It was inevitable. The flood of memories into my psyche at the halfway point in my return trip to Miami was just a matter of time. It made me think about whether one can ever really go back home. At least whether Fino can ever go home. For one thing, there is little here in the way of work for me in South Florida. And I honestly I don’t really want to come back necessarily to Miami for all the reasons that I left over 25 years ago…
Today, I was back at Cape Florida where I spent many, many afternoons of my childhood. I also drove by the house I grew up in near Red and Bird. I mean I knew it was different from when I grew up but, it was still strange. A very Proustian strange as when Marcel attends the Ball des Masques in Le Temps Retrouvé. There are features of the house – in particular the profile of the water heater on the roof – that remind me of the times spent there, but simultaneously it was patently obvious that we had both changed and evolved to points of no return. Silly thing to say perhaps but it struck me as both sad and poignant how the march of time is so relentless and irreversible. On another level, my parents are still my parents but now as I have established my family and comfortably settled into my 40s, they no longer have a superior luster nor do I feel any teen rage against them. There is definitely love there but no the same dependent, fusional love of the adolescent that left Miami for Gainesville so many years ago but a more reserved not to say distant love.
This weekend, I will spend two childless (yeah!) nights in the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables with my wife. During my youth the hotel was in ruins, its last incarnation as a hospital still apparent in the facade. We all thought that the building was haunted (it did house Al Capone and probably still has some skeletons of his doing). Once, I illegally explored the pool area and nearly got looked inside as a fence clod behind me and panic set in. Now, a quarter century later, the hotel has been completely restored, the pool is the largest in America they say, and the whole complex is on the very short list of 4-star luxury hotels in South Florida. I’ll let you know how that feels next week.
Ok so off to bed with me before I start making even less sense!
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