Today has been one of those days I wouldn’t trade for all the fireworks on the Fourth of July or all the hot dogs at a Labor Day picnic. Here it is, the 9th of March and I gave up checking on how warm it was after I walked outside barefoot at 8:00 AM to fetch the newspaper. It felt just fine.

So the day found me a partial sluggard, tempted to explore my concupiscence, but fully engaged with the glorious experience of being alive and healthy. There are pleasures that don’t get recognition; fresh strawberries for one, kefir, or a  peeled navel orange, sectioned, ready to be savored. What I long for the most is a woman sufficiently indolent to enjoy these delights with me.

There is one activity for which no partner can amplify the pleasure. That is my daily power walk. I stepped off around 4:03, beginning my ten circuit, four mile walk. The groundskeepers had put down hard wood mulch so the walk was filled with that fecund and earthy smell. The pine trees had sap that was running and the piney scent made its presence known too.  I saw my neighbors and my neighbors’ dogs. Sometimes I recognize my neighbors by their dogs on the other end of the leash.

After I finished my first lap, I asked myself if I was having fun. It didn’t feel like fun. It felt like air entering my lungs at a swift rate. and legs straining and stretching with every stride.  Self decided to speak up and give his two cents about the meaning of pleasure.

It doesn’t feel like fun now”, Self says.

“Wait till we’re done, Self, and we can see what we did.”

Self finally agrees to schlep along, promising to be unobtrusive, checking out the women, in case I forget.  Almost Spring means all women are beautiful. We are all attached to the glorious colors that await us, yellow daffodils, and forsythia, purple croci, red tulips, the marvelous pink of quince, and the  burgeoning extravaganza  that are the azaleas. Shucks. I left out the dogwood and the redbud.

Almost Spring has me picking up the pace, to see if I can average below 14 minutes for a mile, maybe hit 13 minutes a mile. When the walk is over, my stopwatch say 52:41.23, an average of 13 min. 10.25 sec per mile, a personal record.

Almost Spring has me motivated to move that much faster, to  feel the breeze blowing on my sweaty body, cooling it. Almost Spring is about that last lap and the cold water waiting in the kitchen. It is a shower , water pouring on my naked body, the smell of peppermint soup, tea tree oil shampoo, and water evaporating  on my naked skin before I  can dry it off with the towel. Almost Spring is taking my time getting dressed, wishing a lover could dawdle and lallygag with me, a lover thrilled to be naked with me,  open to  the dalliance of lust and the call and response of desire.