Languid: that's the feeling around me. No anxiety, no pressure, no need to rush-rush. Minutes take their time. I feel my brow relax; no more furrows. I ask myself: Can life really be this sweet all the time? My smile is the answer.
Somewhere in the distance, the sound of people on a boat, the calls of frolicking birds. My shoulders lose their hunch. Another scent: perfume. My smile becomes a grin.
The perfect life is spread before us, the novelist J.B. Priestly once wrote, and at this moment I believe him. Nothing bad can touch this place. No one can intrude.
I am clean and sober. No more pills or powders, no more trying to live up to a reputation that never fit my frame. No more need to bang out paragraphs created by pain. I realize I could spend the rest of my days here and never write another word and be complete. Everything I've ever wanted — peace, tranquility, happiness — surrounds me. There's even music — the lovely piano coda to "Layla," with Duane Allman's bottleneck slide providing the call of the birds. I close my eyes and remember that the man who wrote the beautiful music was a genius who killed his mother.
I open my eyes and reach for my phone. I tap the snooze button to turn off the music. The sun on the lake's water still winks behind my eyes.