When you haven’t been to the Island in months – except in your imagination and in a manuscript for a novel about a 1900 prostitute – the urge to get there and put your feet in the water is so strong that you might abandon all reason and speed down on a day hot enough to cook eggs on your dashboard. Luckily, on the Island there’s always a bit of a breeze.

“Let me get that thing some water,” Ronnie said as the dog tangled her leash in complicated twists under a shady bench. I bit into my muffuletta – because on the hottest day ever you need a salty sandwich, especially if it’s a muffuletta from Maceo’s – and felt happy to be there.

My friend and I socialized with masks on, ate muffulettas outside, and gave the dog a little respite from the heat by letting her enjoy the cool floor at Tangerine – her favorite establishment. Safely outfitted with our masks, we also visited Kitchen Chick – another favorite. And I made arrangements for both of these beloved Island stores to carry copies of Storms of Malhado.

After doing such useful business, it was time to go to the beach and cook up a big salty vat of dog soup. The dunes that usually smell like sea grass smelled muddy and a bit off after last week’s storm. But we trust that underneath the brown remnants of my favorite yellow sand flowers our snakes are ok. They tend to be resilient.

The water felt fresh and lovely. I might have taken a dip with my clothes on. Which was a good thing to do, because the Pisces full moon draws us towards water. Afterwards I drove home, hot and salty with my equally salty dog, and when I got here I ate tomato sandwiches and painted a carousel horse. I’m getting ready to announce the second edition of Christmas boxes tomorrow.

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