July 29, 2008
Originally published June 16, 2004
My last day in Key West was a memorable one; unfortunately, I don't remember all of it.
The day started on a sour note when the quaint little restaurant where I had breakfast caught fire and burned damn near to the ground about an hour after I left. I finished my eggs and grits, walked down to the internet cafe (hoping for someone to put some more fruit punch on my tab) and went back to the hotel when no good-looking wimmen tried to pick me up.
I turned the corner and saw thick, billowing coils of noxious smoke boiling out of the restaurant. My first thought was... "I DIDN"T DO THAT... DID I?" No, I couldn't possibly be responsible. Florida has their new-fangled anti-smoking nanny-law (one which most bars and restaurants aviod by having open-air seats and rear "gardens" for the nicotine-addicted wretches who frequent such places), so I never even lit a smoke in the place. Hell, I didn't even go to the bathroom there.
Okay, I didn't do it, but the place was on fire. I arrived on the scene just in time to watch the fire trucks and cops cars come rolling to the rescue. Firemen in full turnout gear poured from the trucks and began stringing hoses all over the place. The cops started tying yellow barricade tape on anything that wasn't moving. I almost became taped in yellow myself.
What the fire didn't destroy, the firemen did, with axes, sledgehammers and water hoses. They tore that place apart. I was pissed, because I needed to find a new place to eat breakfast after this disaster. I wondered if my waitress got out of there alive with the generous tip I left her that morning.
Thinking made my head hurt, so I went down the street, away from the smoke and toward beer and Bloody Marys.
I'll try to sum up the rest of the day as quickly as possible. I lost my hat and my sunglasses sometime around sundown. I believe that I bought another hat and gave it to someone I met in a bar. A homeless guy came up to me, rolled up his shirt sleeve and showed me a USMC tattoo on his arm. He asked for $2 to buy a drink. I gave him two dollars and then saw the lying sumbitch in the Key West Cookie Store not five minutes later. I started to confront him. I was willing to buy him a drink, but if I had known he was going to piss that money away on FOOD, I never would have given it to him.
I ended up in an obviously gay bar for a while. I got up on stage and sang "Piano Man" on a dare, with accompaniment from the piano "man" employed there. I received a standing ovulation from the crowd, and I also got a free beer from Paul, the bartender.
I'm not sure what all happened next, but I believe that tequila was involved. I made it back to the hotel late last night. I asked a couple in the lobby as I was checking out this morning about whether I showed my ass or not during my revelry. They told me that I staggered into the lobby the night before, took one look at the stairs, pointed an accusing finger at the steps and said, "FUCK THAT!" and rode the elevator up to the second floor.
I must have gotten my key in the door, because I woke up in the right bed this morning. Actually, I woke up ON the right bed this morning. I never bothered to turn the sheets down. I was a fucked-up Cracker boy.
Now... I remember going out wearing underwear. I woke up in commando mode this morning. I don't believe that I WANT to know everything I did last night.
All content © Rob Smith