A familiar little voice in my head blurted, “get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air.” Was it telling me that I had been neglecting myself? I do spend a lot of time at the computer plying my trade as a novelist. It can give me a stiff and sore back. I ignore mealtime and the need to take a breather to rest my eyes. It is time, I was telling myself, to take it all outside. I can work on a laptop and read anywhere there isn’t too much chaos or noise. I am not one to read sitting on a bench in the mall watching bratty kids go by screaming for what they want to buy. A train or plane is okay, but a bus is not. I do like lounging by the pool at a friend’s house who is a fellow book lover. We get out a favorite movie we both want to watch it on the outdoor projector near the pool. She installed it years ago after seeing those outdoor cinema sessions in swimming pools. While it’s fun to go and watch a movie in public, sometimes you just wanna relax at home and that’s why she set it up.
So, there we were comfortably ensconced on lounge chairs with a tall glass of iced tea at our sides on a small stool. A table under the covered patio held our sandwiches and dessert. Later, we might need fortification. We were relaxed and content to curb our normal conversation so we could listen intently. There was only the chirping of the birds and the whoosh of the pool cleaning system to distract us. Soon it became white noise. This peace went on for some time until we noticed that the sound was getting a bit distorted. It was annoying to say the least. After a minute or two of a garbled voice, we wondered if the chlorine in the pool had damaged the speakers. Our relaxing day was getting tense.
My friend approached the speaker control knobs and turned them this way and that. Suddenly, pure sound returned. I guess she had the magic touch and the chlorine was not the culprit. After all, they make these speakers for pools. I was going to suggest pulling out the product manual or asking on Facebook. Instead, we could return to our movie. It was loud and clear. As we stayed for a couple of hours, a time punctuated by a few pauses to take a dip in the pool to cool off, we almost finished it. The ending was near and after the point of narrative climax, we couldn’t wait to see more. It took another hour to finish and we put everything away, returned uneaten food to the fridge, and poured a last glass of tea. I was ready to leave but couldn’t resist a few minutes to discuss the plot and characters. It was rather well written with fleshed out protagonists and an emotional ending. This was the novelist in me talking.