Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Even as I left Florida..."

Later today I will begin packing for a short vacation in Florida. To some people this may signify the beginning of "end times" considering that for several years now I have vowed never to return. I left the state of Florida in 1989 (yes, that is me pictured above) after a family vacation and somewhere around the age of 21 began my self-imposed exile. As best as I can tell, I have avoided the sunshine state for the following reasons:

  • numerous snakes (both poisonous and non-poisonous)
  • the 2000 election recount
  • way too humid
  • way too many old people
  • way too many young people (who I would not like to spend my time with)
  • spring break crowds
  • sharks
  • hurricanes
  • alligators
  • swamps
  • Janet Reno
  • being 90 miles from Cuba (not really sure why this bothers me)
  • the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beating the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII

and most of all...

the general consensus in the midwest that Florida is somehow "paradise"

As I pack my things and head south to see one of the greatest bands on the planet (see: Animal Collective) on monday nite, I am actually greatly looking forward to a return trip to Florida. I have a lot of good memories from my first and only trip to Florida:

  • Disneyworld
  • begging for (and getting) an all white skateboard from Ron Jon Surf Shop
  • watching Mike Tyson TKO a guy on the hotel tv
  • getting on the highway to go see Medieval Times as Lita Ford "Kiss Me Deadly" was rocking
  • Sea World
  • swimming in an ocean for the first time

So, when I walk onto that plane bound for Florida...I guess I change for the better by giving in and doing what I always said I never would do again: return to Florida. Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse released a song a few years ago titled "Florida". I knew through various interviews that we shared a mutual hatred for Florida, so when I first saw the song title on the tracklist for the album 'We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank' I knew I would be pleased with whatever he had to say regarding the state. The surprising thing was that I suddenly found a man that was in an odd way, forgiving what it was that bothered him so much about himself by making peace with the state he had accumulated so much hatred for. Where did my hatred for Florida come from? Has it always just been me not looking at the real issue? I suppose that by returning and facing it, I will hopefully better understand myself and my reasons for staying away all these years.


Although we often wondered
It was no thing of wonder
The shit that flew from our minds
While wearing stains of fresh fruit
And riding on shoes of horse glue
On this ridiculous climb
With great tunnel vision
We built ourselves a mission
To ride our motives design
Oh, what a vague description
Of what we have been missing
So why would anyone try?

It was always worth it
That's the part I seem to hide
And the busy ant empire
Put up the closing sign

I wasn't always cargo
I was once kind of my own
I guess I'll pack up my mind
It took so much effort
Not to make an effort
Oh, what a flawless design

It was always worth it
That's the part I seem to hide
And the busy ant empire
Put up the closing sign

Even as I left Florida

It was always worth it
That's the part I seem to hide
And the busy ant empire
Was always a beehive
It was always worth it
That's the part I seem to hide

Even as I left Florida
Far enough, far enough
Wasn't far enough
Couldn't quite seem to escape myself
Far enough, far enough
Far from Florida
We were all drowsing in cruise control
Far enough, far enough
Wasn't far enough

I stood on my heart's porch thinking
"Oh my God, I'll probably have to carry this whole load"
I couldn't remember if I tried
I couldn't remember if I took my brain out
Threw it so directly at the goal
I couldn't remember if I
I could have my mind erased
And still not know exactly what I don't already know

Even as I left Florida...


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erica said...

I dislike Florida. The only thing I think that redeems FL is that it is so close to Cuba and it's vintage commie feel. Also, Hemmingway lived and wrote about the Keys for many years. However, California beats mainland Florida and those people in the Midwest that think Florida is paradise are misguided. I have first hand experience of the swamp of forced depravity and boredom that is the state as I spent my first spring break in college holed up in a beach hotel on Daytona Beach. This same week I also learned to hate the girls swilling Jack Daniels fruit punch coolers. Both are two great life lessons.