Top speed to the edge of America

Just before sunset in the Florida Keys.

With the cigar fumes of Ybor City trailing in the early morning light behind us, we began our “top-speed run across the water all the way out to the last stop in Key West.”

(Though we weren’t going to follow Hunter S. Thompson’s idea of trading the car off for a boat to “keep moving.” We’d actually be looping back to Miami to hand in the car–they did have my credit card details.)

My attorney was in the driving seat. I was huddled on the other side nursing a post-cigar raspy throat with a hangover to boot. It was enough to make me envious of those clean-living days in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For there, despite a litany of common discomforts, at least one tended to operate with a clear head thanks to no-alcohol policies and the difficulties in acquiring enormous Cuban cigars.

I settled back into the seat, popped in some head phones and watched the proliferation of overweight white guys decked in Hawaiian shirts, sea-food restaurants, cars and RVs towing fishing boats and pleasure cruisers, and store fronts packed with  beach items flashing by the Sebring.