Saint Pete (Morning Memory Warm Up #1)

The town looked like it had been raining for years. It was dark and I was standing outside of the bar. A guy walked out. Can I have a cigarette he said. Sure man I said. Looking for some girls he said. Yeah I know the story I said. So what are you up to he said. I’m just here man I don’t know. Well come on in I’m here from Canada . I came here for the night. From Canada… wait? For the night? I said. Yeah, to see the baseball game. Oh alright I said. He told me to go into the pub and take some shots and then I did. I drank some drinks and walked out and left. Never said goodbye. Didn’t matter. I couldn’t get home.

Walking with pants rolled up and sand in my nails the enclosed lights faded into the darkness as they drove down the street. Sad locals and out of town road trippers located at a place that feels old. It’s strange but really not that strange but for some reason my internal directional compass works great here. I know where everything is even though I didn’t grow up anywhere close to this southern west. Thinking, that’s all I’m doing, and if I think too much I get butterflies thinking about how alone I am right now. Nobody around and the smell is both alive and dead at the same time. I have everything I need and I’m tired but I force myself to go to the Pier just to see it. I don’t know when I’ll get another chance. Being drunk sometimes makes everything heavy, everything seems more important than it really is, and in retrospect I was nuts. Here I was, tired as hell, after walking around Atlanta and meeting a folk band and hanging around on their porch telling them yes over and over again followed by, I have to catch my plane still. Nobody had a car. I had to start walking. Atlanta is busy and hot and I got lost and I was there for another whole day. I fell asleep and missed my airplane but they didn’t want a guy like me around so I was forced to take first class down here because as they said, I couldn’t live in the smoking rooms forever.Landing going and realizing I’m going over bridges in a metal flying object I really think about this idea of controlling your life is insane. After I land I grab my pack and right back into the fast walkers and potted palms. I keep walking and I’m never stopping and now I was walking with my shoes off through seaweed. I was walking on rocks. Walking on the side of the pier. I wasn’t alone. An old German man who was homeless and had a shopping cart had a face I can hardly recall. He told me how the town has done him wrong. I said I’m sorry to hear that. He talked and I talked. I said I don’t know man, but I would like to be alone. He looked at me like I was the worse man in the world. We already talked like drunk wandering men do and I wanted to see the sun rise. It was that point in the night when you feel yourself sobering up and coming down back to reality. What was I doing? Who was I? I started feeling the butterflies again and on the other hand these were only questions and none of this mattered because soon the sun would be up and then gone and another long walk, a bus ride, and then I would be sleeping on my friends floor or typing on his dinner table, and he didn’t really want me there. I didn’t even really want to do anything. I didn’t come there because I wanted to see the sun. Nobody comes to live here he said. Saint Pete, this is where people come to die. Death is a conclusion and was I there to die? No. I don’t ever want to die. Life is hard. I hate living. I love the feeling that coming back from the depths of despair gives me. Life is like writing and writing is like life, it’s all about the wandering and the stuttering steps and realizing that you’re still young enough to get lost within amazement. And I didn’t want to talk to the old homeless German anymore. He had a scared american grandfather’s face and who knows how he got there. But he talked like people do, about local politics and how nobody respects him. I give you credit I said. For what he said. Because you’re still doing what you do, you’re still living… Wait. you hear that? Yeah, damn dolphins he said. Dolphins? I love the sound of dolphins. Not if you’ve… Got to go I said.I walked to the pier and stood there and the color blue was so lazy, so beautiful, so natural, and like it does slowly the new day was rising and right then I saw the sun as it breaks free from the darkness and it’s like a lens coming into focus and there it is. The sun and the ocean. The sounds of the waves hitting the break. Right there and I’m alone. I forget that I’m a human. My back is away from my home. Back there is the party. Right in front of me, the peace. The life. The innocence The reason for writing. The reason for going through with it all, and how terrifying everything can turn out to be when the human gets mean.I forget about the faces of the night and of the good times in my past. I keep walking. I smell the future and I can’t wait to sleep. The water is laughing and growing the jungle lion and it will be the dolphin who will get the last laugh.This is the reason. The reason for being the only one in the library who’s actually reading. It was a Pulitzer Biography. I remember that. The Library that’s located on a side street and up you come and it’s smaller than you would think it would be. It’s a nice town. Around Saint Pete it feels like you’re in a tropical rain forest and then like that you’re back in the Midwest. It’s just a city and sure, that’s what it is, and it feels like one of them down on its luck kinda cities up in Michigan, and there is even an Olive Shop there called Kalamazoo. I think that’s interesting.


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