One Hand ClappingHow do you people do it?
How do you have jobs, raise children, make dinners, fix cars, pay bills, run for the Senate, fall in love, be there for your family, run marathons and maintain your blogs?
Every time I sit down to write something, to share something, I end up curled up in a ball on the floor. The world is too much with us, late and soon. . .
But, I miss you. I miss your thoughts. I miss being able to deal with my thoughts.
I find it insurmountable, the task of blogging and daily musings. But, I do not wish to sever my connection to you all. To this end, for the next little while, I have decided to stop writing about what is going on today.
Instead, I have decided to post things I wrote before life became too much for me to describe. I have selected excerpts from my past writings to post here -- old essays and journal entries, etc. I hope you will still be here with me.
July 5th, 2003
I am currently living on what I believe is the most conflicted corner of the tiny two by four mile isle of Key West. The 1100 block of Whitehead and Virigina Streets. On the southeast corner of this intersection is a squat, yellow, open-aired establishment that bears a worn wooden sign which reads "Anchors Aweigh." At first glance, it appears to be a bar, but it is really a cleverly acronym-nommed meeting place for Alcoholics Anonymous.
Not fifty feet away from the entrance to this building is a neglected corner store that the locals call "The Arab's Store" because the owner is a Palestinian immigrant. He is a kind, older gentleman who always takes a moment to say something nice to me when I shuffle in to buy the newspaper or a can of cat food for the stray that I have named Senor Gato Blanco y Negro.
The corner in front of the Arab's store is the hottest drug-dealing spot on the island. The mayor imports undercover cops from Miami to patrol this block and set up the witless potheads who end up getting busted for crack.
In this little crossroads of gay, straight, black, white, alcoholic and crackhead is a juicy slice of real Americana. It is inordinately loud at any time of day in this little hot spot. Teenagers in their booming cars. Old Cuban men hollering and laughing on their porches. Hookers arguing with johns. Police briefly blaring their obligatory sirens in hopes of showing some semblance of authority. Drunks arguing with the nagging voices in their own minds. The Costa Rican pedicab drivers serenading no one on their guitars. It annoys me when I sleep, but it's never boring.
Some of the older men in the neighborhood call me "Songbird" because I sit on my steps with a bottle of wine and sing to the cilantro and basil plants thriving in our little garden. It is not a perfect life by any stretch, but it is perfectly mine for the moment.
I try to not take it for granted because I know what life I could be leading in the place that I call my true home: New York City. Having 80 degree weather in February when the rest of the country is muffled by snowbanks, I should not complain. For every moment of serving annoying tourists, I get two moments of charmed life.
I get to swim in an Olympic sized pool in the middle of winter while gazing at the ocean. I get to ride my bike to a pink library and borrow stacks of magazines to read while lounging in my garden underneath a papaya tree. The air is clean and warm and fills my lungs every days that I wake. My skin is brown and I am never cold. Although it pains me to be far from friends and family, I sleep at night knowing I am never without love.
And, I get to sit on my porch with a nice bottle of wine and sing Ella Fitzgerald songs to an appreciative audience of weathered ears that have heard enough to know the blues when they hear them.