My relationship with Roger, such as it was, was one of those hail fellow well met type of acquaintances born of geographical compatibility.
I was in the habit of parking the Bonneville across Eaton Street on my way to the Tropic Cinema. The irritating vendor across the street got in the habit of calling to me. Then he found out I was a night dispatcher and that tickled him pink. "Hiding in plain sight," he chortled when I told him I enjoyed my anonymity.
This is a story of life out west, started in Washington State, a respectable career putting values on houses, a job that became an odyssey of travel across the western states finding true values in homes that may have been undervalued. Those were the days; nowadays banks keep trying to overvalue our underwater dwellings...
But that is of no moment to Roger today, a happy man with a snug nest on Eaton Street next to Duval. Roger needed to keep himself busy when he came to Key West 18 years ago, to stay and to live and to settle down.
It's a good life in Key West, a city that can absorb a man's interest such that Roger hasn't been back to Seattle in fourteen years.
He thinks my job is wildly stressful, I think his job is far too public, dealing with actual live customers, selling stuff.
All those are activities that cause me far more stress than answering a 9-1-1 call.
Cheyenne liked taking a pause in the shade. I enjoyed the chat. Key West accommodates the widest range of people, among whom I have to now count myself. Roger and Me.
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