It is probably only natural to have doubts when making a change of the magnitude involved, both financially and emotionally, in opening Paragraphs, and so it is a relief to realize how comfortable I feel upon my return to the Island.
Thank you again JW for the updated photo showing construction to date on the building. Believe me, it is probably a good thing I was prepared or the shock which I felt when driving up Padre Blvd. Monday afternoon and seeing my building may have been too much to bear.
I am reminded of the experience one feels when riding a roller coaster. My father would reassure me as we slowly made the climb up that first incline, "see there is nothing to be frightened of, we are just moving along up this hill at a nice reasonable speed, just enjoy the view", and then when I began to believe that everything was going to continue at the same leisurely pace, and that the frightening ride I had expected was just in my imagination, suddenly the top of the hill was reached and we began hurtling down the other side at an ever increasing speed.
The feeling in the pit of my stomach as I approached the future home of Paragraphs and it's proprietor, was the same as I had when cresting that first hill and feeling the ground seem to drop from beneath me, knowing there was no way to slow down, stop or escape.
I am here for a day or two, to make some decisions about stucco color, floor stain, interior colors, ceramic tile and a hundred other details. John returned my canvas color swatch and I think we have ended up with an attractive combination which while somewhat different than the predominant tan, yellow, beige and brown, is still tasteful, with a splash of color.
As we did a quick walk-through and John seemed to be able to have all my comments, questions, changes and concerns neatly filed away in his incredible memory bank - I felt like I was totally spinning out of control. After agreeing to meet again Tuesday, to make some more decisions (which I postponed until Wednesday) it was time for a cold beer.
I made this trip alone, and I contemplated going back to my friendly LaQuinta friends and joining the happy hour crowd, or stopping someplace for some shrimp and liquid refreshment. Now I don't think that was even much of a contest, even as much as the staff at La Quinta always make me feel at home, I knew I had to go to Daddy's (I didn't know if Al's had reopened and I was too hot and tired to go that far south). I am pretty shy, sometimes to the point of becoming a recluse, so it was reassuring to be recognized and I felt completely comfortable sitting at the bar while I enjoyed some pleasant conversation with Cameron and a few other patrons, slaked my thirst with a couple brews, savored a half pound of cold boiled shrimp and realized that life couldn't get much better. That is when I knew I had made the right decision to move, work, open a business and live here.
Follow that up with a walk on the beach this morning and I think I have survived the first leg of my roller coaster ride to becoming a bookseller and Islander.