D.C. Bound

“Do you think we can function in normal society after six months in the Keys?” asks my girlfriend who,like me, hails from big-city, civilized northern climes. We are lounging by a pool, sipping girlie drinks.

She is going home for a few weeks. I am going to D.C. for a long weekend and a Jr. High School reunion party. (Yes, Jr. High. More on that.)

“I honestly don’t know,” I laugh. Honestly, I don’t.

I live in a place that is small town at it’s best and worst. I live where drinking a mimosa at 8 a.m. is considered a nod to the nutritional value of vitamin C. I live where everyone smokes cigarettes everywhere, and no one judges it.

I live where water surrounds us, and everyone either works it or plays in it. I live where we have a love-hate relationship with tourists, even as we depend on them for our very livelihoods. I live where everyone considers it to be a paradise, and all hope someday they can be as lucky as I am to land here.

But what about when you leave here, if only for a long weekend? Sure, I go to Fort Lauderdale now and then, but even there the palm trees still sway and the party-hard world still rocks.

“I guess we’ll cut down on smoking,” my friend says.

“I guess we won’t drink so much,” I add.

“Maybe we’ll never want to come back,” my friend says.

“Oh, I will. My dog will be here,” I laugh.

“I’m kind of nervous about it, though,” she says.

“Me too,” I agree.

We lay back on our chaises and try to relax for more than 5 minutes before the intense sun and humidity will force us back into the pool that is thankfully chilled.

“I never go to a pool up north until August,” says my friend.

“One summer I never got in a pool because the weather was so crappy,” I tell her.

“I won’t wear close toed shoes no matter what,” she says.

“I’m only bringing my best flip flops,” I say.

“Do you think we’ll miss it here?” she asks,taking a sip of her pink drink.

Miss the scenery? Yes. Miss the laid-back-till-you-fall-over attitudes? Sort of. Miss the daily question of “How did I land here and what the hell am I doing with my life?” Whatever.

“You have to come back,” I say. “You have to.”

“I will,” she assures me, but I am not so sure. She has had a tough time of it. But through it all, we have laughed and laughed ’till we have cried–and sometimes we have just cried.

“Don’t make me track you down,” I laugh.

“Ha!” she laughs.

My friend will be seeing family and friends. I will be seeing friends I have known since the awkward ‘tweens, and many since grade school. My friend and I are spending one night in Fort Lauderdale to “transition” before early-morning flights on Friday. We have plans to visit our old haunts and gaze longingly at stores that sell something other than over-priced sundries or bait.

“Are you going to have a drink on the plane?” she smiles.

“If I can stay awake,” I laugh.

We agree to raise our airplane vodkas at approximately 7:30 a.m. and toast one another.

I know I will have fun. I hope she does, too.

I also know I am coming back to my pretty Keys house and quirky Keys job and all the Keys craziness in between. I so hope she comes back to her Keys life, too. But I don’t know. I don’t know that she knows.

Safe and sane travels to us both, my friend. xo






6 responses to “D.C. Bound”

  1. L. Avatar

    Have a great time RG. And your descriptions of “home” make me think of turquoise blue skies over jade green water, white sparkling sand lined with palm trees – kind of like a postcard view. My “home” is in the central valley of California … our greenery comes from the orchards and vineyards, not very tropical but the long hot summer nights hold their own charm (I’ll remember that the next time the temperature goes to 115 degrees).

  2. Ayda Avatar

    I can’t say I’m not jealous. I have never been to the Keys, but I remember seeing a travel special on TV where they were going to all these neat little bars and art galleries. It looked wonderful. I think of most touristy tropical places in America as being dirty and run down and homogenous. I’d love to go there sometime.

  3. JoeInVegas Avatar

    Does sound like you live in paradise.

  4. namaste Avatar

    Funny how often I wonder the same thing. 🙂

  5. Kim Ayres Avatar

    Of course to us, the readers, it matters not where you end up, only that you keep writing about it 🙂

  6. Mike Avatar

    Enjoy your trip, RG!