An Ode to Florida
What does it mean to be a Floridian? When people ask me where I’m from, I always say Florida with a bit of a reluctant shrug, or a comment like, ‘but it’s way shittier living there than you would imagine.’ And yet, somedays, I yearn for Florida so desperately that I want to book a ticket home.
I'm a natural born beach bum
I crave the oppressive humidity and heat, so thick you feel like you are swimming down the driveway when you go to get your mail. I miss the hilarity of having to stop your car for a gator crossing, the thrill of crawling army style through the mangroves to avoid the Coast Guard, who caught you drinking illegally on the beach at night. I miss the wacky headlines, the sound of palm trees rustling, the smell of the ocean and chlorine and spray tans. I miss indulging in some beers and smokes with my friends on a patio, and the laughably cheap lunch buffets for snowbirds. I miss cutting open coconuts from my backyard next to the pool. I miss wearing barely there clothes and finding lizards in my shower and stepping over snakes. I miss racing against the sun to eat a popsicle, taco stands, and fresh orange juice. I miss having a drawer full of bikinis, and my car floor always an inch deep in sand. I miss the pink sunsets and afternoon thunderstorms. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Sanibel Island. Perpetual sunburns. South Beach. Weeki Wachee and Blue Springs. Hurricane parties and stringing up a hammock between two palm trees in my backyard.
Growing up in Florida means Disney World foam parties
Is there a part of me that belongs in a Key West style tiki bar with Jimmy Buffett playing in the background? I rejected Florida so strongly growing up, but now as an adult I see that I can't even imagine living somewhere with snow, or seasons in general. Mountains are unsettling to me, as are earthquakes and two story houses. And why on Earth would anyone ever need an attic, basement, or fireplace?!
My favorite used book store in Fort Myers, FL
Walking Dead on Fort Myers Beach