So, here is my first letter from Paradise.
As I am preparing to leave Manhattan, I give my new mailing address to the Citibank teller:
"Moving to Florida!"
I say happily.
"By choice?" he says.
Day 1 In my mailbox: Free prepaid cremations, courtesy of The Neptune Society.
Day 2 During my Sunday walk through the scruffy little urban park: A signboard proclaiming "Free TAMPA RAYS vouchers to all Blood Donors- today only."
Day 3 Passing a racy low-slung silver Scion with West Virginia plates, am startled to see a decal saying "As I Lay Dying" on the rear window. A fellow Faulkner fan? Then I spy the "KISS" decal......just a metalcore fanatic. Sigh.
Somehow all these reminders of looming disaster, of death & dying, are weirdly invigorating.
Day 4 It's freakin' hot and humid. Again, I find myself taking the shortcut through the little park. Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here. I pick up my pace.
My spring-green canvas Adidas move quickly past the unshaven smokers slouching towards their tropical Bethlehems.
The men poke hopefully into trash cans, postponing that status-lowering trip to the Blood Bank.
"You take it easy now," an older black man says to me when I meet his eyes. "I will," I say.
Screw the Citibank teller and the horse he rode in on.
Ha ha Death, haven't caught me yet. Down here it feels so good, it actually feels naughty, just being alive.