April 23, 2023 – Key West – Journal Entry

The Bertonis are leaving on Monday and all the flights to New York City are booked into the next week. There is always the possibility of a stand-by seat, but the flight is too expensive. School Break prices, so it appears that I will be stuck in Key West $80 in my pocket. Hitchhiking from here through the Deep South is daunting.

Several Hours later.

Giancarlo owed me $100 and bought me a $139 airline ticket. Guiliana, his wife, is pissed at the both of us. I’m a freeloader and the NYU’s chief anesthesiologist is a fool to have friends like me.

“Gianca, you earn the money, you should be able to control it,” I said brusquely and stormed out of the bungalow, thinking I needed to find a cheap hotel room.
Giancarlo followed me and we entered Sloppy Joe’s. It was only 10 in the morning, but this was vacation time.

“Sorry about that, but she’s angry with my helping James White and Anya,” Gianca said after ordering too daiquiris. Pina Coladas are too sweet for this time in the morning.

“How is Anya?” The dominatrix/muse had incurable cancer.

“Stable, but you you pay me that $39 in front of Guiliana. She’s angry, because I used the MasterCard without telling her. Women aren’t as stupid as we are.”

“We are really stupid, I’m sorry.” I had taken advantage of Gianca’s friendship. I should have taken care of my own downed my Daiquiri and ordered another. It was 10:16. We talked about Hockey. The Boston Bruins had been eliminated by the North Stars in the opening round and the NY Rangers were 3-1 up on the St. Louis Blue. “They’re almost good enough to win the Stanley Cup.”

“Scatzo, don’t say that,” His Wife shivered on the stool. He was equally as superstitious as were all fans of a game played on ice. We left after a third Daiquiri.

“One more thing, best you stay away for a while. Guiliana is on her period. If you ever get married, I’ll give lessons on how to be diplomatic with women, which is mostly keeping your mouth shut and taking the abuse.”
“Thanks for the advice.” I had lived with two women, but that isn’t like marrying one.” “You think I’ll ever get married?”

“I don’t see any threats of that in your future.”

“No there doesn’t.” Lisa and Anne were out of my life.

“I stayed away until well past dark.”


Gianca went back to the bungalow and I walked down to Garrison Bight. A cheap motel leaned into a decrepit marina with a views on a Burger King and US-1. The clerk said the rooms were $20 a night. I chiseled him down to $15.

“I come back tomorrow.”

He shrugged his indifference He had heard thousands of down-and-outers say the same words. I was no different.

Last week there was a power outage and the only lights on in Key West were this Burger King shimmering on a black asphalt. The only other lights were the stars, the moon and the distant planet Jupiter

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