Nov. 23, 2005: Alligators and Sunshine

Alligators and Sunshine
November 23, 2005

    OK, what’s the place I would be least likely to end up in?
    No, I’m not in Las Vegas. Guess again.
    Yep, here I am in Miami, Florida.
    Why Miami?
    Sun, friends, alligators.
    Sun: Wow, it feels good. How strange to watch the fall come and go, leaves turn yellow and orange and brown, trees become bare, warm sweaters come out, and then suddenly I’m drinking homemade coconut wine and diving into the ocean to escape the hot sun! I’ll never get used to that, seasons changing with a day in an airplane. Amazing times we live in, eh?
    But the real reason I’m here is friends. The whole group I cycled across
France with two years ago has converged here, and 7 of us are happily residing in a little one-room efficiency. It’s crowded but happy, and we cycle around Miami in our little bike gang, going to the ocean, seeing local music, dumpstering, going to parties, and just generally enjoying life.
    Only a few days after arriving we were all offered a big chuck of work with the Stage Hands Union in Tampa setting up and taking down a show at the convention center, and one at the performing arts center. The hours were crazy and sleep was scarce but it feels great to have paid off my summer travels so quickly. That’s why it took so long to write, apologies to everyone I haven’t written back to yet. I’m back in Miami again now but my only nearby internet access is at the library. I do, however, have a phone number, at least for the next few days, which is at the end of the email.
    Only for a few days because I’m heading off on my bicycle to look for alligators. OK, it’s not just the alligators drawing me to the Everglades, and I won’t exactly be looking for them. From all I hear it’s a wild and beautiful place like no other. I’m going to cycle in and try to find a canoe to get away from the road and camp. Don’t worry, I promise not to get eaten by anything but mosquitoes. Either before or after that I’m going to cycle down the Keys -I’ve never been there before- and hopefully spend lots of time in the ocean.
    Plans, plans. Around Dec. 8 I’ll be flying up to Albany, NY, to help Liz and Dan get ready for the birth of their baby. Then around Dec 18 I’ll be heading to the Bay Area, and heading up to Arcata for a few days, too, then back to NY on Dec. 29 for the birth (in early January probably). So I hope to see a lot of you along the way.
    It’s great to be back in the States, appreciating all the little things we usually take for granted, like understanding everyone’s conversations, being able to work legally, health food stores with foods I know what to do with, a common cultural background, friends nearby, and the ease of doing all the little things. It’s been great to re-ground in all that.
    I hope you’re all having a great autumn and I hope to see you soon!