Friday, June 25, 2010

Day Three in Key West

The weather has been hot, muggy and threatening to storm each afternoon, but no relief.

This town is pretty awesome. Imagine Greenwich Village without the smug sophistication of enduring winters. Now add back in the inherent danger of running into the local rednecks while you're strolling around with your Noo Yawk walk and talk and political views.

I've felt more comfortable, at times, in the middle of Kingston, Jamaica, is what I'm saying. There are few places in the world where I've felt less local and more of an outsider. There's a hungry desperation in people's eyes, too. Concerns about the economy, no doubt, and to be sure there aren't as many people wandering Duval as I would have expected. The oil slick, the general economic malaise, and just people tired of being scared.

You wonder why Americans get so paranoid, and yet we do. This is still America, still a great nation. We can still come back and fashion a future.

I've managed to stay out of bar fights, and even tho soccer gets laughed at regularly when it's on the TeeVee, moments like the last American game prove a point: we simply don't know as much about the world as we would lie to. Underneath it all, underneath the braggadocio and bluster, America is still the baby brother who's trying to fit in with big brother's buddies.

One more full day to walk around. I promised ThumbPer I'd go to Hemingway House and visit his cousins, so that's on today's agenda. Plus, I need a dose of inspiration to get my books back on track.