Ignore the cheesy video. The soundtrack, however, is the theme tune for this post – so just press play.
We’re somewhere exotic and hot. Thailand. Yes. We’re on the island of Koh Samui. It’s beautiful here. A tropical paradise.
We had dinner on the beach (as you do, as I have done). I had a red curry, brimming with coconut. And we’re drinking cocktails. Stars twinkle overhead. Music plays. Giant fiery torches dug into the sand light up the beach. Lots of people, happy people – holiday makers, honeymooners, backpackers, locals. But really it’s just the two of us. He and I. We don’t need any one else at all. In the whole world. No one else matters. Nothing else matters.
England is far, far away. The cold, damp, glass-half-empty post-recessional austerity of ‘Broken Britain’. Decadent Europe and vapid America, too, feel reassuringly far away. Instead, we’re in Asia. We’re in ‘the East’. It’s really, truly mixed. People from all over the world are here. And I like that. We like that.
The sun has gone down. A giant yellow-red obelisk disappearing below a mirrored ocean. It’s perfectly warm. The smell of jasmine and tropical flowers carries on the air. We dance. And we dance like we did when we were younger. When you know the words and you sing them at the top of your voice with a super-wide smile across your face. I have a bottle of water in one hand. He drinks from it. And we’re singing to one another. Singing, dancing, laughing. In the present. The here and now. We’re oblivious of the past and have no thoughts of the future. Only of the now.
And we’re staying in one of those beach huts. The kind of beach hut that looks directly out onto the ocean. And finally we go to bed. In the early hours. We’re tired. We’re both tired. Exhausted. I lie against him hearing the slow rhythmic beating of his heart. Somewhere, in the distance, music still plays. People still dance. And I look out through the open door onto the ocean and see stars refracted a thousand times on the glassy water. And I hear the sound of small waves as they lap upon the beach. This is what contentment feels like. This is what happiness feels like.
I’m in a special place. A happy place. A place that is simple yet authentic. Away from the masquerade of big cities and business. Of treadmills and workaholics. Away from the world of work, of shareholders, of ‘stakeholders’ – both internal and external. I feel alive. For the first time in a generation. I experience a deep, abiding realisation that there is ‘more to life’. And it’s affirming. Life affirming.
Most of all I savour the moment. I savour it because nothing stays the same. Life is made up of chapters. Each is different. Yes, they’re consecutive but they’re different; like the seasons. Life is a sand timer that is running out. You have to make the most of it. You have to seize all opportunities. You have to live each day as if it’s your last. Else you grow old and stale. You atrophy.
And as I drift in an out of a contented slumber, I bear witness to the sun’s first rays heralding the dawn of a new day. Full of possibilities to live a life ‘unplugged from the matrix’, a life that is fulfilling and meaningful, full of infinite opportunities.
All characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental (or wishful thinking).
“Tarzan Boy” is a 1985 Italo disco song recorded by Italy-based act Baltimora. It was the group’s debut single, released in April 1985, from its first album Living in the Background, on which it features as first track. The song was re-recorded in 1993 and was covered by several artists throughout the years. On its release in the the summer of 1985 it was a huge success, debuting in the top 5 of the Italian charts and performing well in many other European countries, including Denmark, Germany, and The Netherlands. “Tarzan Boy” found its great success in France, where it topped the chart for five consecutive weeks. In the United Kingdom, it reached #3 in August 1985. The single had similar success in the United States (where it was released on EMI), with the single remaining on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six months and ultimately peaking at #13 in the early spring of 1986. Baltimora performed on the American TV show Solid Gold, which helped further their success in America. Source.