My eyes open slowly a giant wall-window lets in the bright, bright sun. If it weren't for the immediate pain that surges through my temples, I'd think this was paradise.
Through the window there's a pool with jets streaming over a waterfall. A couple sit in the hot tub and a long bar winds around to a door to the outside world.
The outside world doesn't seem to exist. The sun is so bright that nothing can be seen through the door. Over the walled yard are a few palm trees swaying in the wind.
I've spent myself again this weekend. It was Aspen all over again. Substitute swing dancers for environmentalists. Sub beaches for snow. My body can't really take so much anymore. Too many hangovers--I think I'll swear off drinking (again) for good.
I spend the rest of the day alternatively laying out by the pool to faithfully work on my tan and dozing inside when it gets too hot. Its so nice to feel hot again.
After another exciting dance on Saturday, I finally talk someone into giving me a ride back to Miami Beach. This time I'm not encased in a gated Boca Raton community, but in the Environment Florida staffer flophouse. I head over to the beach, which is quiet and more ntaural then what I remember for Miami Beach. When I've recovered again, I jump on the bus and head down to South Beach.
When I jumped off the bus, the same feeling that overwhelmed me that I felt when I emerged from the metro in LA. I felt at home.
It's gotten worse. The more I trave, the more pieces of me get left in each city. I find things and people to love and I grow roots. When I leave each piece of me I left behind tugs me back, so that now I feel happy and unhappy in each place. Sometimes I feel that it's better not to travel. Not to know who you're missing. Never be able to close your eyes and feel the warm sand or see the view from the top of Mullholand Drive. Not to know four walls that feel like home.
The only solution is to travel more--to visit the places and people where the roots pull me.
Thank God for 4 weeks paid vacation.
I'm sitting at Tapas Y Tintos on Espanola Way. I used to come here 2-3 times a week and I never had one visitor to South Beach that I didn't take here. The manager and bartender both remember me. My espresso martini tastes the same. And when my friends arrive and we sit down for dinner and the flamenco I don't think there's anywhere else I'd rather be.
I ask Adam to hire me to work in Miami again, half jokingly, half for real. That dream will have to wait a year or two though.
And who knows? By then my heart may have taken root in Boston.