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Monday, October 25, 2010

Clueless while seated at the DFW baggage claim area...

I got another invitation from my friend on Marco Island to drive on up from the Keys and visit for a day or two or four... and I can assure you that living on a sailboat can feel quite confining after awhile, especially if it happens to be tied up to a mooring ball for weeks on end.

So no... it didn't take a lot of convincing for me to batten down the forward hatch to the v-berth and slide in the slats to close up the companionway of that boat and drive myself on up to Marco for a few days of loitering.

So yeah... I'm definitely only too happy to make the four hour drive back up through the Keys and then on through the Everglades and on to Marco Island. It goes without saying that I'm once again most certainly looking forward to dipping my toes in her swimming pool and watching tv at all hours of the evening.

It's a four hour drive and there's not much on the radio that holds my interest so I turn the thing off. I find myself absorbed in my own thoughts and thinking back to when I seemed to be but a kid and completely clueless as to what to do with the rest of my life... kind of like now for that matter.

In any event, some dates are forever imbedded in one's mind and August 24th is one such date that I never fail to reflect upon when it rolls around. I well remember that date because it happened to be on that date when I first arrived in Dallas, Texas some three decades ago.

I had previously been living in Puerto Rico and working my first job after finally graduating from college with a degree in accounting. I had grown restless of the daily grind of working every day and of still living with my parents and of not quite being able to afford a place of my own.

In the back of my mind I kept yearning to venture out and see the world as in move to the United States and make a life for myself. The only question was... but where? It wasn't like I had any close relatives or family friends that might briefly take me in until I got situated and the like.

I had visited New York some years earlier and had assumed that it was a logical destination since every Puertorrican I'd ever previously known that had relocated from the island had moved to that big city.

However, I also recalled being completely intimidated by how complicated and busy that place could be and was certain that I would be completely lost and clueless if I were to move there.

There was little doubt in my mind that I'd somehow find myself inadvertently roaming the Bronx projects late one night without any idea of where I was only to later incur a mishap of some sorts. No thanks... New York wasn't gonna work out for me and wasn't ever a viable option.

So... New York was summarily scratched off my list of places to go to which left option B. Only problem was that there was no option B. I was simply clueless as to where to relocate to in the good 'ol US of A. That is until one day I happened to come across an issue of Newseek magazine. It's cover story was of a massive migration underway at the time of job seekers relocating to Houston, Texas.

I recall the cover story describing in some detail how both the steel and automotive industries were hurting and how whole families from Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania were relocating in droves to Houston, Texas in search of jobs within the oil industry which at that time happened to be booming.

The article did however go on to explain that not all job seekers arriving in Houston had been successful in finding gainful employment and that the job market in the oil industry had started to become saturated. The last two or three paragraphs of that article did however describe Dallas as having a more diversified economy were job opportunities could still be found.

Four weeks later after purchasing a one way airline ticket, I found myself seated inside the baggage claim area at DFW airport with my bags by my side. I sat on a hard chair there all by myself wondering for the longest time where I'd be spending the night let alone the next coming weeks.

You see... there was no one coming to pick me up and I had no idea of where to go and Dallas was a much bigger city than I had ever imagined. I simply just sat on that chair all the while watching the empty baggage carousel continuosly spin around in circles long after all the other passengers had collected their bags and driven off somewhere.

Incidentally, I believe that I may have seen my first alligator as I drove on past a rest stop along the Tamiami Trail. I happened to notice a number of tourists peering down from their safe perch on a boardwalk that hovered above the swamp.

Down below appeared to be a submerged scaly log the length of a F-350 Ford pickup truck. Then yet again it could have been but a fake model of
an alligator purposely placed in the water to make tourist actually believe that they'd seen a real alligator.

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