begin the new regime very shortly. The hat has come out of hibernation and I shall look forward to my end of day march around the complex. However, this afternoon I was able to enjoy the coolness of the water, and swam until the sun went from the pool. Enjoying our evening repast, however was really quite amusing, and ..... another story.