In an ironic twist of the jet stream, this week will be hotter in the Northeast than here in South Florida. They are preparing for a record heat wave from the mid-Atlantic to New England. Today in Florida it is a rainy, eighty -two degrees. I work at the temp job in the morning. Driving to work I am still reeling from the George Zimmerman verdict. I remember my daughters walking to the gas station at the end of our mile long dead end road, just as Trayvon Martin did the night he was killed by George Zimmerman. They were so excited when I decided they were old enough to take this walk alone. They would invite friends over after school just to make the journey to the Mobil on the Run to buy candy and yes, definitely Arizona ice tea. They loved the tall Arizona ice tea can, icy cold and refreshing.
Robert Frost pops up in the shotgun seat beside me as I drive home from work. The blog comes to me. I was going to walk in Wyman Park. I finish work at one. The rain is steady, not a brief shower. It’s here for the afternoon. I have to write. The boy who took a walk to a convenience store to buy an Arizona ice tea, call his girlfriend, and never returned home to his father’s girlfriend’s house, where he belonged, is weighing heavy on my mind. I have to go home and write. Later in the day, when the piece has been sent to HuffPost, I walk before making dinner. Just a quick loop to the recycling bins and around the apartment complex. I like walking in Florida rain.
I am writing at home. I have a lot of catching up to do. I delivered the novel to my sister without the last two chapters. I have two endings in mind. I have decided to write both and mail them to her. I also have a five day weekend of walking blogs to catch up on. The Trayvon Martin piece has been published on Huffington Post. A few responses are negative, I can’t help but wonder what is the underlying meaning there. Most comments make me feel good. The hardened opinions and closed minds never cease to amaze me. This a boy just like my girls. Sure, he had some troubles at school, got suspended, smoked pot. He’s an American teenager. A writer needs thick skin.
I walk the hood again.
I leave for work early, stopping in downtown Delray. I park in one of the free public lots and walk the length of Atlantic Avenue. It’s a beautiful morning, warm, with a nice breeze. Unlike the winter, the streets aren’t crowded. Today there is a local, small town feel. When I finish the two mile walk, I still have time for a coffee and spinach pie for breakfast. My car is parked near a cafe I’ve been meaning to check out. I have my journal and my phone. I tweet, take notes, pictures, and watch the people pass by from my sidewalk seat.
A man across the street is working on a portico above the sidewalk. He has a table saw set up and is cutting long 2 x 4’s. His co-worker is passing them through the second story window. The carpenter feeds them through the table saw then knocks on the window and passes the finished product back.
This is the kind of sight that would lead me to despair when I was stuck in that cubicle forty hours a week, fifty weeks a year. I wanted to do anything and be anywhere but where I was, doing what I was doing. Right about now, I would be thinking I would rather be that man on the portico. If only I were a carpenter or a ticket taker on a train or a waitress in a coffee shop. Instead, I am now on my way to work for a few hours, writing and having a leisurely cup of ice coffee at a sidewalk cafe listening to Nat King Cole sing “Get your kicks on Route 66”-the ultimate highway song celebrating the romance of a road trip, one of my favorite things in life. The music turns to Carla Bruni singing in French. This could be Paris. This is why I left New Hampshire to live in Florida.
The Juice guys asked me to come to work again today. The owner has some projects he would like me to help him with. “Do you only want to do bookkeeping, or are you interested in pitching in with some other things?” Are you kidding me?
He is working on sending sales info to hotel chains, like the Marriott, that are expanding their breakfast service. Lobby breakfast bars, that kind of thing. He gives me a letter he has written, he asks me if I can “pretty it up.” I can do this at home he tells me. We start talking about social media. Facebook, Twitter. I tell him I already do this. I told him at the interview but he didn’t understand. We discuss the possibility of my attending trade shows with him. I could take photos, tweet them, set up a Facebook page, post events. I’m excited. This is something I would enjoy doing. I am still not willing to work more than twenty hours most weeks, but if we were taking a road trip to a trade show I could make an exception. Writing is time consuming, it has become a passion. I have to write. I love to write. But I do need money, so I am excited about this work he is offering me. I take the letter home and tell him I will have something by Monday morning.
I leave the office at noon with every intention of going to Wyman Park to walk but I notice another state park sign as I exit the parking lot. I take a right. Little did I know, the shopping plaza I work at is right on the intracoastal and this lovely state park borders the bays where the food delivery trucks pull up to the Publix loading docks. I park the car, put my sneakers on, and head off for an adventure.
This boardwalk is roughly a mile long, weaving through strange swampy trees with the occasional view of the intracoastal.
I will be back here often. Lots of free parking, public rest rooms, shade, and lovely scenery.