Sunday December 28 2008

Ah, breakfast on the balcony. Chocolate Lucky Charms and tea on the balcony, in the Florida sun. Ah.

We woke up Kareon at 11am, and observed that they had made a mess of their apartment. In Cambridge, Blade stayed in a student flat called The Annexe. The Annexe soon became a byword for Stygian filth and general bad hygiene – the kind of place with a pool of dark liquid at the bottom of the fridge, whose constituency and provenance is best left unexplored. For some reason, Kareon do not sleep in beds, preferring mattresses on the floor. Perhaps this is in observance of some Islamic Hadith, or just because they are slightly feral. We took them to the local supermarket to load up on crisps and junk food, before travelling to Siesta Key to visit the olds. Their flat overlooked a beach made of fine, soft, pure white powder. In this beautiful beach, a paean to all that is delicate and yielding, I managed to step on a thorn and had to visit a drugstore bathroom to apply First Aid to myself and yank the thing out, then hoicking my foot over the sink and washing the puncture wound. I merrily cursed the confidence with which I had decided not to bring along my First Aid kit, which of course contained tweezers, wipes and other useful items for such an occasion.

After a lovely swim in the sea, and hot dogs and tea, Kareon and we travelled to Ybor City, just outside Tampa, to see a concert by a thrash metal band called Sevendust, and some excellent sushi beforehand. There was only one reason for this visit. Gideon’s PhD was on a chap called John Witherspoon, one of the Founding Fathers. The singer in Sevendust is an African-American fellow by the name of Lajohn Witherspoon. This, gentle reader, is the only reason for our presence there. I am well used to rock gigs, of course, having spent many years standing on sticky floors and peering through gaps in taller peoples’ heads to see the band. The others, however, were less experienced. Whilst I wandered to the bar and drank beer while ignoring the support acts, the others stood in a worried knot with their fingers in their ears. One man talked to us, but disappeared very quickly when we explained why we were there.

The band were good when they finally came on, but we had to leave early to negotiate our way out of Ybor City. The drive back was livened up by some Christian rock and an argument about Science. We were tucked up in bed by 2.30am.

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