Friday, January 20, 2012

He-man's laptops

Key West is the only place I've ever been where tourists applaud the sunset. Granted, it's a pretty impressive sunset: this big yellow disk touches the horizon and then slides out of sight to the sound of a thousand clicking shutters. What makes it disappear so quickly? (My theory: it's trying to get away from the horn blast from the cruise ship moored next to Mallory Square.) As soon as the sun is out of sight, everyone applauds madly, as if expecting the sun to come back up for a few quick bows and perhaps a dramatic encore.

I should have taken sunset pictures but I didn't want to get conch-fritter grease all over my nice camera.

That was before the key lime pie.

Yes, I am doing some heavy-duty literary research on my sabbatical. For instance, yesterday I interviewed several of the cats that inhabit Ernest Hemingway's house. In Hemingway's writing studio, a cat was sitting on the table next to a Royal manual typewriter, which made me wonder: would the He-man have written any differently if he'd had laptop computers instead of laptop cats?

Computers are more portable, which is a good thing. I'll pack mine up today and start moving north toward more literary sites and academic libraries. But first, let's give the sunset one more round of applause!

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