Saturday, January 8, 2011


At some point in the mid 80s I bought a couple of hammocks in Mexico. I had heard the best were from the Yucatan Peninsula and I can attest to that.

It is generally accepted that hammocks began approximately 1000 years ago in Central America by the Mayan Indians. They produced the most accurate calendar, built pyramids and stone palaces, created their own writing system, were extraordinary astronomers and mathematicians, and designed a web-like hammock which is still in use today and considered to be the most comfortable of all hammocks.

There are single, double and triple weaves. There are large ones called matrimonials that can sleep two.

I bought a double and a triple and they’ve been everywhere with me. I’ve even had a sexual experience in one and let me tell you, that’s not easy!

As much as I love loafing in my hammock, I could never sleep in one.

I remember reading The General in His Labyrinth by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s about General Simone Bolivar “The Great Liberator” of South America. He and his men slept in hammocks strung from trees in the dense jungle. I’ve always wondered about the minutia of events in the past. They obviously couldn’t have slept on the ground.

I’m thinking about this today because it’s my buddy Benet’s birthday.

Years ago Benet and I used to take his dog Mel camping. On one trip, instead of pitching a tent, I decided to string up a hammock. I ran a rope between the trees above me and stretched a tarp across in case it rained. It did.

I was warm, dry and very comfortable, but I couldn’t fall asleep. I guess you have to be awake to fully appreciate loafing in a hammock.

My plan for retirement is to have a huge screened in porch with a yard full of trees. I will loaf on my hammock and contemplate the passing of the seasons.

But if I have to, I can settle for waiting for summer, driving out to the woods, stringing up my hammock and getting some hard core loafing in.

My ex thinks I’m not ambitious.

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