Familiarity breeds, well, familiarity…


     There is something familiar and nostalgic at dark-fall on every island I’ve ever been on in the Bahamas.  Everybody gets busy: walking back and forth; draping themselves languidly over roadside bar-tops; flirting with benign good nature; riding around in golf carts; talking trash.  There’s always the guy whispering into ears and disappearing. There’s at least one jaundiced old man wandering.  The women prance and preen in tight pants, on fuck-me pumps.  The men smell of Old Spice and pot.  There is an irresistible cocktail of hormones and anticipation and secrecy.

     And where do all the men come from?  They’re everywhere.  And it’s gotten cool.  Nightfall, and golf carts, and men, and a bottle of beer (oh my), that is quintessential Bahamas at night.

     The closest thing I can think of to describe how I felt in the Bahamas’ evenings, going back sober, is this:  have you every been with someone you were crazy about but was wrong for you?  Usually that person is straight-up hot, and makes you feel badly about yourself, and treats you like you’re not enough, and steals your soul and your friends hate him…  So you break up with this person, and you feel righteous.  And then you see him somewhere with someone else.  And there’s this punch-in-the-gut familiarity: you know it’s over, but your mind plays a little trick.  What could have been…

     And then you look away, or you give him a civilized, sanitized kiss and life goes on.  For the better.  That is how I felt when, sitting at a bayside tiki bar,  I asked the waitress, “Do you have Club Soda?”

     Yeah, I’m an alcoholic people.

Today I’m not drinking because: Club Soda is so refreshing!

How come you’re not drinking?