From the porch of my new home in a rickety chair I look upon an enchanted view. A garden of rubbery plants and palm trees swaying in a flower scented breeze. The swimming pool is surrounded with white marble, and behind it a path of coral leads to a short wall, the beach and the ocean. Slim speedy geckos zip around the swimming pool. A female rushes about in a feverish way, and then she stops and slyly looks behind. A beat later the male peeks from the jungle foliage where he flares an impressive blood red wattle. She makes as if to flee and he chases her like crazy and leaps upon her and pins her for quite some time.
On the swath of blue and green ocean people aboard all manner of conveyances stir up wakes. Men and their dogs slosh through ankle deep sand banks. Paddle boarders punt, spooning along. Military fighter jets clatter through the sky far ahead of the noise they create. Prop planes pass pulling banners with the paid-for-message of the day. Staring at the ocean I saw dark shapes pushing through the surface, creating whitewater splashes, before melting tracelessly away. Most likely most of these were optical illusions. I contemplated swimming and I shuddered.
Close to midnight I went out and walked the main drag -a flash-point for all things entertainment. Drunk girls danced by themselves in the street, undulating with their arms in the air, sometimes singing, eyes closed. Cigar smoke insinuated from
a couple, arm in arm. Him in pin stripes and her in wild west brothel get-up with enormous breasts surging from a frilly edged shirt. As they passed the woman raised a half smoked cigar to her mouth, and puffed like a coal train.
Was nearly knocked down by a wobbly passerby, instead we went for drinks, where I met his friends. Lots of laughs.
Suddenly it was four in the morning and I had to force myself to leave. Night and day the heat here is steamy. I was sticky and wanted to go for a swim. When I got home I disrobed and stepped into the cool pool. Moon light brightened the night. I dunked all of me going under several times and then emerged and bobbed with only my snout out. And then I heard a tremendous rustling. The underbrush crackled and I froze.
Shockingly, into the light strode a fat-bellied long-clawed lime-green iguana. He was maybe three feet from flicking tongue to the tip of his black ringed tail. As quietly as possible I pushed to the deep end. The lizard stopped and scanned for dangers. From the moonlight I could see his slimy eyeballs swiveling around. With exaggerated movements he neared the shallow end. I held my breath. The little dragon eased his torso over the side and planted his front feet on the top step. He dipped his face and sipped a large gulp, then tipped back his horned head, allowing the drink down. Then he hoisted himself out and slowly dragged himself back into the jungle.
You paint inspiring word pictures, and make me want to be a better writer. Glad to see you’re back in Key West. Stop by Key West Island Books and say hello!—-the “effing” bookstore chica