Hemingway’s House, Key West, FL

He asks if I know anything about cameras and if I can help him with the flash on his. For a second I think that he is feeding me a line and then I realize that I’m not his type. I help him with the flash and he asks if I want some company while touring the house. We walk behind the rest of the group, lingering in front of the oscillating fans and taking photos of the six-toed cats. In the gift shop he buys a book about writing and, per his suggestion, I buy the same one. I don’t have any interest in the book but rather the simple desire to buy a souvenir with someone. We leave the gift shop and shake hands. I learn his name is Brad, and then we say good-bye and turn in opposite directions.

June 2011

See also: Key West, FL (posted 6/26/11) 

Bahia Honda Key, FL

Bahia Honda State Park: It`s like swimming in a bath. A really pretty bath.

Key West, FL

Don`t bother being in a hurry. No one`s going anywhere. Take your time. Ride a two-wheeler, pet a six-toed cat, and listen to the roosters cock-a-doodle-doo.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Here, you can drive your boat in a canal to your friend`s house and everyone has a koozie for their beer and mango tree in the yard.

Orlando, FL

It`s been eighteen years since I`ve been here. And from the weathered appearance of my former residence, it shows. I turn the corner and I keep waiting to see 8539`s pretty lawn that used to mow every weekend. (At ten, I thought it was fun to do yard work.) But the trees and lawn have been slowing dying for a while and the only things well-preserved are the exterior`s white painted bricks. I remember liking that they were painted because I used to hate the color of brick. It`s not alone in its unkemptness. It seems most of the housing community has been left to rest in peace, and the few places that have been taken care of stick out like a star athlete in a nursing home and add insult to injury. I remember when, take a few pictures, and leave minutes later. It was never fully home. (I lived there only a year.) I`m not sad, I just like the images in my head much better.

Panama City Beach, FL

The people in Panama City is burnt. Either crispy like bacon or red like lobster. But the scenery is rather pretty.

Took route 30, through the charming Grayton, Watercolor, and Seaside, before landing in PC last night. Ate dinner at Salty Sues and chatted with a visor-wearing couple from Alabama, who told me about all of the seaweed that`s in the water now. “There`s a reason it`s the Emerald Coast,” they said, and they weren`t kidding. It`s as if children had come and blown their noses in the ocean.

Today is so damn hot though, I can`t just hang on the beach and admire the view. The longer tresses catch around my legs and I give up trying to step out of them. The smaller boogers catch everywhere else– my fingers, my friendship bracelet… my ears.

I sit back on towel to keep looking out and am instantly hot again. After an hour I`m back at my air-conditioned car with seaweed in my hair and a lobster on my back.