Pawley's Island (Continued)
One - Welcome to Gallery Valentine
I looked out across the dunes and up and down the beach. Another gorgeous day. Blue skies, billowing clouds and the sun rising with the mercury. Eastern breezes rustled the palmettos and sea oats. Sun worshippers by the score had accepted early invitations to assume the lizard position. They were scattered and prone, armed with coolers, beach chairs, novels, visors and canvas bags of towels, toys and lotions, littered all along the edges of the Atlantic in both directions. They looked like clusters of human solar batteries recharging themselves in drowsy warmth. The waves rolled in low murmers of hypnotic suggestion, washed the shore and pulled away.
The weather that day seemed without guile, but I knew better. As soon as the hands of time crossed noon, Mother Nature would bellow the flames of hell's furnace, blowing unspeakable heat all over the Lowcountry, and the sensible lizards would retreat to shade and hammocks until later in the day. The others would fry, fooled by the breeze and lulled into a comfortable stupor by the ocean's song.
Let me tell you something, honey. You'd never catch me in a swimsuit smelling like cocoa butter and fruit, sticky with salt and sand, half catatonic and dehydrated from exposure. No. I had better things to do with my time, like feeding Huey. Or playing golf in that same sun. It was the lying around part that was a problem for me. Besides, who needed to see me in a bathing suit? I assure you, no one.
But back to my current priority . . . feeding Huey.
After his call, I picked up sandwiches from The Pita Rolz and drove over to his gallery in the Oak Lea Shops. He had been practically breathless on the phone, but private-audience breathless drama was pretty much Huey's modus operandi.