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Banished to Bradenton, FL

 

Written with a sense of terminal doom…

I drove around one night just to introduce myself to the neighborhood, paying attention to the gut impressions – those instincts that keep you alive when things get hazy. During the last 6 months, I have migrated around South Florida, choosing to hide out like so many Italian gangsters and their Jewish accountants, finding refuge in…a great escape plan, evading prosecution and the endless deluge of federal and state subpoenas. Florida is the nation’s “rip-cord,” a means to bail-out and find a piece of “paradise” for the right price – a community of runaways…in a state which looks, on a map, like a pistol. Florida is the all-American retirement state. Like any red-blooded citizen, most people carry some kind of firearm on their hip or on their ankle…P-A-R-A-N-O-I-A…all of these dingbats pretending to have something to guard. The white people fear a coup on their investment accounts, some kind of financial jihad seeking revenge for Malcolm X, growing the white man’s bond with the NRA and the GOP. As far as the “white-man’s” safety goes, Bradenton and Sarasota are filled with 55+ trailer park communities – more Jews per square mile than any other place in the world, even trumping the blacks – on a strict number comparison. On the topic of Sarasota, (thinking about it now gives me heart palpitations) I should probably disclose that my roommate and I were banished from the city, probably permanently, but you will have to refer to my lawyer for those details. The case is just now being heard by a jury of my peers. I have a feeling that with our luck, we will have a hard nosed, elderly female judge, exercising an unforgiving disposition towards anyone with a penis.
After some drama at the Village Brook condo complex regarding damages, we were finally able to drift upstream on the first week of January to what we thought would be more casual and modest waters. Bradenton seemed like a desirable upgrade, but there were bad omens during this transition…It would not be the first time that I would have to move abruptly, but the first time that I have left the tenant-landlord relationship in shambles. I knew we were in trouble on December 27, the last day of our lease. We had to be out by noon on the 28th to make way for the cleaning crew – the brave Hispanics tasked with repairing the damages in what had been a fully furnished suite. I felt sorry for the poor bastards. Someone was going to have to put the pieces back together after myself and my roommate destroyed everything. We couldn’t help it. There was nothing that we could do to stop ourselves from tearing the sofa cushions up with hunting knives…for no reason or purpose, just a part of the haze – the Blackout. I didn’t feel too bad about it. The whole place needed an IKEA upgrade. Of course, I refused to pay for the re-furnishing cost, so that burden will fall on the lawyers, whom I hoped would prove to be the right strategic investment: Litigate the problem till it dies, dodge the damages and save the money for the lawyer – fuel the monkey with Redbull, cash, and cocaine.

Some kid that I had met in the mental hospital came over back in November and threw a hammer through the television screen (there were two, he hit the one that wasn’t ours). He said he thought there was a camera inside, but it was just his latest outburst of a long government surveillance kick that happened to cause him great personal distress and paranoia. Unbenounced to anyone, including me, the bastard had stopped taking his medication, which began an episode that eventually ended with him tied to a telephone poll…nude, wearing ruby red lipstick, but at least he got a tax-payer funded ride out of it…back to the mental hospital that afternoon. Some neighbors filed an indecent exposure complaint, but the majority of the blame fell on myself and my roommate. The Realtor almost kicked us out then. She wrote us a letter via email:

Dear Mr. Young and Mr. Banner,

With all due respect to your private activities, I just want to make sure that you know that I have no personal judgement regarding any personal allegations or relevant rumors, my only consideration is for the unit and the contents therein – apartment D-105.

[…]

I would like to respectfully request that you and your roommate vacate the unit within 90 days.

Thank you,

Rhonda Summers

South Florida Phantom Management

Licensed Realtor

I had my attorney – Dennis Aldo – send her some legal jargon about motions and lawsuits, and without any official proceedings, she withdrew our eviction. He never told me what he did, but thankfully, we were able to continue under our original lease terms.

The mirrors in both of the bathrooms and the one in the living room were covered in writing – squiggly black marker lines all over: lyrics, words, ideas, or whatever comes enters the mind during an inspired blackout. These occurrences are not rare, and happen frequently among drug users and mental patients. Most of the condos around Village Brooke have a mirror in the living room to magnify half the common area in order to create a larger general perception of the room. We could not help ourselves. We had to cover them with words – the ideas that we could not, or would not, ever understand.

I had suspicions about our neighbor, Betty (no last name). I believed that she might be a spy for the homeowner as well as the Realtor. Betty played the perfect charmer, smiling in all directions. We presumed her an ill presence, wary of her intentions, and avoided her at all costs. “I have always had suspicions that our neighbor Betty possesses some kind of superpower,” I told Jordan one night. “She always up late at night, sometimes, I see her pacing around her apartment – her silhouette stumbling around with great effort…We can’t trust her. She is a night owl, and that’s nearly an impossibility for anyone over the age of 65. Even Hunter Thompson checked out around that age, when he realized he was going to lose.”

Distracted by this thought, Jordan muted his PBS documentary to ask, “Should we kill her ?

“Maybe,” I said, “something like a final solution for this unnerving situation.”

We decided against that option, but concluded: Betty couldn’t be trusted. Her sleeping habits provided all the evidence necessary to make an honest judgment. I believe that Betty informed the real estate agent about our strange habits, and once Ms. Summers had our scent – all bets were off.

A former sheriff deputy told me that Sarasota had a very large and well known swinger population. I found this to be intriguing, because my initial impression of Sarasota was as a gigantic retirement community with JEWS and CATHOLICS living together harmoniously, line dancing to and fro, and getting fed by the Baha Vista Amish population.

For a retirement community, I did not think that Sarasota would have such a subversive culture, rooted underneath the sands of Siesta and Longboat Key. Yet, it fits right in to the ultimate nature of the place, a destination for a man and a wife to find sexual adventure in one of the many swinging-nudist outfits located in the basement of various shore-front boutiques. The men like to be fucked in the ass and the women like to be fucked with some kind of lesbian contraption. The straight swingers: they are more or less normal, nothing too complicated. The straight swingers switch partners but maintain a consistent persuasion. The gay swingers: They just want to get it up their ass. These are the men with a wife, multiple kids, and a lifetime of repressed sexual desire. They come to Sarasota to exercise such things. This is not a place for children…keep that in mind, and the fact that most of my information has come from a lesbian Sheriff’s Deputy who had seen everything during her/his career, all the angles of a community. Since retiring last year, (She/He) has begun a gender transition.

My roommate and I had no idea that moving to Bradenton would be such a change from Sarasota. We were both affected by the move – increased mental confusion and flu-like symptoms (covers most of the bases for sickness). When I first moved down to Sarasota, I had a partial idea of what I was going to do down here, contingent upon numerous factors, but nonetheless, a pretty sound objective. Since moving to Bradenton, I have been completely lost and confused…distant and unresponsive to any and all stimuli that would have normally triggered some type of response. Something had been neurologically damaged living in Sarasota. I am sure of it. Without the brain, the body will spin out of control – limited motor function, intense pain, and general loss of libido. So far, the best thing about Bradenton: I now have a reason to exercise my 2nd amendment right to bare arms.

*************

After the first week, my black pipe, which had been my primary weapon for the entire year (2014), fell out of my pocket and shattered on the white tile floor. I stood over it for many minutes, hoping that a prayer and the right kind of stare would be enough to kinetically repair it. I am sure this loss was providential, and I am sure I will find out why in due course…or not.

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