Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Winter Blues

I figured when I took a dog-free walk down Caroline Street there wouldn't be much to see. This being Key West things leaped to my eye as I went. First up: ukuleles.
Bob was keeping the armchair warm and no, he doesn't own the place. His plans were fluid when we talked, maybe he was leaving soon on his boat to head back to sea, or maybe not.
Minding the guitar shop was a favor to a friend and if I knew anything about stringed instruments it's to a job I wouldn't mind.
But, because I know nothing about anything to do with instruments so beautiful I moved on. I know enough about coffee to know what I like but I also know enough about myself that it would drive me crazy to be nice all day to people buying coffee and sandwiches.
I was in an odd mood on Caroline Street, a feeling of end of vacation was upon me, summer closing down and things ending. I dislike the knowledge that we have impending crowding in the winter, lots of people, lots of vehicles, and me acting all sanctimonious about my place in the universe.
I like the quiet of summer, the relative lack of people in town and the absolute absence of people in the dead months of September and October. Then, after the hiatus the snowbirds come to town and we have to re-learn how to cope. This year the chaos of construction on North Roosevelt adds to the apprehension about how the city will cope with the influx. All gloomy thoughts made bearable by dogs, lots of them.
The idea of being a shop keeper fills me with horror, coping with people's foibles, bad manners and ability to aggravate even unintentionally. The. I see dogs sprawled across the workplace and I think of Cheyenne stuck at home when she could so easily send the night at my desk with me. The advantage of running your own shop becomes apparent even to the obtuse like me.

The postcard reproduced above shows Key West Bight as it used to be a three decades ago, prior to gentrification. If you have read ToHave And To Have Not, that is how the waterfront would have looked more or less in the narrative of Hemingway's novel. And yet in some respects this remains a small town. Try this stunt in a major metropolitan area, though I must confess I don't know if it worked in this case, I'd like to think it did.

In my gloomy frame of mind I'd be ready to see this lovely yellow Vespa as the leading edge of the winter invasion, a scooter brought down from Up North to make urban travel easier Down Here.

Oh, what the hell, I tell myself every ear at this tie. Winter is short a d before I know it we'll be seeing the back of Easter and all the noisy snowbirds will have gathered up their lives and rushed back north to take advantage of the start of the snow melt to plague their other communities. We'll be left to navigate round clumps of visitors, bless them, unable to find their way and who I am happy to help.

Happily for Key West these visitors trickle and flow year round, check the menus, fill the rooms and keep coming back for more. It's amazing how they keep the city well supplied with work and money and everything. That thought is enough to dispel my winter blues.