1. We -- as in a group of siblings, cousins, parents, and I -- arrived at five o'clock at the Ocean Grill and found the restaurant packed. Earlier that afternoon on the beach, we tried to move our reservation later but the receptionist would not budge. "We can fit more people," she said, "but the time has to be firm." We didn't mind. We go to the Ocean Grill every year to enjoy its timeless (not in a geological sense) menu of fresh seafood (with a choice of three sides from a list of fifteen) served by an immortal wait staff dressed in tuxedos. If you grew up in Pittsburgh and went to Tambellini's on Route 51, you might know the kind of restaurant I'm talking about, the kind of place that forty or fifty years ago was referred to as "fancy." 2. As we ate, a full moon rose over the sea, which was only fifteen or twenty yards from the restaurant. The Ocean Grill has survived many hurricanes, but I worried about its fate in the next few decades. I had seen the maps, which showed large swaths of Florida underwater. Barring some miracle, the barrier island on which we now stood was not likely to make it. 3. I walked down to the shoreline, where I spoke to a pair of #gods emerging from the sea. I told them that I had written a novel about them, and one of them responded by asking if it was a bestseller. "It depends on how you define 'bestseller,'" I said, which seemed to satisfy them. It was, I realized as I returned to the boardwalk, a relief to no longer be fixated on the novel. Writing books is like running marathons; you obsessively train for a period of time and then it's over and you can forget about it until you figure out what's next. I look back at the person who was obsessively training (or writing) and wonder how and why I did it -- because there's no logic to it -- and know that the answer is to be found in "the process" and not in "the result," but even that answer doesn't quite capture the desire to do something pointless, something that -- as an experience -- can't be packaged (or at least not completely) and sold by Amazon. But like the rising temperature, the commercial internet often seems too big and too complicated to fight; the battle was lost before we even became aware of the need to fight it. 4. These days, I've been running, which gives me time to think about such things. In Florida, we stayed a few miles inland (but still susceptible to rising waters), where I went running along an old highway built next to the train tracks. The weather was perfect; not too hot and not too cold. I wore shorts and a t-shirt for the first time since the record-breaking heat wave in New York City two weeks earlier. "I could spend winters in Florida," I said to myself, officially marking the beginning of my AARP years. 5. The next day, we drove north to Sebastian Inlet, where the sea was being churned by the high winds. We walked out on the concrete pier, passing people fishing and casting. There were many birds diving into the sea, sometimes emerging with a fish like a scene from Blue Planet II. I felt nervous watching, hoping the birds wouldn't get caught by a hook or tangled in a fishing line. According to Blue Planet II and some of the signs on the pier, there's enough fishing line in the ocean to wrap the planet twice, and most of it's plastic. It's difficult to spend a lot of time in Florida without regretting the existence of the human species. 6. It was easier to admire the currents reflecting the brilliant light in the big Florida sky. 7. There's a lush, magical quality to the Florida landscape -- and light -- that makes its ongoing degradation seem especially tragic, if you can bring yourself to think about it for more than a few minutes. 8. Everything looks good if you can view it with enough distance. 9. Even New York City looked miraculous from the plane, though I was certain to be cursing it once I was on the ground.