Jun 16, 2006

Perdido Key, We Hardly Knew Ye

To include going home time, too much fun, jungle humidors and very old, very small English sports cars.

It's getting that time again. I realised what yesterday was, and why there was a certain desperation mixed with gloom in the house.

You see, it's almost over. And I felt a resonance in my own mind when MIL said "I'm ready to be home." It's been wonderful, incredible, and such a break from the cold realities of life and job and such, but it's got to end sometime soon. I guess that there is a certain level indicator in me that tells me when I've had just enough happiness, a thing that I think was installed when I was baptised Catholic, but anyway, I think I've about had my fill of this fun, if that's possible. The house is exquisite, the beach is unthinkably cool, even getting the crap pinched out of my finger by crabs was different, but I'm starting to long for the cool (hot) green (brown) hills (clay riverbottom) of home.

Yesterday found us taking a small roadtrip into what I think was a suburb of Pensacola, called Cordova. I remember it was called Cordova not because of some esoteric reference to some bit of my past, but because the word was plastered on EVERY STINKING THING. Everywhere you looked the word shouted itself at you--Cordova Trailer Park, Cordova Laundromat. Cordova Cardiovascular Clinc. Cordova Rhinoplasty. And the Cordova Mall, which houses a very old (30+ years) Tinderbox.

Yes, I found a Tinderbox, and yes, I visited. It was, as it always is when I enter a Tinderbox, a wonderful trip back to my own halycon days. The smells, the sights, the atmosphere, it was all there, just like it was when I left my own Tinderbox when it closed, oh, way back in 1987 or so. It was very nice to be able to sit and look and talk to a great manager who reminded me in a way of Old Grey Mare's hubby, under whom I worked at TB way back in that day. He was funny, relaxed, and knew his stuff, and reminded me of the one thing that I need to remember more, and no, it has nothing to do with turning your back on the sea.

He reminded me that it is useless to argue with someone, especially someone who has their heart and mind and everything set on them being right.

You see, I stepped foot into a crazy little store that I've been calling "Cheap Beer" because that seems to be their only claim to fame--they sell very cheap cold beer. And that means a lot when you're across the road from several multi-billion dollar condos going up, which means hundreds of thirsty, tired, hot construction guys, who want what else but cheap, cold beer, and lots of it. The place is actually called The Flip Flop shop because they sell, yes, those, and hats, and all the silly little things that you don't ordinarily bring on vacation with you because it's just easier to buy them there. And they advertise the only walk-in humdior in Perdido Key.

This is not saying a lot as we discussed before because Perdido Key is about two miles long and has three roads. The thing being--the FIL and I stepped into it with high hopes, and I walked into what felt like my own backyard: 80% humidity, which is right, and also is a dry day at home, and 90 degrees temp. Yes, that's right. 90 degrees.

See, humidors are supposed (I've learned) to be 80 and 70. 80% humidity, 70 degrees. That keeps the cigars fresh and keeps tobacco bug eggs from hatching, if you're unlucky enough to have them. I asked the fellow at the counter why he had a butane camp stove going in his humidor, and he embarked on this loud discourse to put me in my place as to why a humidor should be kept like a jungle--hot and damp. I didn't try to argue because a) I knew I was right and he was wrong and b) he was a loud, boisterous idiot. But the Tinderbox manager, Bobby, was right--just nod your head and be done, because it's not worth it.

And I found the car I have to restore when I get multi-billion rich and move here for the winter: an early 60's Austin Healy Sprite. About the size of a Folger's coffee can, no interior, no dash, probably no engine, it was beautiful. Transmission, body, hard top, and a steering wheel, all I need. Well, that and my multi-billion dollars.

Oh, and last night's fresh-caught Gulf fish supper? OMG incredible. So many delicious tastes and textures and OMG. Did you know that bluefish is SWEET? And Red Drum (the official name of redfish and/or channel bass) eats like steak but tastes like heaven? Ooooh talk about being spoiled. And flounder? Freaky ugly fish, terrific taste. Whitings? To die for. The fresh fish is the part I'm most going to miss.


Nancy Dancehall said...

Oh, man, I haven't had bluefish since I was a kid. Yum.

Vulgar Wizard said...

. . . which is why my Friday Flashback request was "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House, and Ron asked me if I missed my coworker, and I paused just a little too long, and he fell out laughing and said, "that silence says it all." He played it back after I hung up and said, "Paul will be back next week, and I'm sure we'll hear from him then." He was very nice about it all, not all, "dang, he's coming back and he'll be bugging me." He was in a good mood Friday, even played the undedited versions of "None Of Your Business" (Salt N Peppa) and "Jump Around" (House of Pain). Snooch.