Photograph by Slim Aarons
I don’t totally understand my fascination with Florida. I’ve only been to visit three times, I’ve never stayed longer than a week, and there is something about the politics and confused culture of the state that is really terrifying.
I used to have a fantasy of moving to Florida after college and renting a pink house and driving a mint green pickup truck and having a boyfriend named Beau and a dog named Stitch and always leaving the front door open and post-dinner walks to get ice cream and there is definitely a porch swing in there somewhere and yes to beach hair and bare feet and tanned shoulders and shorts all year and fried seafood in front of a sunset.
But see most of this could take place anywhere, right? That could be easily be southern California or Massachusetts or even New Jersey during warm months. The pink house might be a little tricky, but I could attempt to make most of my fantasy come true right here in Brooklyn. But there’s just something about Florida. I think it’s the landscape, the beaches, the swamps, the flatlands. It’s the climate, the mugginess, the winding tree-lined coastal roads, the cultural indecision, the proximity to Cuba, there is something about all of these things lumped together that fascinates me.
Or it could just be my white hot desire to live a life of leisure that doesn’t include a soggy, sweaty, smells like my nose is packed between someone’s butt cheeks subway car. Rush hour commuting creates in me an ardent need to lounge and loll in white bloomies by the pool waiting for absolutely nothing at all.