I’m sitting at the Sad Cafe on a Thursday afternoon having a mimosa. It is not as much fun as I thought it might be. I’m checking on rooms in Singer Island and Palm Beach. Thought I might stay a night or two on my way to Miami and beyond. Ha! A night at the Breakers is over $1,000 and a night on Singer Island is $500. What happened? The days of bohemian Floridians enjoying the state are long gone.
The nicest thing about the day has been that the attractive woman who works here remembered me and was glad I was back. She has always intrigued me, a sophisticated freak, tall, long, shapely, but most importantly, she notices me. Well, la-di-da, as Annie Hall was so given to saying.
Bad news today, though. I went to get the tenants mail which I have been putting in the laundry room in the garage, and I heard water running in the pipes. Holy shit! I went into the garage and looked for leaks. No water running from the pipes. The water heater was dry as was the washer. I checked the toilet there, but it, too, was dry. Fuck me, I thought. I went to get the keys to go upstairs imagining what I might find. First I checked the kitchen. Dry as a bone. Bathroom. It, too, was dry. I turned off the toilet thinking it might be running. Nope.
I got tools and went looking for the meter. I had to dig around for quite awhile to find it, covered, as it was, in dirt and leaves and detritus. I shut off the valve and called the plumber. Next free date—March 5tth. Luckily, the tenant is out of town. She has been since Christmas. Of course when I called to inform her, she said she would be home before then. She won’t be, but that’s the way she is. Some people love stress and conflict.
The weather here couldn’t be better. The skies are blue, the birds are singing, the air “as soft as a glove upon the face.” No, I am wrong. That is not a quote. It is an amalgam of William Shakespeare and T.C. Boyle. I guess I own it now. Per Picasso’s apocryphal quote, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” I’m not sure which I have done, but I’ll take “good” or “great.”
My mimosa is gone. I haven’t eaten and my new hipster girlfriend made me a gigantic thing because I’m me, and now I’m a little buzzed and lazy in the Southern Winter Heat. But I have to go to the storage unit to look for photos to send for the auction. My friend L. has sold my stuff before, so maybe this time, too. I have a billion prints, so if anyone would like to purchase one, drop me a line. “I can give you the special price, my friend, just for you.”
That is how Geoffrey Firmin, the protagonist of “Under the Volcano” dies. He was a "special friend."
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That was yesterday and this is today. The Wrecking Crew will be here and I have an hour's worth of straightening up before they arrive. The day promises to be a copy of yesterday, sun and blue skies and song birds. Today's photo was taken yesterday on my walk. Those trees are in yellow and pink bloom everywhere. Azaleas are going nuts. My Gardenia tree is still pumping out its copious bloom. I must fill the bird feeders and grease the poles against raiding squirrels. Perhaps I will take advantage of the weather and go out for a drink tonight at one of the outdoor cafes. Dinner and drinks, perhaps, just to see. There are plenty of tables set out at the good restaurants here now. All I need is a partner in romance.
Then again, look at what love did for old Firmin/Finney.