Thursday, October 2, 2008

Death and Politics at the End of the World

The air envelops, vacuum-sealing the skin with moisture, ill-fitting and alien. Clothes react to the alteration in the physique, the stiff pleats melting. Tendrils of mouse brown bangs cling- cooked spaghetti in a pan. It isn’t until the Ft. Lauderdale airport fades from view and the Florida toll road that the air conditioning in the rental beats back the sullen mid-afternoon July heat.

Palm trees and sprouting developments dapple the landscape, the tropical foliage out of place among the hastily built habitations, dubitable monuments to William Levitt. The loosely coiled expressway through Miami is pleasant. Toll booths unfortunate dams in the Gulf Stream’s trafficked flow. I cynically wondered if the state didn’t encourage rental agencies to recommend the “road less traveled” to ensure the population of their taxable byways. I was exhilarated to see the exit to Homestead and Highway One approaching, the expectancy of arrival heightening, more so as I contemplate a solitary dime jingling in my pocketbook. They could pave the everglades on someone else’s penny. They’ll have to.

I tucked my wallet away, relaxed into the leather of the import and set the cruise control, realizing even as I took my foot off the accelerator that the stop-and-go flow of the mostly one-lane highway would make cruising superfluous. I gazed off to the side, anxiously awaiting the first blush of the ocean… new time, new place. Key West is a different world; the real world, paradoxically, is the unwanted dream. The carbon dioxide in the back and deepest section of my airway passage loosens, releases…

At last…

Blue, turquoise, green, indigo, cyan, white surf spraying, rolling, pulling, dragging out… nothingness.

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