The Bride and I escaped to St. Augustine for the night yesterday, both of us having had an horrific week for the most part, and decompression being required. It's only twenty miles from my house, but it is a completely different world.
As an aside, my little quadrant of northwest St. Johns County is horse farm country, and today's St. Augustine paper had an article on the loss of horse farm acreage to development, a sad thing. Although the number of horses is up to 817 from 1989's 250, the farms are 5 to 7 acre hobby farms now, as opposed to the old 40 or 50 acre horse farms that existed before. Only a few of those remain, the rest being sold off piecemeal for the filthy lucre of development dollars. The other problem is the road paving. All the dirt roads are getting asphalted, and there isn't much dirt road to ride one's horse on. But it's still a nice rural atmosphere, even if the horse farms are in freaking developments.
Back to St. Augustine: We stayed at the Casa Monica, which is the only four-star hotel around, then slummed at the Trade Winds, an excellent dive for live music. Bike Week in Daytona is starting, so there were plenty of bikers in the 'Winds, but that's fine with my blue jean and silk sports coat ass. I get along well with bikers, I just don't think I'd look good in leather chaps. As long as I refrain from mentioning the fact that I like my outer garments to cover my anus, we get along fine. Of course, I wasn't wearing my bicycle attire, which they consider equally faggotty. Note to self: I shall design bicycling chaps, to keep road grime off the discriminating cyclist. Then I'll open a bath house in Key West with the profits, and die a rich man with Kaposi's Sarcoma in five years. That's a plan.
So we were sitting with some dykes, a salt and pepper couple, and I was, against my inner counsel, swizzling double Ketel One vodkas on the rocks, with olives the size of dog testicles. The opening act was solo, a good act. He played Brown Eyed Girl, which I love. I love Van the Man. No problem. But when the main act played the same song later I looked at the dykes, and slurred something to the extent of "Brown Eye Girls or Back Door Betties?" I would like to think they didn't catch it, but the tone became decidedly icier. Ah, well.
Dinner at Harry's beckoned, although I couldn't eat it due to hiccoughs, so we staggered (well, I staggered) back to the room. The fucking farging No Smoking room. The entire building is non-smoking. They made me sign a disclaimer when I checked in stipulating I wouldn't smoke. Fancy that. Seemed reasonable at the time, but of course at 11 pm I was saying "Watch this!" and lighting three cigarettes simultaneously in my mouth in the room. Of course, I was standing on the toilet lid and blowing the smoke up the air vent, so it wasn't all that macho, but I enjoyed it.
That's pretty much all I remember until I awoke this morning with a layer of something that could only be mine own mucous covering my eyes, nostrils, mouth. I went down to the lobby like that and what? smoked a cigarette outside. In jeans around my scrotum, hair in fifty directions, bloodshot eyes, barefoot, facially encrusted. Leering in the window at the elegant Saturday brunchers, to their utter disgust.
Decompression, thy name is St. Augustine.