Monday, September 21, 2015


Starting a  new week, because weeks start on Mondays perforce. and here we are again. I am a little shocked how fast the year is sliding by, and I read that Up North summer is slipping away. Around here time goes by because the calendar says so and in a week it will be October. Fantasy Fest starts to loom already with all the mixed feelings that bacchanalia engenders, and a title like "All Hallows Intergalactic Freak Show" is enough to make you tremble.
I got my first call of inquiry at work last week. I don't know what people are thinking but they frequently call the police when they have tourist questions. In my orderly world you call the Chamber of Commerce when you have questions relating to...commerce. But no, we field questions from people asking how hotels, where to park, alligators, how long it takes to drive from Miami, you name it. Last week in the middle of Poker Run with a million loud motorcycles infesting the city a man called and asked if it was safe to visit Key West for Fantasy Fest. That one stumped me. So I said it depends. And he waited for my pearls of wisdom. I suggested he might not like it if naked people in the street offended him, but that didn't put him off, on the contrary I think he was envisioning his type of people stripping off to be viewed.
So I said, as to safety it depends. If you live in a small town in a quiet part of your state then Key West might seem, possibly, a tad intimidating. But if you live in New York City Key West has no crime at all, aside from drunkenness and the occasional fight. Oh yes, he replied enthusiastically, I do live in New York. I'm booking my tickets! And on such slender evidence we can expect to see one more New New Yorker gawping in the last week of October. The Chamber owes me one.
The no crime statement is a slight exaggeration most of the time. Key West has crime, it has to with 23,000 residents and millions of visitors, but most crime is not planned and spontaneous crime tends to be stupid, and violence is usually limited to people who know each other, be it ever so briefly. And yet, last week a woman got killed on South Roosevelt Boulevard. I was not working at the time and I make it a point not read reports about stuff that I have no work related reason to read so all I know comes from the paper which says the driver, who appeared to target the pedestrian, is being charged with vehicular manslaughter.
The worst part of small town living is the intertwined connections that you end up making with people who, in a more expansive community would remain total strangers, so the fact that I had a passing acquaintance with the victim is not really too surprising.  My connection was remote but she worked in the dentist's office where I am a patient, where the employees never leave, where every visit to have a tooth job is weirdly enough more of a party than an event to be feared. So to think this woman was run down by some crackpot in a car is just one more sign to me that life is random, the universe is meaningless and we are lucky for the time we get so lets make the most of it.
Decrepitude is the status quo of my generation.  I wrote a while back of a friend from my distant youth who has a brain tumor and today is back under the knife hoping for a little more time, hoping not to wake up a vegetable, always a possibility when lasers sear your brain cells. That she is 71 years of age is scant consolation as I face the start of my 58th year. Once upon a time 70, the Biblical span of a human life, seemed impossibly old. Now it seems so close that I expect to be seventy before I realize it. 
My 911buddy app is creeping along, still being built piece by small piece by engineers in Los Angeles, and the fact that it is taking VezTek this long makes me believe that building a national 911 application is indeed far harder than I ever thought. I was figuring implementation would be almost as easy as dreaming up the idea. Roll on Thanksgiving when the thing is supposed to be done.
See? Here I am wishing for time to fly by. What a jerk!