Among Other Things, A Series Of Selfies

IMG_0862

IMG_0912

IMG_1081

IMG_1577

IMG_2013

IMG_2143

IMG_2213

IMG_2604

IMG_2720

IMG_2796

IMG_3173

IMG_3310

IMG_3836

IMG_3927

IMG_4113

IMG_4719

IMG_5948

IMG_6030

IMG_6830

IMG_6880

IMG_7137

IMG_8596

IMG_9144

IMG_9283

IMG_9501

I was packing my walking shoes for the trip to Key West I was taking with Madre when I noticed that I’d worn out the bottom of my shoes. There was a large spot in the center of the shoe that only separated my foot from the sidewalk with thin pieces of rubber and stuffing. I suppose that says a lot for the amount I’ve walked since Easter, when I bought the shoes, and a lot for the amount of work my pedicurist had to do when I last visited her. I crammed the shoes down as far as I could and zipped the case closed.

Madre and I had been planning this trip since Poppa died but only 18 months later did we plan it in earnest. I think Madre didn’t want to leave her comforts, her safe places, and I had other trips already planned with My Girls. But plan it we did, and on a Monday night we flew out of Nashville into Miami on a puddle jumper that rattled in uncomfortable ways.

For six days Madre, Auntie Anne, Auntie Susanne and I enjoyed nearly every nice thing the Florida Keys have to offer. Aunties Anne and Susanne have lived there for a while now, so it’s lovely that we can visit whenever the hurricanes are not in season and when the Aunties are not travelling elsewhere. I get my love of travel from Auntie Anne, the person who took me to Chicago at seven, New York at twelve, and Europe at nineteen. I celebrated my twentieth birthday in Chamonix, a chilly little ski village in France and found myself an Italian boyfriend for two days in Sienna thanks to her. Not everyone can say that, I assure you.

The four of us packed up Auntie Susanne’s boat one day and headed out to the Marvins, the one place I was desperate to go. All the pictures in green, the ones that don’t look real, those are the Marvins. Madre and I walked around the island in the middle of the ocean, swishing our feet over the sandbar and swimming in the tide around the parts that were too deep. We nearly proved ourselves inadequate for that task, but we made it around the island feeling tired and virtuous. I could happily spend the rest of my days on that island, but it seems to me that I say that about every body of water I’m parked near. I guess I’m a water baby.

I met Seaborne, the dog you could tell was over me and my selfies. I met Chico, whom I’d have taken a selfie with but I had a suspicion Chico would have eaten my face off had I folded myself Indian style next to his carriage. Auntie Anne is the one with the very short hair, Auntie Susanne is the one fiercely captaining her ship, and Madre is the one with the sponge man, a strange yet delightful Key West oddity. The car door has a car painted around it and can be found on the wall outside of my bedroom at the Aunties’ house. The tarpon you can see underwater probably weighed nearly what I do. The trees are Banyans. They grow in ropes and are massive. The art belongs to the University of Miami, where Madre and I took a walk and got soaked in a torrent of rain about a mile from our destination, rendering me a liar. I’ve now been in public in a wet t-shirt. The snail was simply scootching along, minding her own business, enjoying the heat and the humidity.

Speaking of the humidity, I’ve never in my life had such unruly hair. In the normal state of things, humidity and heat cause my hair to go limp and sit lifelessly on my head. In the Keys, however, my hair took on a whole new persona, one that was fluffy and large and often unmanageable. If you think that upset me, you are sorely mistaken. I reveled in the bigness of it and gleefully tried to comb it out every night, admiring how the sides of it barely fit into the image I saw in the mirror. My skin was hydrated, dewy (sweaty) and covered in mosquito bites by the end of the trip. My body was relaxed after days of lounging in the pool or lounging in the hammock or lounging in a chilly bedroom with a good book. I read five.

Madre and I packed our belongings to come home. I stuffed in my walking shoes, even thinner on the bottom now as Madre and I walked every day and zipped my case closed. It was fatter than when I arrived (shopping) and at the airport, they made me unpack it so that it would fit in the carryon bin of our puddle jumper airplane. I tried rearranging everything but finally resigned myself to the fact that the shoes were not coming home with me. I threw them in the trash, re-zipped my case and passed through security with flying colors. Madre and I discussed how I would get a new pair of shoes when I got home and how she now knows that she can leave the comforts of home for other comforts and not worry. She can let go and relax and not hold everything on her shoulders that she and Poppa used to shoulder together. She has others who will shoulder it with her and for her when she wants to visit her sister and take some time to laze in a hammock.

Thank you, Auntie Anne and Auntie Susanne, for allowing us to be your houseguests. I’ll be back soon, Woney in tow, and let her see for herself why your house is such a wonderful place.

Advertisements

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. crayolaj74
    Oct 02, 2014 @ 21:40:35

    I so want to go back to the Marvins. So bad.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: