Welcome to the Panhandle! Please feel free to make up your own joke so long as the punchline is 1997.
So my dad really wanted me to go and spend Thanksgiving with him at his Florida house. My dad has spent his whole life working his ass off and accumulating all of this wealth and now in his middle age he wants to enjoy the spoils of his workaholism with his children, but we’re off trying to make our own careers so we can buy vacation homes one day, and yadda yadda late-century middle-class cycle of capitalist futility.
Like any good middle-class child, though, the other major cycle in my life is the guilt cycle, and every once in a while when Saturn goes into retrograde the latter will eclipse the former, resulting in me taking a 5-hour flight to Atlanta followed by a 7-hour drive down to the Gulf to drive my dad insane by refusing to take off my shirt at the beach. Good times.
Actually, it was great times. The water was almost warm enough for me to swim in, I got a decent tan, and my dad and I got to do what we do best: bargain hunt for beach houses that we have absolutely no intention of buying.
Downtown Apalachicola. What’s fun about the northwest coast of Florida (excepting Destin and Panama City) is that it’s basically Southern Gothic goes to the beach. Apalach used to be a major port town for cotton shipping, and now it’s the oyster capital of the east. So there’re all of these brick warehouses from the 1850s down on the river and double-wide oyster shacks all along the bay and all of these grand plantation-style houses with epic screened porches right off highway 98 through downtown, all brimming with a veritable potpourri of every crazy-ass southern archetype you can think of. I hate beach towns unless they’ve got something going on besides the beach part.
Maple here was my early Christmas present to myself. My Christmas present to her was a scratching post which she likes to glance at on her way to shred the chair. Her Christmas present to me was the horror of a prolapsed rectum and a $250 emergency vet bill. She’s throwing me shade in this picture for having just forced her to take her stool softener.
Whatever. I fucking love this cat. Obsessing over her problems is vastly more gratifying and fulfilling than trying to even begin to handle my own shit. And she cuddles like a goddamn champ.