Monday, February 15, 2010

A Key West Holiday

"We are going into town!" my wife announced. Today is President's Day and by chance I had the whole weekend off. Fun, fun fun. And all activities planned by Herself. Cheyenne was ready to go Saturday, to start the outing from the kitchen.The cold weather from Up North had reached Key West. The first part of the program was to go to the Tropic. We saw a Hitler Channel special, "Four Seasons Lodge" a documentary about Auschwitz survivors vacationing in the Catskills, as improbable as that sounds.We are members and get to see as many movies as we want for $300 a year each, so she stayed for "Crazy Heart" about a washed up singer and a fresh young woman falling in love, but seeing me restless in my chair she released me. I ran out of the theater into the freezing cold of a winter afternoon. If I confess it was 60/15 (Canadian) degrees I shall get grief but so it was. We went for a walk Cheyenne and I in the brisk afternoon air, she in her fur coat I in my wool sweatshirt .I had no plans and the dog was following her nose so we went west into Bahama Village, a fearsome place where vacationers and snowbirds protect themselves with high fences and secret gate codes. This old codger was pressing buttons and I was ready to call my office and ask them for the code to let him in but he kept pushing away and failing to follow instructions:Lori, the manager of the Tropic is a brave soul, she lives outside the confines of the gated community and rides her bike alone through the Village:Dade Pine, impervious to tropical weather peeking through the paint:This elderly Chevrolet (year anyone?) lives in Off Street Parking across from Blue Heaven restaurant, a place visitors go to spend lots of money and have an authentic Key West experience:And smoke cigarettes apparently. It seemed rather old fashioned to see this wrist drooping elegantly from the balcony: It may be weak of me to feel the cold so far above freezing temperatures, but I am not alone:Cheyenne came away empty mouthed from her foray into the shrubbery of Baptist Lane. I was hoping she wasn't getting stoned in there.Scooter color. I wonder why they don't think of getting around like this when they go home? High mileage low impact four stroke scooters. Their time has come even in Peoria, I'd like to think. I keep photographing this wreck on Thomas Street for fear that next time I come by it will be gone, imploded by a gust of wind:
I think the cyclist was wearing a helmet from habit, being probably from Up North, not for fear of falling houses. Though that is starting to seem a legitimate fear at this spot, unhappily.Out with the old and in with the new. New housing starts may be abysmal across the nation but here on Fort Street there is construction underway:Key West youngsters out slouching around on a Saturday afternoon. I remember being bored when I was their age. I am glad I am all grown up and entitled to make my own, if solitary, entertainment. I always found being a pack animal to be a bore.I find Key West youngsters to be polite on the whole and I am always surprised when people disagree vehemently with me. I know nothing of children so when I see a father out with a dog and two offspring it looks quaint to my unfamiliar eyes:They used to keep ammunition down here in the cement missile silos or whatever they are. The fence separates civilians from the Truman Annex Navy Base.
On this side of the fence I walked past the band room. There was a dedicated teacher who taught music here to much acclaim then she got ousted as I recall in one of those "He said, She said" arguments that went public between a teacher and her board.
I wonder if they still come and do their uplifting thing here any more.
I think it was another of those private social endeavors that got so many fire plugs painted wild colors around town. This one at the corner of Fort and Geraldine:
Someone cut back the tree that used to sprout. Now it looks like Art on the decaying brick wall.
And who, one asks, threw white paint here?
The pause that refreshes:
She refuses the filtered rainwater I carry in the car and prefers the fermented puddles we find outdoors. There is no explanation. Nor do I know where a motorcycle with a rear tire this big is a good thing. I know Florida has a lot of very straight roads but it seems to be more tire than necessary. There again I ride a 900cc motorcycle to commute 27 miles so that too might be considered overly large an engine for the job.
Another mystery car. I thought it might be a Jeep. I wonder if they keep waterproofs in the trunk like I do in my saddlebag?
Blue door. A study. Luckily I do more than one picture a day otherwise this would be it and I'd have nothing else to do.
I got grief for my recent Stock Island essay which I closed with a picture of a pair of sneakers drying on a fence. We do actually know what clothes lines are supposed to look like:I would like to remember to come by here on Angela Street when this papaya is turning orange to steal it, like some asshole who stole my sole pomegranate last year. But I shan't steal it, I shall just pretend I stole it when it eventually disappears. I am rather too bourgeois to steal toilet paper from work and other people's fruit from their trees.
This church got refurbished finally and now it looks magnificent. I hope God is happy with the work. It looked good from down here.
A pirate bicycle with a trunk labeled "Booty" in front of Key West Bank. I suppose when the joke has to be explained it is rather too labored.My wife said she liked "Crazy Heart" but it wasn't worth an Oscar. I guess I did better by taking Cheyenne for a walk, though I do like Maggie Gyllenhall, a pinko commie babe.

The cold closed in on us as the temperature dropped after dark to 50 American, 10 (the rest of the World, kiss riepe's ass). We went to Lisa and Josh's and ate mac and cheese and ribs and drank Gentleman Jack and so to bed.