Key West, Florida… Forever and always the year ’round spring break city for ages 18 to 88–but a city that really isn’t a city at all and more like a narrow corridor off of an alcove off of some real city (but nobody is sure which one) that just happens to be located somewhere between an ocean beach and the end of the world.
It’s a real place where real characters like Ernest Hemingway once briefly lived but feels more like an imaginary place where imaginary characters like Jack Sparrow would permanently live, if he was real.
The daily rumblings of the town aren’t anything like back home and resemble instead something akin to an outdoor rave–the morning after the actual rave. And the evenings are like the night after a bad hangover after you have been resuscitated with a hair-of-the-dog concoction.
And as shady and delirious (even if you are sober, like me) as all this might sound, it is kind of wonderful and mysterious, too. And even restorative –in a kind of mischievous and decadent way.
Time seems to stand still –or at least move in slow motion– not because nothing is happening but because the locale is so disconnected from anyplace where workaday things are happening you forget the need to keep track of time. Which is such an unusual–and enlivening– sensation to experience in our hustle-bustle nation.
And so glad to have found a place where, for a few days, you can remember what life is like without the push and pressures of ticking clocks in this narrow corridor off of an alcove of some city in this mysterious but wonderful place somewhere between an ocean beach and the end of the world.
Things that can happen in Key West…
While waiting for a Cuban coffee you can overhear an older white-haired Irish-looking man introduce himself to the mail carrier as “Tip O’Neill’s nephew.”
And you can wait for the mailman to leave and introduce yourself and tell the man you overheard him say he was related to Tip O’Neill and wanted to say how much you admired the personalized approach his uncle had to politics and think often of the story of President Ronald Reagan getting shot and the first person to visit him in the hospital was the democratic Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill, and the two men talked and prayed together–and how you wish we could someday get back to those times in American politics.
What we did tonight instead of going to the transvestite show–next door
Dolphins are great and all, don’t get me wrong. But they aren’t fabulous!
New thing I learned tonight in Key West….
Even if you are a blissfully happily married 50 year old man, it is still nice to be checked out by a younger woman.
Even after you realize it is actually a younger man who is dressed up as a women.