‘Way back in June, Guido and I made reservations in Key West for the upcoming weekend to celebrate our anniversary. Ten years of happy marriage! Ten out of 23 ain’t bad.
For three months there was little doubt we’d make this trip, but last weekend, with Irene stirring the waters like Flush Blimpo farting in his sitz bath, all of a sudden there was danger. Instead of watching sunsets, dancing at the Green Parrot, and doing the Duval Crawl, we’d be putting up shutters, stockpiling gasoline for the generator, and filling water bottles. You know The Drill.
At the time, Irene had a bead on South Florida — unless you’re a Miami Hurled sportswriter, in which case she had a “beat.” Shit. What prevents that fishwrap from hiring sportsholes who can actually write? Dan LeBetard has been a crappy columnist for 20+ years, and Greg Cote’s scribbling is nothing short of embarrassing. Remember the dumbass baseball writer they hired who wrote that so-and-so “got beaned on the hand”? Then again, this is the newspaper that thinks Dave ‘Nostril Fetish’ Barry is a humorist. Where were we?
Anyway, as most of us knew in our sun-bleached bones, the storm veered away, headed for that North Carolina hurricane magnet known as Cape Hatteras, then on to provide the second act in a 1-2 punch of earthquake/hurricane to mid-Atlantic states. Knock yourself out, guys. Enjoy your soggy weekend and knee-deep mud while we Floridians bask in blue skies and late summer sub-tropical sun.
As I write this (Wednesday night), strong gusts of easterly wind sculpt angry cloud formations blown off-course from the storm churning hundreds of miles away. Swaying palms assume their characteristic defensive posture best described as “bend don’t break,” and the sea breeze mitigates against the 87 degree atmosphere inside my house. Guido will make noises about wanting a blanket tonight. Honest. She will.
We make this trip no less than annually. Neighbors babysit the house and caretake the cats. We load the car with coolers of our favorite snacks and drinks, a suitcase with little more than tees and shorts, our bikes, and this year, a bocce set. We know exactly where we’re going, what to expect, what we’ll do, and how we’ll feel. We’re all for joy in the unanticipated and unexpected, but there’s peace and comfort in the familiar as well, and that’s what this annual journey is all about.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
Back next week. Play nice.
PS Apple’s Steve Jobs just announced a new application called ‘iQuit.”