I woke up in my medium-quality parking location, and felt alive and refreshed. I acquired minor supplies, and proceeded to the grassy gravel lot where cruise ships pass on their way toward Mallory Square. I lifted the curtains and opened my doors toward the water. A month. I will be spending a month here. That seems easy. Right now this is home.
I took out my camp stove and set it on my little folding yellow table. I took my dented little camping pot and poured in a puddle of oil. I dropped three eggs in the hot oil and stirred it with a plastic fork. I transferred breakfast to a cheap dish that works as a plate and a bowl. I cleaned everything with one paper towel while it was still warm. I seasoned the eggs, and cut an avocado. I had a handful of almonds on the side.
I spent the day riding a bicycle and paying some bills. My plan was to drop in on Duval Street later at night for a round of the old gawk and squawk.
I returned to my van for sunset and dinner snacking. I was super fucking relieved when a text message buzzed my phone.
My friend Eddie still lives here, and he invited me over to his boat. I'd been sending short messages in his direction - one per day on my way here. I was glad to see him pop up on my phone. Eddie's boat is his home, where he lives with his wife and son. He's docked on the gulf side. He works on another boat shuttling tourists out in the water. He shoots fish with a spear gun while he's out there. He catches stone crabs in some traps. I was impressed to see the size of the claws. He fried up a grouper, and I was happy to pick at it with a fork. This was all far better than what I had planned. I cannot state that enough.
More people arrived. The gathering was verging on a party. Before long, it made the grade. Maybe a dozen people were there, and half were under sixty. Everyone was cool as shit. I had rum punch, talked a little bit, and enjoyed the vantage point very much. A handful of people ate mushrooms. I was also offered drugs, but fuck it. I've tripped dozens of times, and I'm running low on epiphanies. I'm happier now to simply be around.
I left at nearly four in the morning. I was grinning heavily, and I was almost as tuned up as my bike. I cruised back to my van where you're not supposed to park. But nobody gets a ticket on New Year's. The law has both hands full tonight.