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Where Are You From?

‘Where are you from?’ This is a question posed by strangers, meant innocently I understand, but one that gets on my nerves, mostly because it is exasperating to have repeated this conversation ad infinitum. Here’s how it, reliably, goes: Q: Where are you from? Me: I’m from New York Q: No you’re not! Me: You know better? Q: But you have an accent! Me: You must be a musician with such a fine ear
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Stone Cold Winter

Winter weather is one of many reasons to move to Key West. Writers thrive here. Made famous by Ernest Hemingway whose legend is steady like a patron saint. Tennessee Williams spent far longer here, and later the likes of Truman Capote and Tom McGuane, and onward the list of venerables goes. Oddly, this winter even Key West has been chilly. Still the tourists come, searching for succor. Tourists are identifiable, besi
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Monster

I live with cockroaches I’ll admit it but I’m a New Yorker so I’m used to them. I don’t like them though. One time I lived with so many I got in the habit of flicking them hard if they crept within range. But my squeamishness level has risen and when I see one I get flustered and fill with anxiety. Sometimes I think I see an expression on their faces. Expressions almost cartoonish of dread. I
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Key West Loves Mia Borders

Key West Loves Mia Borders Friday night and Saturday night are committed to the Green Parrot. There’s just no point going anywhere else if you want to hear exceptional music. This weekend we had Miss Mia Borders from New Orleans, she writes her own music she sings like an angel, a somewhat naughty angel with a booming powerful voice that can scale extraordinary heights. Almost best of all, she has a sense of hu
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Shades

                  ... the other day a smart sexy good-looking guy with a grown-up job asked me out on a date. We were on the telephone, chatting and arranging things. At some point he said to me, I am dominant. Do you know what I mean by that? I replied, I think so. He said, I am a 50 shades of gray type of guy. What do you think of that? Oh…., well I get claustrophobia in elevators so I don’t think this
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Bench Press

David Wolkowsky’s annual party was the usual roaring success with the best of Key West from the artists and authors and poets to the elite conchs with streets named after them. And of course there are the ‘guests’ who have never received a cream colored embossed invitation in the handwritten matching envelope, but they crash the party each year. David notices everything. I, on the other hand, notice very little these
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Joker

The other night late I dawdled to chat with my friend Malloy, the joke teller. I have spent many hours seated beside Malloy out there on Duval Street until business hours end, which is after 4 in the morning. My first year here before I knew anyone Malloy was a place for me tarry and watch the nuttiness I love so much about Key West. Strolling around is fun, but sometimes I want a good perch from which to observe and
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Dirty Bird

After three months of near total isolation I scraped off the Yeti exterior and made myself presentable for David Wolkowsky’s annual downtown rooftop party to celebrate the start of the Key West Literary Seminar. This year’s party was in honor of poet Billy Collins. Only for my dear friend David would I make the monumental effort to buff and dress up. I’ll confess I toppled in my high heels. 10 o’clock the
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Sticky Stripper

I don’t even like to touch doorknobs. The night the three of us went to the strip club a stripper offered to mash my face between her breasts. I declined. So she went up the pole and swung around in some impressive positions, and I gave her a dollar. And then the unthinkable happened, she stuck out her hand for me to shake! I didn’t know what to do! I am totally germ phobic. But I did not want to be rude
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