The last day in Key West


It was the most us thing we could do. Walking to the beach. It was an hour or so and it was 90 degrees and we were pale and already burnt walking through the island, carrying all of our luggage, based off my family’s clear directions. And by clear directions, I mean that they said there was a restaurant on a beach and they couldn’t remember the name of the place or the beach or the streets that it was on. Just that it was near the place where the highway splits into two and there would be a pier there that was being repaired, closed off after the hurricane.

Ana said that it felt like she was walking through my writing. As though it was everything I ever wrote about Florida, muggy and hot and confused and maybe a bit pained. We did it anyway. We could have called a car at any given point but the iguanas and the chickens just kept coming and so we kept walking from one end of the island to the other and it was miserable in only the way that we would choose to be miserable. After we arrived, it wasn’t even the right beach that we were sent to and the pier wasn’t there and the highway didn’t split. Grandpa said to just walk back along the beach the way we came until we found it but that was not a possibility since the beach ended at the site where we arrived so there was no walking back along the water. No backtracking at all to be had. And that was just the most my family thing to do. To tell us to go to some unnamed place with the expectation that it would be right there but of course it wasn’t.

I think about getting a tattoo to remind me of Florida but I have to wonder if it’s because it makes me so unhappy and yet seems to resonate with me in ways that no other place has. Do you have to be happy to love a thing? I don’t think so. I have been unhappy in love since before I can recall and maybe that’s just my natural state. Maybe I’m okay with that.