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May 24, 2020

New Smyrna Beach, FL

I was visiting Florida to escape the cold and snow and the police that were looking for me, and on some sound wisdom I took a drive over to New Smyrna Beach on the east coast. That’s where all the hip with-it sharks hang out so I am told. I was looking for the Bob Ross Museum to see some happy accidents but I never did find it. I did find an old decaying beachside restaurant that had seen better days. The men’s restroom only had dripping cold water, a dingy light and no soap or paper towels. Buckled wavy wooden floors abounded and the ripped faded green bar stools had the best view looking out a dirty plexiglass window onto ocean waves who were doing what they do...come in and go out... FWISH FWISH FWISH they said. Displaced old men in old ball hats sucking on cheap beer sat there with the token middle aged blonde woman trying to look young but not quite pulling it off. My back hurt like hell and wasn’t up to sitting on a barstool, so I found an unbalanced table by an unstable window where I could see THE SUN! THE SAND! It was cold outside and there wasn’t no sun. I mean it was like Florida cold and my god the temperatures must have been all the way down in the low 60’s. Women were coming in the place with scarves and knee high boots which they only get to wear a couple days out of the year. It was windy. A few guys trying to look macho came in with their flip-flops and shorts and had grape popsicle legs but probably had enough alcohol in them already to stay warm. I ate my french dip sandwich and french fries in a salute to that great frenchman Charles DeGaulle, and left and went for a march on the beach. I was pretty much to myself which is the way I like it. I noticed a shark in shallow water following me. Tiger shark, great white shark, loan shark, pool shark...they’re all the same to me. I kept my eye on him ‘cause he looked suspicious to me. He came up closer and asked if he could bum a smoke. I said I didn’t have one and kept walking. He said he didn’t quite hear me and asked me to come closer. He had those dead black eyes sharks are famous for or at least I assume he did. He was wearing a pair of ray-bans so I couldn’t be al b.sure. He asked if I would mind going over to the convenience store to get him a six-pack of beer. He told me to come over to him and he’d give me some money. I said loudly “leave me alone stranger” in case someone was in hearing range of which nobody sober was and he mumbled a few obscenities and swam away. I kept walking. Some more and more and more and then sat down on a lethargic dune I wasn’t supposed to be sitting on. I just looked out at the water like I’m sure nobody else has ever done before.. The sky had turned late spring slush gray and was getting grayer. Darkness would be coming on soon, so after a while of meaningful empty reflection, I got in my car and went back to the hotel to talk with the hookers who were just clocking in for the evening. That was my day in beautiful New Smyrna Beach, FL.