1. In modern war…you will die like a dog for no good reason.
2. Man is not made for defeat.
I regret not going into Hemingway’s house when I was in Key West. Instead I stood out on the sidewalk, by the pretty brick wall, a gazing idiot in her little sundress and flipflops. I felt shy, as if he was alive and in the house, disgusted by me ogling the arching windows and shade scattering palms. I was in shock that he had lived in the cheerful tropics. The manly man, safari man, war hero prolific in a precious city infested with twinkle lights and laughter? I had a drink in Captain Tony’s/Sloppy Joe’s (not a Teacher’s and soda or a Papa Dobles, another regret)–of course I did–searching, as any Hemingway fanatic will when visiting ‘his’ town. I brooded over my Amstel Light, irked by the happy people everywhere I looked. Why the hell didn’t I go in the house? I thought, wanting things. I vowed to return to 907 Whitehead Street, even though snooping through the homes of famous dead people I admire gives me not answers, not insight into idols and legends, but the creeps.
But then I was overcome by the white beaches and fantastic snorkeling, bewitched by the sunsets viewed from the bricks of Mallory Square. I laughed, even under water. I ate conch fritters with a huge smile on my sunburned face. I had one of the best meals of my life at Louie’s Backyard. I purchased twinkle lights and packed them reverently in my suitcase. I did not return to the Hemingway Home And Museum. I got it. Key West is magical, or as Papa himself said: “It’s the best place I’ve ever been anytime, anywhere, flowers, tamarind trees, guava trees, coconut palms…Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks.”
“Got tight last night on Absinthe and did knife tricks” has to be one of the best lines ever! I am stealing it.
I like the visual of you laughing under water – happy bubbles.
Yes, it is a good line, isn’t it? One of these days I will try a Papa Dobles. The Key West version, not the Cuban as I doubt I’ll be going to Havana any time soon…
When I was in Key West, I didn’t know who Hemingway was. If I had, I wonder if I would have wandered into his house. It does seem a bit creepy.
I certainly wasn’t old enough to order myself a drink. At least, not legally. (I think I was 14.)
The Super Bowl is this weekend?
Ha! Yes, this weekend. I only know because my husband is going to watch it and requested my homemade nachos. And then I found out Madonna is performing at half-time. That I shall not miss. The next time I visit Key West I will be sure to go on in that house. I guess they perform weddings there now. Isn’t that going a little too far?