Destin Has No Family
This has been a terrible year.
There have been times when some Thanksgiving mob
collected from a quarter of the States and Provinces
has had so much fun someone
who doesn’t want the good times to end,
who knows Destin has no family,
someone who took a pair of vacation days
to stretch a long weekend into a week,
someone with foresight and goodwill says:
you ought to come back with us, Destin.
Cleveland (Toronto, St Louis, Galena, Hope,
Springfield, Black Mountain, Austin) has great food
and you look like you could use a rest.
Of course Destin’s never gone. A few maids,
itinerate dishwashers, waitstaff and bartenders
always disappear during the slack spell
that lasts through Christmas, but they almost
always come home ( this is really my home,
they say) before the Spring Break crowds roll in.
They miss being real, the frame
that the tourists, their cars, and sandy towels
are a thin projection upon. Even Eileen
who is eighty and has arthritis in both knees
misses the party atmosphere though
she hasn’t partaken for a good twenty years.
But this poverty/plague year has Destin wishing
it had a home to go back to. A place to recover.
Where everything is seasoned the way food
should be, where the quirks of pronunciation
make sense in context, where people know
what you mean when you shrug a reply. But
there isn’t any such place for Destin. And no
Goodtime Charlie has offered a spare room–
Bring the crowd! Destin’s been thinking, though,
that this might be the year to strike out on its own.
See what it’s like to be waited on hand and foot.
Be anonymous. It might be time to see San Francisco.
Maybe the Washington suburbs. And then: some
people say Destin reminds them of Myrtle Beach.
Maybe it’s time to go, look for some family ties.