Above the fringed palm fronds through their ever so slightly swaying serrations, there peering from in between twin belvedere towers with graceful arches patterned after the Villa Medici in Rome, perched as if some demure Notre Dame gargoyle, the distinct silhouette of a pigeon held steadfast looking from the heart of Palm Beach's legendary resort, The Breakers: Not just a place but a mood and a way of being. That pigeon peered into a blue sky painted perfect above the bluer still Gulf Stream. Blue the bird was. Blue in nature, I supposed, and near blue in color. Yes, indubitably a blue bar.
It was near noon as I gave a nod of approval to my cautious waiter standing so attentively for some sign of gesture. He was but a small cog in the commitment of the culinary staff to elevate guests' expectations relishing in the epicurean delights composed of the freshest ingredients delivered by impeccable service; assuredly, a certain rich and relaxed Mediterranean sophistication serving delectable dishes reminiscent of the French Riviera. My avocado fries were just about to be anointed in various chef-specialty sauces when I noticed that blue bar drop from his position, gracefully gliding down to land ever so near our glassed table and chairs onto the tan colored granite floor.
I sat there partially under a yellow umbrella surrounded by my red headed wife and daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons looking away from our table with its center piece of a silvery bucket of red roses and folded gold colored cloth napkins toward the immense Imari vases where the blue bar was maneuvering about, pecking here and there, searching for a crumb, inspecting anything as small as a grain of sand.
Then it began, the all but trivial flicking of jeweled fingers. Soon, other fingers at the same table. They were such annoyed fingers having to abandon their champagne. Shoo! You feathered disease bundle, those fingers decreed. Suddenly, another table followed suit. Fingers flicking more rapidly, evolving into slight airy backhands. You dastard! How dare you! Breathing our air! Finally, at a third table, there erupted small claps in attempts to evoke the disappearance of that impudent beggar.
How queer my life had been with pigeons. Catching them off the bridge that was my front yard. Slinking up rails not long after I had learned to walk, Heitzman, all but my father. Isselhardt, nearly a brother I had been blessed with the best in both racing and showing racing homers. I felt sorry for those pigeon-less people. You see, life's small affording of sugar which can be in the form of a pigeon is precious. Those people were but pastel dummies in their Ralph Polo shirts and straw hats and white Breakers' bathrobes issued at an additional $300 per guest of the resort.
What a beauty the blue bar was. Sparkling far more than the gold and silver adorning those dummies. His neck, vibrant in greens and blues almost as alluring as the eyes of my wife and daughter. You could see he was descended down from a racer. How wonderful, I considered, being one of Darwin's old champions, that from the wild rock dove evolved some racing homer and how that racing homer had dissolved back into the wild. He was a determined creature and though somewhat trusting he acknowledged death. I suppose though what I admired most about him was his denial of love. He handled it perfectly. Just like a writer should.
Then the blue bar flew off. My "Blue Bar of Zanzibar" landing back at his original position, the sun reflecting upon his two black bars. It entered my mind that nearly every racing homer fancier must own a place in their heart for such a bird. That for many fanciers it was that common pigeon that first intrigued their imagination and somehow got them started. In this, we owed that pigeon our respect. Less-wise, we spit on our memories.
The next day before sunrise I found myself alone by the sea. You realize how close you are between dream and reality when you observe darkness dissolve into day over the Gulf Stream. The ocean and sky were so very still. Slowly, the black of night faded to grey and that grey faded into blues and lavender and cream. At some point there became a faint line in the strange distance where the sea and sky divided; the pink-orange and yellow light appearing and the ocean from where you stand reflecting such a colored path back to the sun. I'll never know why but I thought of that blue bar.