South Florida, USA
Flat, flat, flat is the land – from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico – a straight shot made smooth by waves of hurricanes over centuries. And full it is, of zombies.
There should be a welcome mat expressing “welcome to Zombieland” at the airport; a place where you can walk barefoot in the middle of traffic, parading around like a clown in the height of rush hour, like a child selling Chiclets between stopped cars at dusty third world crossings. This is not rare, this.
They sit in too cushy chairs. They are too soft, these people. You see them at the bus stops and outside bars. Almost catatonic are they. And everyone acts like they just don’t care, about anything….somewhere, a sub-equatorial country became mixed with the entire cast and crew of the Grifters..
The tones are darker here – the rays of the sun are shielded from the ever-present rainclouds. Humid, hot, and hella expensive: New York prices meet warm blue sea. This is where New Jersey meets the Caribbean; where Tel Aviv and Havana collide. We walked into a supermarket that could have been in the heart of old town Jerusalem: more Hanukah than Christmas. I think the cashiers are all fluent in Hebrew.
“Slow down!” Wait, I can’t go any slower. Here, in cars, no one seems to know that turn signals exist.
It must be the weather that ruins fashions and turns minds into mush. What else could it be? The dark curled girl chewing gum with her mouth wide open, at the K-Mart check out (yes, I needed toothpaste, O.K.) asked me, via signs, what it meant to connect mentally with other people and read their mind. I told her “telepathy.” She looked at me as if I were talking in another language.
My friend said after multiple observations: “I think the average education level of the people here is not very high.”
For the masses of lower class folks, from up and down the Eastern U.S. Seaboard, this is home; their paradise. They relish in the tacky khaki and the blue and pink hues that are overused just about everywhere. Seemingly everyone smokes and has tattoos and drives either the most beat up jalopy; the most high-end supercar; or a Lincoln Town Car of any year. You must love faux convertible rag top that is faded and scratched and peeled off; basically just looks terrible.
And if you don’t live in a trailer park shaded by huge overgrowth, you live in a rotting wood house shaded by huge overgrowth. Or, closer to Miami, you live in concrete monster blocks; high rise condos, with overzealous names (Excelsior Residences; Millennial Century Deluxe Executive Towers), which sprout along the A1A down to Miami from a place called Hollywood. This Manhattanizes the feel, so those urban New Yorkers feel right at home living on top of each other, so close to the beach.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy you overstuffed chair. Get a whiff of the sea, if you can, through the humid air, and the cigar smoke. Don’t get too comfortable though, you might become the chair, and your brain will mush into faux leather before you know it.