Guest Writer: Florida. That was the plan.

Carolyn Carlquist: Facebook Post

March 9, 2017
387 Glenn Circle
Notes on another year

Carolyn Carlquist
Carolyn Carlquist

Florida. That was the plan.

Having lived half our lives watching the sun set behind concrete and trees, the Gulf side it was. A beer and two tacos is what it takes to sink it below the horizon line, smooth and uncluttered horizon line—not even a ship between us. One more beer and the red rouge fades to black without inspiration. Compared to its fierce, happy rise on the Atlantic side that makes you want to eat bacon.

Our first stop was Steinhatchee, me and his cat, and all the way to Naples. Stopping along the way, collecting stuff I swore I’d never buy again, having unloaded thirty-four years at the Goodwill.

I was looking for my new home, a place to land, a place to put what’s left. That’s what I told anyone who asked. Seems I’d fooled even myself. I wasn’t looking for my new home. I was looking for my old home. I’d been mistakenly trying to find 387 Glenn Circle, what no longer is.

It should have been simple enough. There’s nothing gray about my circumstance. Start over. Things have changed. Somehow, that basic logic didn’t come naturally to me.
Unable to own up to the singular.

I don’t consider my wanderings wasted time, uh-uh. One might say it was my “coming out,” and me the eager debutante, half-ass smiling to the camera with my two-for-one Chardonnay. It was both interesting and clarifying, those happy hour conversations I never thought I’d hear again. Out of my mouth.

At my age.

Only to expose an age-related loss of patience that mysteriously correlates with an extra pound or two around the middle. Although I’m okay with the extra pounds part. Thin bodies scare me now. He dropped 80 pounds in less than a year. We don’t lose weight like that. Not at our age. And there it is again, persistent and uninvited. My black dress that’s in the closet and no longer fits, but is too new to fold up and put away.

In a few hours the sun will come up over on the Atlantic side. If I get in the car right now, I can be there for breakfast.

Or just stay here.

I know what needs doing, I really do.

But only in the third person.