So Spring Break was fucking awesome!!! Well, maybe not ‘fucking awesome’ but it had a modicum of awesomeness to say the least. I left Tuesday morning and drove 13 hours (with 2 breaks thank you) through Jonesboro, Memphis, Meridian, Biloxi to glorious, glorious Pensacola beach.
I slept under a giant water tower painted like a beach ball in the backseat of my 1985 black Lincoln town car the first night (I was so tired). In the morning I walked to the beach and put my feet in the water and just looked at the ocean. Well, I guess it wasn’t really the ocean; it was the gulf…but close ‘nuff. It was breezy and the skies were crystal clear…I was so mesmerized by the sight of the green/blue ocean (with white capped surf) that I forgot vampire Anglos like me get sunburned. So I looked like a lobster the rest of the trip.
Camped out in an apartment parking lot because (unbeknownst to me) a gigantic hurricane destroyed most of Florida recently. So of course they closed the campgrounds due to that and I couldn’t spend the night at Big Lagoon National Park (my original plan) …because they were too damaged to camp in?
The last day I decided that 2 days alone on the beach was enough alone time, and so Thursday I decided to leave. But before I left, I got enough courage to swim into the surf of the sea. And let the salt wash over me and get in my ears, and let the current pull me under. It was totally liberating to know for sure that you could be so close to death…and
couldn’t do anything about it.
While planning my trip I overlooked the fact that I would have to drive through a large portion of the south. Although secretly I long to be a normal southern boy, it was still a totally gross experience to experience so much of the south at once. I think I threw up a little in my mouth.
Things about the south I noticed:
1)They actually don’t have any grocery stores. They have similar entities, labeled ‘food marts’ but they are actually snack stores that have an extensive liquor stock. I could learn to like that.
2) It is goddamn filthy—they have more cars on cinder blocks and old out buildings than even Missouri does. It is like a dirty person’s house where you have to wipe your feet off on the doormat before leaving so you don’t contaminate the rest of the world.
3) It is still very poor. I think Dave Barry once said it best, “Most of Georgia was actually burned during the filming of Gone With the Wind.” Seriously, what excuse do they have to be indigent….the Civil War was a really long time ago.
4) Southerners are refreshingly bigoted. I actually heard on Christian radio, and I quote, “there isn’t a genetical reason for homosexuality, I think it is all environmental.” He said ‘genetical’. I mean, when will the ignorant rednecks learn no one gives a flying fuck what they think? How long will we put up with the GIGO hearsay, knee-jerk reactions of the fundamentalists? I mean seriously, WWJD?
Oh well, for all the shortcomings of southerners (and how we all think they are flaming bigots), they sure do a good job of getting themselves elected. There is just something we as Americans trust about them. Maybe it is the personal magnetism or the accent. I like to think that we like electing marginal-retards to make us feel better about ourselves.
I told Rachel I want to end up like the French. They are so resigned and indifferent. Nothing things to get them really pissed off. I would take a sip of red wine, or a puff of a long cigarette. And then say to my friend in the café, “How could someone rise above the muck? Life is a hard thing…a performance in a play that lasts a lifetime. C’est la vie.”
And I would drink to spring break on the ocean (I mean the gulf).