Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The hotel was about a mile down a pitted, dirt road that wound around construction sites and through a brambly wood. The sites were in various states but all seemed incomplete, perhaps abandoned: a condominium complex, advertised by banners along the road that promised happiness or riches; a foundation, ringed by surveyor markers, waiting for its walls and roof; elsewhere, piles of plastic-wrapped concrete bricks sat unattended in a clearing.

The grounds formed a drowsy enclave, a place where you're not meant to know what day it is. People drifted from their rooms and to the pool, and from the pool and to the beach, and from the beach and to the bar. Waves sighing as they broke upon the sand. The main reason people love the beach is for the sound.

A hippie couple. An older woman at the bar, eating deliberately. A loud, young French family, kids yelling at each other from across the pool. A stout woman with curly hair, two pre-anorexic girls in tow.

Dinner under the thatched roof was strangely muted, an obligatory episode lacking joy. Sara said the staff seemed a little bit unhappy.

Our last morning it rained hard. As I lay in bed I wondered how anything could happen after this, how the dining space and bar and pool could possibly remain intact. But when we went out it was as though the rain had never come. Waiters were clearing breakfast tables. The bartender was getting ready to open. The French kids occupied the pool. People came and went the way they did before.