It’s my last weekend in Orlando. Come Tuesday morning I’ll be riding the rails and dogs back to Key West. I may only be there for a few days but still, it will be nice to be back home, even if I don’t have said home.
It’s a bit of an anniversary for me also. On this day in 1978, I arrived in Daytona Beach, escaping the cold, desolate north to begin a new life in the warm Florida sun. 38 years have passed. I’ve been all over the state from Pensacola to Jacksonville to Key West. I’ve flown over it, dove under it, and never once regretted moving here. I’ve have good as well as bad times. Had many adventures with more to follow. It’s been a helluva journey and there will be more to come.
This sabbatical was good for a variety of reasons. I got the book published. And whilst publishing said book I was able to recover the files to another book which I had written a couple years back and lost due to a corrupt file. I’m going to try and finish the rewrite and get it published while I have the advantage of a quiet place to work and good internet. And no, it has nothing to do with captains and mermaids. This was an old guide to stand up paddle boarding in the Keys. It sold a few copies when it was up and running and it should do well once it’s back online again. It will make 3, count them, 3 books so far. I’m just a writin’ fool these days. Well, at least half way.
I’ve been able to cool down from all the bullshit which had plagued me at the trailer trash hilton. Feels good to not have to put up with it anymore. I do need to be alert. The drunk landlord is probably mad because I left without saying anything but fuck him. I still got scars from the bed bug bites. I’m out and gone and if we happen to cross paths, well, I ain’t worried about it.
What will happen next is a bit worrisome. I got a place for a couple nights but beyond the weekend it’s going to get dicey. The bad thing right now is the timing. Spring Break is in full gear and everywhere is full of college brats. Campgrounds, hostels, and hotels are all full and expensive. I may have to get creative with finding someplace to stay for any length of time. I’m not looking for anything permanent nor long term, just something to get me by until late May. Then I have a trip up north to visit family, and then comes summer with more adventures.
I did have an offer up in Key Largo for some charter work if I could re up the captain licenses. It sounded good but my email with questions has gone unanswered so it may not come through. I’m finding lately people are becoming less and less reliable. The only one I can depend on anymore is the one I see in the mirror every morning, if indeed I had a mirror. When times are tough it’s easy to find out who your real friends are and I lost a few on this trip. No problem. I’ll get by without them.
I doubt I will be returning to Orlando anytime in the near future. It was a place I lived for many a year but there is nothing here for me anymore. It was nice to ride around the old neighborhood but this place is a part of history now. It has no meaning nor use for me other than a way station when traveling elsewhere. I’m extremely grateful to my friend for allowing me to stay these past three weeks, but if I stay any longer, it would be taking advantage of his hospitality. He is one of the few friends I can rely on.
So, I’ll be getting the new book ready over the next couple of days, then heading south. That’s as far in advance as I can determine at the moment. The future is going to be rough, exciting, adventurous, and interesting. It ain’t gonna be boring. But then, you know the fritterism: The difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude.