Gavin and I had had two fairly significant arguments during the last year about marriage, with I for and he against or indifferent, I couldn’t tell.
He had been planning to propose throughout both those fairly significant arguments. Good poker face, that boy.
Everywhere we went on my 32nd birthday Gavin was trying to find the right place to ask me. Not at the bollard. Not after the manager in the tourist shop. When?
We went for dinner with a colleague and his partner who were coincidentally in Key West that night. I have never been happier.
The following day we took a tour of Ernest Hemingway’s home. Our tour guide was loud and intense. He took his job very seriously. He made direct eye contact for too long. He clearly loved Ernest Hemingway but deplored his infidelity. He kept coming back to it. How wrong it was. Like he was saying to everyone in the tour that he would never be unfaithful.
Out by the pool, toward the end of the tour, a man dressed as Ernest Hemingway interrupted our guide.
“I AM AN ASSHOLE”, he said.
We all thought that this performance was part of the tour but the guide was infuriated and asked him to move on, which begs the question, does this man just hang around Ernest Hemingway’s house impersonating him? Seemingly, yes.
The remainder of the holiday was spent watching iguanas in the trees, wild chickens in the streets, eating a lot, no really, like a LOT, napping and beaming at each other smugly. I drank mimosas every day and I ate key lime pie three of the five days we were in Key West.
We caught the shuttle back to Miami, an 85 year old German man and his American wife joined us half way up the keys. Every five minutes he would make a joke about leaving her for a younger woman and she would reply – go ahead. She began to talk to the woman sat beside her about their lives whilst we eavesdropped.
They had been on holiday in Gran Canaria many years ago and decided they would never visit England based on this experience. Entertainment for the evening had cancelled and a German singer had agreed to fill in. As he began to sing in German, the English guests booed. The American wife was so appalled by this, she explained to her new acquaintance, she could not understand why the English had not overcome their ill will to the Germans after World War II. She continued to explain that her husband had lost relatives to the English during the war and they were not offended by songs in English. Her new acquaintance, who had initially been quite talkative, grew quiet. Gavin and I silently calculated how old the German man would have been in 1945.
We arrived at the airport.