The impetus for the following started right here, a simple fender bender that got so out of control I read it open-mouthed for the entire afternoon it unfolded.
This whole thread got so nasty and personal I couldn’t even find a wedge to squeeze in and say something disarmingly silly to get everybody to stop. (Which, as might be evident by now, is my preferred M.O.)
So. It’s my last post of 2006. May I step out of character and add this?
I’ve lived in much better places than south Florida, and worked in many more, but I moved here 21 years ago and I’ve never been happier.
While this will never be home, this is where I’m staying. I like it, in part because of all its faults. In fact, I love it.
The new friends Guido and I made moved back home after a few years. They hated it. We’re still in touch. It wasn’t for them. But it’s for us.
I never met a Cuban until I moved here, and my first impression wasn’t a good one. Foaming fascists whose daily maniacal conduct led me to believe that maybe the bearded asshole dictator had a point. Then I befriended a few, talked with many, opened my eyeballs, and figured it out. Nothing like real life, experience, yes? There’s no such thing as “a Cuban” or anybody else, because we’re all different, with his own special scent. That’s true of every-fucking-body you’ll ever meet.
While the shit goes on here isn’t unique, it has its own style. It’s foreign and strange. But damn your yellow eyes, that’s true of Boston and Washington, D.C. And Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland, and San Diego, too. Gotta think that’s what it’s like from London to Calcutta; Buenos Aires to Beijing.
Believe me, most of the people I’ve met here in Miami would find my home town of Philthydelphia so weird, hostile, ornery, and strange, they’d say far worse things about it than I ever said about the Banana Republic of South Florida (BRSF) I happily inhabit today. Shit– you guys ever eat scrapple for breakfast? You even know what it is? Ever drink Jack Daniels and stand on Broad Street when it’s 14 degrees to watch the corny Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day? You even grasp why we’re so negative and nasty, particularly when it comes to sports and politics? Well, why would you unless you ended up there, and learned to love it, too.
As I did here.
Thing is, the longer you live, the more similarities you see, and learn to appreciate. That’s what us people are. As the late Ron Magram used to quote his own mother, “the only difference between people is the seasonings they put on the chicken skin.” Unless you’re a vegan, I guess.
Lighten up, neighbors. Have a good time. Let’s all laugh at ourselves first, and invite others to join us. Happy New Year! Over and Out.