The tide was out and the mangrove flats revealed and while Rusty ran around I stood and allowed the stress of work and the debris of another night at work flow off me.
It's Spring Break, the weird ritual of young American students who abandon inhibitions and good manners while invading beach towns across the continent and in Mexico. Consequently said beach towns tend to get their defenses up in anticipation of hordes of young drunks behaving badly. I think Key West has priced itself out of the Spring Break market. That or this year's crop of Spring Breakers are remarkably well behaved.
Working 911 at night gives you a view of the city that is neither noticed nor appreciated generally. Picking up drunks and clearing accidents is thankless work at the best of times but during Spring Break one would expect a lot more calls for service and many more outraged home owners. These days the crowds are small and the sidewalks roll up as usual earlier and earlier in Key West. I suppose there is plenty of tourist money flowing into town even without young drunk students. One hears no complaints of low occupancy and so forth.
I remember the bad old days with hordes of young people swarming Smathers Beach and keeping Duval Street busy until closing time at four in the morning. Officers made lots of overtime money and worked every night regular shift and Spring Break shifts alternating for three weeks. Not any more; every nigth is a night like any other.
To come out to Blimp Road of an evening on my night off is a treat and my own private sunset celebration. Fat Albert the blimp has reappeared at the air force base for the first time since Hurricane Irma:
Out across the mangroves:
It is silent and still, no mosquitoes and no traffic on this dead end road. Just me and my dog.