Guido and I sneaked off to Key West last week. It was a last-minute decision: friends had a place for a week and extended the invitation. At first we don’t know if we can work it out, but we massage reality and make it come true. You only live once.
We arrive Thursday evening, just in time for cocktail hour which in KW begins when the day does.
The beautiful house is on Williams Street, a few doors up from Caroline. Amazing location. We walk everywhere anyway, and this place is around the corner from all the places we like to go. So we clean up a bit, get dressed, and head for KW Bight, figuring we’ll grab some dinner at Turtle Kraal or the Raw Bar.
Straight down Williams to the pier, make a right. We’ve done this hundreds of times. There are four steps between sections of the pier. Third in line, I caution my friend Rick to watch his step. Then I promptly tumble into the water.
It is all very mysterious. I’m neither drunk (yet) nor passed out. But, like so many mortgage holders these days, I am definitely under water. It is very quiet, all shades of green and yellow (with my eyes closed — an instinct developed decades ago). I do not hit bottom, and keep myself vertical, waiting until I could feel myself float or sink. I expect to float and I do, so I propel myself towards the surface.
Guido is already flat on her stomach extending her hand, instructing me to grab it so she can pull me out. This sounds to me like an excellent idea — if I want to pull her in. But between her and Rick, they haul my soggy ass out.
Seated on the dock, I have no idea how this happened. If I weren’t dripping wet, I would doubt it did. However, sometimes what appears to be, is. I learned that in Philosophy class.
Anyway, my phone is the only fatality: it remains at the bottom. My wallet and everything in it recover overnight, as do my shoes and clothing. We go back to the house where I shower and change, and end up at Pepe’s which is a little closer (and away from the water!).
Well, when you’re in KW, it’s always fun to do something different. This is the first time I ever put myself in the drink — usually I put drinks in me. Which we all go on to do.
Next day I discover a half dozen bruises and cuts — mostly my fingers; there’s blood smeared all over — and a very sore neck and lower back. I can’t bend enough to wipe my own ass; I have to shower each time. There are professionals eager to wipe your ass for you, but they’re very expensive, unreliable, and you really can’t trust them when you’re in that vulnerable a position. You find them on YP.com under “politicians.”
“What would you like to do next?” Guido asks me. “Keel hauling?”
We settle for watching the annual Duval Street bed race.