I am a work in progress. So what if it’s taken 46 years to get here. There are some things that strike you first thing in the morning. All those nighttime thoughts fading away leaving you to question what it is you’re thinking. Have you ever found yourself early in the morning, getting out of bed, stretching, trying to center your chi, aligning your chakras getting ready for the day ahead and then you FART and realize you’ve just set the tone for the entire day? Sometimes I feel like that, living here in this three-room apartment over ‘The Blue Iguana Café’.
People say to me….”Shit Mason, why don’t you move if it bothers you that much?”
And I always say…..”Well, buddy, farting ain’t much of an annoyance once you get used to it.” Plus I get my drinks half price from the bar downstairs AND I just happen to be dating the owner.”
Before you ask, the answers are yes.
Yes, the owner of the café is a woman and yes it’s the kind of dating in a good way that everyone or most everyone enjoys. It’s on a pretty serious level so I hope we cleared up any fantasies you ladies might be having about me.
Nope, I’m strictly a ladies man or rather a man that would nail most chicks if they’d let him. Now I’m not movie star handsome but I have boyishly good looks and TONS of it. Let me tell you tons of it will get you laid more than boyishly good looks any day of the week…. but having boyishly good looks helps.
I had spent the day wandering around Key West. From Flagler Ave. to the White Street fishing pier and back. Days seem to go on forever down here and stretch achingly into the sometimes even longer nights. By the time I was done with my meandering around town I had worked up a hearty thirst so the first order of business when I got back to ‘The Blue’ was to get Diedra to give me an ice cold bucket of Corona’s beer, half price of course. With lime. It was one of her so-called fancy tourist gimmicks. Give’em a galvanized metal bucket filled with ice and beer and another one with oysters and ‘POOF’ you’re an instant Parrot Head. I’m not going to explain to you what a Parrot Head is. You wanna know? Google it.
Diedra handed me the bucket, “Hey Mason do you just use me for cheap beer or do ya really love me?”
“Awe c’mon Dee you know I’m into you for your cheap beer.”
“Yep” I agreed. We both smiled. It is kind of a game we play. She pretends to be all passive aggressive and I pretend to be an asshole. Except I know I’m an asshole. I took the bucket of beer upstairs turned on the T.V. and sat there thinking, for a long, long time. Somewhere between ‘Days of our Lives’ and ‘Judge Judy’ I switched over to vodka and tonic.
Thinking can do that to a man sometimes. Make you switch hit drinks till you don’t know what the hell you’re drinking. All you know is that you’re killing important brain cells. I try to focus on the ones I developed learning algebra and one semester of economics at the local community college.
At some point, I noticed Dee had entered the room and was going about doing her ‘after work’ stuff. Quick shower, denim shorts and a loose top t-shirt that showed a little side boob. I working on my fourth vodka tonic and my third pack of Kools when Diedra got that look on her face, sighed and said…..
“I know you’re really an asshole pretending to be a nice guy right?” Oh shit, I thought, she figured me out. “You know what Mason? Everyone thinks you’re an asshole”
“The cat doesn’t think I’m an asshole, Dee. As a matter of fact, I just gave that scruffy bastard a scratch or two right before you come up. So yeah, I know I’m an asshole. But I am a lovable asshole.”
“What do you mean by that?”
With a slow smile forming at the corners of my mouth I said: “I been practicing on you for the last 10 yrs.”
She stood there eyes blinking with that deer in headlights look on her face. When confronted by some brand new astounding fact she automatically reverts to the last disagreement we had, whether or not she won it or not. Inevitably the decade-old argument about “We never go ANYWHERE or DO anything.” came out of her mouth nonstop for 20 interminable minutes and then I told her…
“Jesus Dee I like to drink at home…Because I don’t want to share my high with 59 yr old sex kittens, drunken buttholes that think they are 10ft tall and bulletproof or guys named Shirley, Tina, Alice, or Peggy. I remember one time……. Sitting at the end of the bar, and after 12 beers I walk down to the other end and buy this guy that’s been talking all night a beer. Cause I didn’t mind the way his face looked. 27 beers later I walk down to the end of the bar again and this time I punch him in the face. Cause I don’t like the way his face looks. Once I got so drunk Dee I thought I was a Jedi Master and I used the Force in the men’s room. I guess it was the Dark side because I couldn’t shit right for a week. Next time I’ll just try some natural fiber and yoga.”
“OK, Mason what evar! I just wanted to have a little fun and maybe go somewhere for a change and me…”
I abruptly cut her off from another 20-minute tirade. So with that little pouty look of indignation on her face, she strolled over to me with those long legs and sat in my lap. I fired up another Kool took a sip off my ‘vodka T’ and I said:
“Look, Dee, I’m sorry….I’m a little…naw fuck it…I’m a lot drunk and I tend to get mouthy. It’s just been me and the cat for the last few hours sipp’n gin in this shithole apartment…..and I’m starting to think the cat thinks I’m an asshole too.”
“Hey, this shithole apartment just happens to be attached to my life ya know?” Dee was pissed, I could tell.
“You’re right I’m sorry. It’s my life also because it’s your life too. You forgive me?”
“For being an asshole?” she smiled.
“Yeah, well that and forgive me of loving you just a little too much for your own good.” I could see her literally melt. I’m such a fucking Romeo when I want to be.
For 30 seconds no one spoke or moved. I moved her off my lap got up and walked to the bedroom door and with a wave of my hand and a bow I said, “So, wanna go to bed with me?”
“Since no one else is available at the moment, sure”
She slipped slowly past me dragging her hand across my chest. I turned out the light and closed the door behind us.
~ GOOD MORNING SUNSHINE ~
Sleep never came easy to me and I was NOT a morning person. So try, if you can, to calculate the odds of drinking all night, having incredible, explosive, mind-blowing, orgasmic, animal like sex with an incredibly hot Puerto Rican chick, sleeping till noon of the next day and having a pencil thin laser beam of sunlight travel billions and billions of Carl Sagan space miles through the solar system, across the face of the planet Earth, to Key West Florida, through the palm trees, up the face of the building to find a small crack in the blinds on the window, traveling 20 feet across the semi-darkened bedroom to strike me in my right eye at the exact moment I open it.
Incalculable you say? Bullshit I say because that’s exactly what happened. So the odds are pretty fucking good.
Yeah, Dee and I had a really good thing going. Marriage was definitely not on the menu. She had been married once before to the previous owner of the Blue Iguana. It wasn’t a good marriage he used to beat her so she killed him. Oh, not in the way you think, not like murder or anything. They were in the middle of intercourse and he had a heart attack or rather she gave him a heart attack. So ownership of the Blue Iguana transferred to her. Lucky me.
I could hear the hawkers out on the street corner hawking their wares. I must be the only person in the world to use medieval terminology to describe street people in Key West. Who the hell says hawkers anymore anyway? Diedra slammed open the bedroom door, a plate of sliced mango in one hand and a Margarita in the other.
“Good morning handsome.”
“Where is he I’ll kick his ass?”
“This handsome fellow you’re talking about.”
“Don’t start it’s too early.”
“I thought it was afternoon?”
“Well, it’s early for you and I ask you not to start. Here, have some fruit and some liquid motivation and come downstairs when you’re resuscitated. I got to put these t-shirts out. I’m tired of looking at them. With a quick kiss on my forehead she sauntered over to the table was a box of touristy T-shirts, in pastel colors, waiting to be hung on hangers, for touristy tourists to buy them, at a 300% markup from wholesale. Sexy hot and smart. Told ya I was lucky. She picked up the box as I arose from the bed. My now rumpled shirt contrasting nicely with my bed head. She whistled at me. “Oh my, sexy man! I have something I want to talk to you about. Something has happened. Something good.”
“Get dressed come downstairs, sexy man.”
I grabbed a pillow off the bed and threw it at her. She squealed and darted toward the stairs with the box of the pastel touristy tee shirts. Dee grabbed the banister with her left hand while her right grasped the box of shirts and swung herself down the stairs. I could hear each old creaky step as she took them till they suddenly became silent as she alighted to the first floor.
I Yelled “Hey Dee was up? Dee?”
From the downstairs, I heard a faint. “Get your ass down here.”
I've always been a jack of all trades. I've been a poet, author, social commentator, comedian, online gamer, pod cast host, and Youtuber. I've had a class A license to drive semi truck over the road. I've worked as a chef, manager and all kitchen positions in hundreds of restaurants over the years. I've traveled in Mexico, Canada and through 37 of the 50 states. I've been a volunteer firefighter in Florida, where I grew up. I've fished the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and saw the far distant coast line of Cuba before its recent opening to the west. I've married, had 4 kids, divorced, got CKD stage 6 (end stage renal failure) Survived a stroke, mild heart attack, MRSA, blood clots and now chronic heart failure. Fully disabled and home bound, the internet is my social outlet, and window on the world. I go to dialysis three times a week, I watch movies, play video games and chat with people on social media. Writing is my catharsis for a life that is now spent measuring the time I have left, less the tomorrows that may never be.