news / life? / art / culture / email@example.com / hashtag
It was 9:00pm when I landed in balmy Punta Gorda, Florida. The salty air immediately sticking to me, I ambled down the steps from the small discount jet to the tarmac, as is the custom. One must move slowly and ambivalently to remain inconspicuous in his lack of occasion.
I let the mostly elderly passengers sidle past me. Pleasantries were exchanged; silent nods of approval were given. I picked up my luggage, signed in for the rental car, and peeled out of the parking lot with reckless velocity.Cruising down I-75, the silent humid air cut by the roomy rental car, the innocuous vibrations of the radio buzzing faintly, I thought only of discount beer and endless hours of relaxation.
Such is the allure of a place like Florida, where few of the inhabitants you meet name themselves as native. Where the sexless behemoth women dance to Bryan Adams’ songs on seedy patios to the point of fall-down-exultation, and the rest of us watch with sickened amusement.
On the first morning of my trip I stocked up on supplies. One can purchase all of his essentials at the local super market: Produce, meat, Clamato Juice (a tough, but necessary find in the US), $17 24s of beer, $35 2 L bottles of vodka, cartons of cigarettes, etc. I was pleasantly surprised to find a rare essential at the local liquor store: a gun shaped bottle of kool-aid looking liquor. Who hasn’t thought to himself “if only I could consume seemingly endless amounts of juice flavoured booze from the barrel of a gun”? I know I have.
Stocked for my lazy debauchery, I deposited my supplies and zipped downstate to the old-money haven of Naples. After admiring the beachfront five story mansions of nameless wealthy geriatrics I stopped for lunch at a beautiful seaside patio, where a presumably near-poverty level staff with a competent grasp of the English language served me. I had Tilapia. It was delightful.
I drove home drunk. It’s fine, driving while intoxicated is practically a custom in Florida.
Speaking of Florida driving laws, it is legal to drive a motorcycle in Florida without a helmet. Stop it with your mock indignation, if you don’t believe me look it up. I spent a vague amount of time by the pool drinking and reading various travel brochures. I wish I could recall for you the amount of hours, days, possibly weeks I spent in such recline, but it has been lost in the ether. It could have been five minutes or an eternity. Only Florida knows.
I half remember driving in reverse all the way to a local dive bar/wing restaurant called Buffalo Chips. I was in a fog. At any rate, I do have a receipt for $74.00 dollars from said establishment. C’est le vie.
What I found most illuminating about my time in Southern Florida, aside from its obvious natural wonders, was my time spent at the beach. On the beach depravity knows no age restriction, and the cumulative effect of alcohol can be viewed in all its universality. Blackened elderly folk with their gravelly voices, thick with cigarette smoke, stumble about in a musical way. Their slight morning embarrassment is shared by the day-drunk-twenty-somethings, whose innate sexual energy is quickly reduced to mumbling advances and dumb, wavelike gyration.
The rest of my time was passed in similar fashion. Moving with the throng, all of us comatose, tanned and beautiful. I landed in Buffalo, stopped at the duty free, and bought 24 beers, and 1.75 litres of vodka for $35. God Bless America.
By Pablo C