So, the tourist season for 2012 ended on Monday. Cristina says the dolphin tours are still going strong, but we’ve seen a drop off in folks wanting to go to the Everglades. Not to put too fine a point on it, but that’s okay with me. I spent most of the last week of the season complaining bitterly about my leg, picking as many fights as I could with Michael, and feeling sorry for myself. Most of that was caused by exhaustion and PMS, but the physical therapist, who is a young woman from Russia whom I like a great deal, for many reasons including her sexy vampire accent, diagnosed me with a bulging disc brought on by years of injuries and so much driving.
The bulging disc is not that big of a deal, she says, or “iss noht a bigh deahl” in the sense that I’m going to need an operation. I have exercises to do each day–some are partial push ups and the other ones look like pelvic thrusts, all of which I have to do when I get a break from driving, so I will be spotted along the Tamiami Trail arching back, pelvis forward, and perhaps doing the “cobra” position for those of you who have taken yoga class. I look forward to performing my disc-correction exercises in the parking lot of the Skunk Ape Research Center.
This season I met a wonderful assortment of people, and I also met several people that I’m glad I will never see again. This season I learned to never, ever go on vacation and act like a spoiled jackass. This season I learned that tipping well reverberates peace and happiness throughout the universe, and I also learned that driving a large white van with an alligator on the side affords one certain road privileges although, conversely, it is conspicuous to the cops.
There are still plenty of folks coming to the Everglades, and I am glad because that gives me a job and a reason to visit the folks at Skunk Ape and at Corey Billie’s. I think a book about this western part of the Everglades would be a fine idea. I’m becoming quite attached to the people I see on a daily basis, and I find that I miss them when I am off. I also miss the animals, especially my bird boyfriend Dodo, whom I’ve noticed is small enough to fit inside a large pocketbook. Just an observation.
Now that the season has concluded, Jesse is no longer needed to pick up the gator show overflow at Corey Billie’s, and I’m sad about this. I know he lives in Bonita Springs, but I feel like contacting him for visiting would be too weird. Today, Denise told me that he’d bought a small truck and was on his way to the DMV to get it registered when he stopped in the Circle K to pick up some smokes and a drink. He left the truck running since he was only going to be a minute, but someone stole it while he was inside. As of this morning, the police still hadn’t found the truck.
The airboat captains at Corey’s swear that Knotty has built her nest somewhere in the grasses by the back pond, and we’re still seeing her suitors alternating time with her day to day. However, no one’s been able to locate the nest, which I think is a good thing, so we will see what transpires when the rains come in over the next few weeks. The dry season is almost over, which is also a good thing, because the Everglades right now is almost completely dried up. It looks like one giant chocolate wafer with grasses and cattails and trees poking out of it.
In neighborhood news, our house has become the local dog hangout. It is nothing to find our neighbors’ dogs chasing anoles on the lanai (in Florida, a screened in porch is referred to as a lanai, pronounced luh-nigh), and the other morning I went into the kitchen to find that Bogo and Ziggy, our neighbors’ Schnauzers, whom we lovingly nicknamed “The Knuckleheads” or “The Knucks” for short, had eaten all of our ant traps. Lucy, the other neighbor’s dog–a little black beagle/lab/l’il bit of everything mix–waits in the grassy patch between our houses for us to get home, then she runs to our door. She has taken to napping on our bed with Buckley, and she particularly likes Michael. She’s overweight and has some kind of adenoid issue, so she constantly pants and snorks through her nose. He hasn’t said as much, but Michael would be more than happy to have any excuse to bring her into our family.
In a few moments, I’ll take the alligator van back over the bridge and pick up my bike from Cristina’s. I like riding my bike. I wish pedaling over the bridge didn’t require so much exertion, but, like a job as a tour guide, like a marriage, like freaking everything–there are good parts and bad parts about loving something.
Thanks for hanging with me on these last few blogs. I really did reach some kind of transition point the other morning; I’m in a neutral place I don’t recognize, and I read through these blogs and see that they are not very well written nor are they capturing any sort of enlightening information. I myself am aware that I am not who I was when I moved here in December, and much, if not all, of the person I created from my childhood to leaving Wilmington is separating from me, like a molt, and dropping off. I knew when I was writing the last post that I was writing as a new person, and I am not sure yet what this new me has to say, or how she is going to say it. All I know to do is to keep writing through it, and so write I must.
enjoy your day, beloveds. I’m off for a bike ride.