I've been to Florida a couple of times. The longest time I was there was for a funeral of a woman I'd never met in person, my girlfriend's mother. We were the ones arranging the funeral, which was strange. We didn't know the area, or who to invite, or even, really how funerals were supposed to go. We were in our mid 20s, devastated by a sudden passing, poor as hell. It was very expensive to pay for cremation and a spot in the cemetary, more money than we really had.
I remember sand, and the tough, sharp grass growing out of the sand. Bushes and trees that smelled warm and earthy, and the sound of insects in the leaves. We drove everywhere--everything was spread out flat and strangely uniform, all the towns had the same stores in them but the things that were unfamiliar were really unfamiliar, like the vendors on the side of the long low state highway selling alligator jerky and boiled peanuts. In my memory all the lights are murky, discolored, underwater.
That was a long time ago. I've wanted to go back, to see Miami before it sinks under the waves, to eat Cuban food and go dancing. But in my mind Florida always feels like an awful funeral, and so to be honest with myself I may never see it again.
THE LIGHT PIRATE is also, in some ways, funereal. It's about the end of a way of life, of a town, a people--the inevitable decline and decay. That decay gives way to a new way of life, though. Maybe in a place like Florida, with so much sun and water, it's impossible to believe that life itself will end. Only our form of it.