We have house guests this week-end, an old college friend (I've known him for over 25 years--yikes--and my husband has known him a few years more than that) and his wife. Even though it's a schedule disrupter, I generally like to have out-of-town company. It forces us to get out and appreciate this diverse end of the United States where we live.
For example, yesterday for lunch, we went to a Cuban restaurant. We have more Cuban restaurants down here than certain fast food chains, yet my spouse and I don't eat out very often. But it's fun, once in awhile, to get out and remind ourselves that we can eat plantains prepared in a variety of ways, as well as wonderfully tender meat, and the ubiquitous black beans.
Yesterday afternoon, we went thrift store hopping, which is never my favorite activity, but I deferred to the will of the group. We went to a thrift store where the profits help abused women--how I wish I had my camera. Right next to the used wedding dresses was a display about women killed by their boyfriends--an interesting juxtaposition. After that, we went to a thrift store that helps gay men with AIDS who have no health insurance (called Out of the Closet, with the motto of the world's most fabulous thrift store, the first thrift store I've ever been to that also has a pharmacy).
I tried on some wonderful leather jackets, bargain priced, but we live in an area where a 60 degree morning is unusually cold. My husband whispered, "You're just bored, aren't you?" Yep.
I'm also amazed at all the stuff that people get rid of, much of it still perfectly serviceable. I've always thought there's a poem about how clothes are made in Pacific Island nations, shipped here, where we wear them, give them to thrift stores, and eventually, charities ship them back to the same Pacific Island nations.
I like to think that all of these details are now bubbling in my subconscious, waiting to cohere into poems. Hopefully, in the next few days, we'll go to some places that are truly unusual (I'm hoping for the Everglades, but I'm trying to remain flexible and open to possibilities; my houseguests are also interested in the upper and middle Keys and/or Lake Okeechobee--they're here until Tuesday, so there's some time).
Now everyone is awake and stirring. In an hour, we're going to head down to Key Biscayne, in hopes of touring the lighthouse--well, at least those of us who didn't stay up too late last night will be on a field trip.
Later, I'll blog about how a change of scenery can change one's poetry, and what I've noticed in my own life. For now, it's off to fill up the well of my brain, which can feel quite depleted by my daily routine.
This Year's Summer Reading List: Take a Look!
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