The thermometer says it's 83.1 inside and 83.4 outside, so I'm inside.
I've only just managed to get my headphones on, shut out the world, and flick on the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. A little late, perhaps, but the Vince Guaraldi Trio sound that much sweeter for the wait. Time's flown down here, and it seems too short, as usual. Just a week and a day to catch some rays and spend too much time with family.
I can't pick out any particular day something happened apart from Christmas. On quick reflection, everything else just blurs into one, like a club remix that goes on too long. To separate it out, to organise and put it all in order, from landing at Key West International to hiding here in the relative cool under the ceiling fan, listening to the Beta Band (moved on from Charlie Brown), requires the sort of detailed reflection that used to be very easy for me. It now takes effort. The sort of effort that is very easy to put off until another time.
In the patchwork of memories of the last week or so, a few things shine bright. Running in the dark, before sunrise to beat the heat, and the stillness of the slumbering island. Vivid starlight giving way to a pastel dawn, watching the growing light shrouded by towering clouds over the Atlantic. My run took me by an old civil war fort now turned into a public garden. It's here I see the city begin to wake, and some that have yet to sleep.
By the Southernmost Point there are tourists already queueing to have their photos taken. No one organises it. They form a line themselves. It seems ridiculous and civilised all at once. There is no one stood outside Hemingway's house yet. I slow to a walk for the last 100 or so yards and feel the town is much more awake than it was.
My mother stands by my father sat at the table out on the deck. She cradles his head in her arms, crying, and he doesn't understand why. He doesn't understand anything anymore. She cradles his head and kisses it and cries because she loves him and he's gone now, so far gone with so little left, but she still loves him and needs to care for him even though it's killing her. I look at her, so brave and sad and broken, and I wish I could do more.
I spend quite a lot of time spent wandering around old town, drinking a con leche from 5 Brothers, marvelling at how fucking cool banyan trees are.
The salty tang of a margarita on the Afterdeck, as the wind whips the Atlantic into a frenzy and dogs play in the foamy surf. I hold my drink against the backdrop of the sea and it's the same shade as the shallows.
Just one more day left.