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A Most Unreliable Narrator Issue #162 getting shat on by iguanas
And lots and lots of rum punches
Key West was a literal hot delight.
(To wit, when I left N. Michigan Friday morning, it was 57. It was 90 when I got to Key West. The opposite was true when I went home on Monday.)
We arrived on Friday afternoon and left Monday morning. We spent two and half days drinking and carousing the island. We made stops at the aquarium, Hemingway Home, and the butterfly sanctuary. We’d leave early in the morning for breakfast at a local creperie, do our tourist shit before heading back to the hotel to swim and lounge in the afternoon. We had a fancy dinner one night for fancy steak.
Other than myself getting shat on by an iguana, it was fairly relaxing weekend.
We hung out with some dudes from lawng island one afternoon where we talked about music and cars around the pool. One said he loved Glen Beck. Another tried to convince me blue lives matter. We smiled, ignored the political talk, and drank their drinks. We saw them a few days later at a bar where they wore matching t-shirts with their nicknames on the back. One came over and clinked our glasses while another kissed my hand. We left the bar shortly after.
I dumped 60 pictures into an album on Facebook. I’ve stopped using IG long ago (though I do check it a few times a week for pictures by Best Kate and others).
Here are the highlights:
I was meh on Hemingway until I read A Moveable Feast, a semi-autobiographical tale of his time in Paris in the 1920s before we went to Paris in 2010. I fell in love with Hemingway’s words and his storytelling so seeing the Hemingway Home was a bit must do on the trip.
The museum did not disappoint, and it was even better if you’re into six-toed cats.
Aside: I’ve long been a fan of Fitzgeralds (F Scott and Zelda) and have read almost all their work except for a few short stories. I’m also a fan of Virginia Woolf (I have a piece I’m writing that is inspired by Mrs. Dalloway.) Several summers ago, I wanted to read (and re-read) The Lost Generation (Hemingway, Fitgeralds, Woolf, etc) and write about their work. I had a blog and a Twitter account on the ready but it never came to fruition. I still consider it a potential project.
I spilled booze on my book of Hemingway poems. I think Hem would have approved.
We meandered to the southernmost point in the continental US after we went to the butterfly sanctuary on Sunday. There was a small line of people waiting to get pictures. The line was ordered and quiet. I did get annoyed at the interlopers in their cars who hopped the line to get pictures and sped off. But what can you do? (There is also a Sbux on the island but we never got around to it.)
Per the tour guide at Hemingway Home, Hemingway liked to hang out at Sloppy Joe’s on the reg while he lived in Key West during the 1930s. Also, per the guide, Sloppy Joe’s was originally called Rick’s which has now moved across the street. As the tour guide went on about all the name changes and building moves, I got super confused. We had drinks at Rick’s (no Hemingway trinkets and full of college kids) and Sloppy Joe’s (lots of Hemingway trinkets and older crowd). I drank “Papa’s favorite” at Sloppy Joe’s though I cannot remember its name.
I tried to drink as much rum as humanly possible this weekend.
I was told by Amelia, who pre-dated me in Key West by a few weeks, to check the sunset and sunrise on the island. We were not able to do the sunrise, but we did check a sunset. It was spectacular.
Sixty million years ago (late ‘90s), I hand coded my websites. Each entry was a single HTML file.
There were hundreds of those files.
Still have those old websites archived on my laptop, carried over from computer to computer in the last 25 years.
WordPress was not released until 2003. My first domain came out in 1998.
I received notification of a broken link the other day at exitpursuedbyabear.net and it 503 (time out) error to archive.org. I linked to an old domain name I used back then when I was trying out domain names like most people try on pants. What caught my eye, other than my aesthetic style has not changed in over 20 years, is the quote I had at the top on the landing page:
"I'm not going to tell the story the way it happened. I'm going to tell it the way I remember it." -Finnegan Bell in Great Expectations
That quote was prominent on the front page of many variations of my websites over the years and finding it again was not just about nostalgia, but rather the truth of the statement. History is written by winners and the only winner in this history is me.
I’ve gotten a lot of shit over the years about putting my life online, especially since my site’s “name” is A Most Unreliable Narrator. But aren’t we all unreliable narrators in our own lives? The truth is very fluid. Mr. Lisa and I have a variation of this discussion nearly every day. How he remembers something is not always the way I remember. Each interaction shared by two or more people is Rashomon style. I believe this 100%.
I think most people are afraid to think about the truth other than being a rational and solid thing. They know what they know and they will fight you tooth and nail for their truth is the only truth. That’s all fine and good but that doesn’t negate how fluid the truth actually is.
Do I have regrets?
Much to the chagrin of many, the answer is no.
I dug deeper into the Substack bowels and found stats on my readership:
A Most Unreliable Narrator is read across 20 US states and 12 countries.
I’m not going to pretend AMUN has a zillion subscribers; my readership is small but mighty. My open rate is higher than average and I rarely have someone unsubscribe. Many have been following me since the late ‘90s! I also know that I don’t have a cohesive theme. I write what I want and it changes even within a particular issue. My only advertising is my FB page and my LInktree. I want people to follow me because they like diaries and they find myself interesting enough to read my life. Will this change? I’ve been writing an online diary for 25 years so probably not.
So, thank you to my readers in 12 countries and 20 U.S. states!
This may be of interest to only a few of you but I wanted to mention it anyway!
For numerous reasons, I’ve had a hard time with finding support post fat girl surgery. A lot of it has to do with the toxicity in the forums and communities including my clinic’s (which while posts are approved before showing up, moderating is not done). Sure, I have Best Kate and Dave (as well as others who I know who have had the surgery), but it’s not quite the same.
I found BMP on IG looking for bariatric friendly meals. Turns out the Kristin (Willard) is a registered dietician who specializes in bariatric nutrition unlike a lot of IG influencers who make shit up. This was a relief because there are so many charlatans out there.
In addition to her IG, Willard has created a community within BMP. Yes, I pay for the service but her support and community support has long surpassed what I was looking for and gives much better support than my clinic. She has monthly Q &As (my clinic does this but it tends to work more on pre-surgery than post), challenges, and free (if you are a member) events.
While there is a lot of support online for fat girl surgery, BMP is one of the best out there.
love and rum punches.