The battered Keys islands are deceptively restored, new full grown trees are stuck in the ground along the highway, each surrounded with a festoon of crude posts holding them in place. Is this to convince people nothing happened? Maybe it pleases the eye of the tourists who still come. Some to gape.
But it doesn’t fool the locals who appear dazed and shattered. The smiles are gone. I went to visit our friend George, Mr Fournier, to deliver him some more books, and I could not find his home.
I drove around and about and I saw many razed areas, I saw lots that had been cleared of junk and of dwellings.
Brother of mine I am talking to you. Please look into your past as you walk the rivers of your life, keep to the center, slow and steady, and be ready when you fall to grip a slick boulder, just because, this is the way as you trudge carefully headed to the mouth. Say hello for me if you find your way.
I drove around Big Pine Island where block after block are trashed. Occasionally people are living in scary squalor, more and more the debris is taken away. I was looking for Mr Fournier.
Walk in the water brother, up the center where the rocks are mighty and you can steady yourself. Catch your breath.
I drove around but I could not find him. I could not find his trailer. Not a hint.
Don’t machete through the jungle. Not you, you trudge through the water. Take it slow so life can’t take you down, not today.
But nature will win and the winds will blow out to sea and the islands will rejuvenate. Only the people will come and go.
I couldn’t find George. I saw eery cleared flat patches where I thought for sure his home had sat. I found nothing. Nothing Brother, one day you find out that’s all you got.