I have seen the graffiti all over the Lower Keys and in Key West since about 2015. I made a half hearted Internet search with no results (he has a private Instagram account for friends apparently) and resigned myself to never knowing who the author of these weird pointless letters might be. CYNE painted or printed with the additional slogan underneath: "southernmost wanted."
But it turns out these signs are bound to start disappearing. And most likely not coming back. Why?
So why did I post a picture of a banal bottle of antiseptic soap, two dollars at CVS I discovered upon investigation. This story will I hope counterpoint the CYNE arrest with a description of the true crime scenario in Key West. I paused in my walk with Rusty to sit on a brick wall and study the new business about to be built where Rum Barrel used to be, a bar opened by a pirate obsessed, media savvy doctor who wanted to sell food and drink for profit in Key West, and did very well parlaying his fame as a sports doctor to top flight sports figures I believe. The permit notice in the bar window says the city will be considering granting an easement to make legal what is apparently an illegal taking of city sidewalk. The brick ramp below has been incorporated into the architecture of the building apparently without a permit and now the usurpation of the public sidewalk is to be made properly legal. Bad enough you might think that a public sidewalk has been used illegally - there's a crime of key West proportions.
So, the question of the soap...read on if you have the stomach. As we resumed our walk I noticed a certain odor hanging about my person so I scrupulously checked the soles of my shoes. It wasn't dog shit either it was pungent and human and wherever it was it wasn't on my shoes. I raised my camera to take a picture and the smell became intense. I looked at my hand and the tell tale brown smears were everywhere and unmistakable. I recoiled in horror and started frantically checking my short tails and shorts to see how far the plague had spread. Happily it was only on my one hand -only - and I staggered down Front Street like a leper holding out a diseased limb. I spotted a hose and managed to squeeze a few drops from the spout with my clean hand but that did nothing except increase my sense of panic.
I am not germ-phobic, quite the opposite, but I do know that shit actually does carry disease and anyone who takes a shit on a brick wall is probably not the healthiest of specimens at the best of times so I was looking at my hand with half a mind to cut it off. The inspiration struck. I was staggering down the street pondering y options when I saw the pharmacy, one of half a dozen in Key West and for as often as I have been critical of all the chain pharmacies springing up all over town I approached the front doors with a profound sense of gratitude. It took a while but I have become reconciled to the misfortune and now I think I can safely say my hand and I are friends again and I no longer look at the palm worrying that nasty brown smears will reappear and fill my face with that ever so nasty smell. Human not canine. I pick up after my dog so I know.
Murder? I felt like murdering whoever put me in that predicament but this is Key West and I contented myself with sending them a mental curse and clutching my bottle of hand sanitizer close to my chest for the next unfortunate encounter bound to happen in a town filled with residentially challenged visitors and several weeks of winter to wait out in the tropics.