shades of Hemingway / epilogue

 (author’s note:  This is the last chapter in a series of 14.  In order to start at the beginning you must scroll back to Part 1.  Sorry for the inconvenience.)

                                                 *     *     *     *

The last thing a person wants to do on a Saturday night/Sunday morning is to be caught in a holding cell at the Key West Police Department.  It took a while to convince the authorities to contact my friends at Marrero’s Mansion.  It took even longer for somebody to come from the Ernest Hemingway Estate to claim the shoe horn and press formal charges against me.  I figured it best not to mention my encounters with Officer Jordan otherwise they might REALLY think I was a trouble maker.  I began to worry that I might not make our ferry that evening.  I worried more about the chance I might not be leaving the jail for a while.

One stroke of good luck was the curator of the estate came personally to claim the property I was “stealing” (no one believed I was actually trying to “return” the shoehorn) and wanted to see me.  I was surprised to find out that he was the same man who guided our tour of Hemingway’s home and he remembered Keith, then eventually me, too.  Seems he enjoyed his work so much there that he rotated being a tour guide amongst his other duties as a curator just to be near the Hemingway mystique.

He patiently listened to my wild eyed story without interruption, appearing slightly amused at times but not entirely in disbelief.  After I was finished he asked me if I was sorry for what I had done.  I replied that though I did not enjoy being in jail or labelled a thief, I did not regret the experience.  (a stance I was sure Hem would have been proud of)

Then the elderly gentleman told me a bit about his background.  He was the nephew of  one of the crewmen that used to hang out with Papa Hemingway at Sloppy Joe’s Bar and  on fishing trips aboard his boat, Pilar.  He never had the privilege of meeting Ernest Hemingway but becoming involved with Hemingway’s Estate was his way of paying homage to his uncle and Key West’s most famous citizen. 

Apparently I was not the first person involved with “removing” an artifact from the estate.  Back in the ’70’s there was a statuette of a cat (!) that belonged to Hemingway that had been removed for awhile but was eventually returned.  Coincidentally around that time several stories by the late owner had been published posthumously. 

I don’t know if the curator believed my story, thought I was crazy or just a harmless vacationer who had had too much to drink but since the shoehorn was returned and appeared undamaged,  he decided not to press charges against me.  Ofcourse, I had to agree to stay clear of the Ernest Hemingway Estate which would not be a problem since I was going back to Ft. Myers that evening.  So with my court appearance scheduled (I was still charged with criminal trespassing and had to return in six weeks to plead my case) I was released.

Keith, Laura and Annette were waiting for me.  Keith had met the curator when he had come in and said that though he appeared to be worried about the condition of whatever it was I took, he didn’t seem too surprised by it being taken.  So now I had many questions to answer and some good natured ribbing to endure but I was glad to be out with my friends and anxious to “spill my guts”.

Leaving the police station we passed a wall of honor, a tribute to those police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.  Some of the pictures date quite a ways back but one picture caught my eye, making me stop and take notice.  The most recent policeman to have his picture enshrined was a young man that looked like he smiled easily.  He had a helmet tucked under one arm and the other hand steadying his mountain bike.  His name was Robert Jordan, he had died the year before.

  

Postscript…

 This story is true and accurate to the best of my recollection with the previous disclaimer fully intact and the following exceptions noted:

I didn’t throw back any beers except in my dream at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, I drink cheap Zinfandel wine and little else.

We did rent an electric car, but I didn’t jump the curb or cause any serious damage to the undercarriage or rooftop thus putting the vehicle or my insurance carrier at serious risk.

I never actually saw Laura naked, there was a shadow cast from behind and I only glimpsed a silhouette.

I never actually saw Keith naked or noticed his flopping manhood when he jumped up and down on the bed… that would be gay.

Annette did not throw up or punch on me and the room we stayed in was really #18.  I changed that part because I thought nobody would believe that we would stay in Enriquetta’s room.

And if they decide to make a movie of my experience in Key West I would want Leonardo DiCaprio to play me…

… and now as the credits roll I imagine we would be on the Key West Express heading into the sunset accompanied by the following song…

                                                                 (scroll down)

    

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3 Responses to “shades of Hemingway / epilogue”

  1. Alexandria Says:

    Are you a writer? If not, you should be.

    P.S. Do you resemble Leonardo ? Not that it matters 😉

  2. chirchi965 Says:

    lol….leonardo….ok good job on the story…so i was right, officer jordan is not alive..

  3. Tom Sanders Says:

    awful. simply awful. Sorry to be so blunt! HOWEVER, HONESTY REQUIRES THAT I BE TRUTHFUL.

    AND, WHO THE HELL IS LEONARDO?

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