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Geographic Claustrophobia


I think I suffer from geographic claustrophobia. This term is used by some people to mean a need to travel, and by some as a lack of desire to get out of your small town, but for me it means a need to have a comfortable amount of land stretched around me at all times. Preferably one of the borders would be an ocean, but a 3-4 hour drive to the ocean is fine also. Perhaps this is also called Island Fever, but I don’t think I was there long enough to develop a freak out, it was just a slight uneasiness that poked at my brain. It said, in a sinister whisper, A-Tidal Wave-Will-Kill-Us-All.

So this is what happened to me in the Florida Keys. I looked at the map and saw where I was: tiny dots of land surrounded by huge amounts of water, and I started to get twitchy. In some spots the land is only as wide as a college campus. Water, water, everywhere, and Jesus get me outta here. I don’t love swimming or surfing or boating, so maybe that’s the problem. People say they’d love to take a cruise but when I think cruise that song Nowhere to Run plays in my mind. That and I think about Norovirus and pirates, but I possibly watch too much CNBC. It’s good for me to open my mind, so I tried to relax in the keys. I did that with 14 margaritas over 5 days. But Key West was the real claustrophobic kicker. A little dot. Mile Zero. Lots of old hippies, lots of alcohol. I’m sure that’s why they drink so much. A little And the Band Played On action while we live on a tiny dot, all together, no way out, stuck in the middle with you and you and you and ack! I know people love the keys. It’s peace and love and hugs all around. But Jesus, only one two-lane road out of any town kind of freaks me out. This place is 4 miles by 2 miles. That’s it. The sunsets are beautiful out there, but we watched it like fireworks, shoulder to shoulder with 100 other people. Not my thing, watching the sun plop behind that baseball cap and that bald dude’s shiny pate and that little kid’s balloon, and there it goes, oooh, pretty.

My new book recommendation: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (not a new book, but new to me)

There’s a cool website for that: (all of your inspiration needs in one place):

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Maja permalink
    12/01/2010 3:55 am

    I can’t wait to start The Thirteenth Tale at the airport tomorrow morning. Thanks for lending it to me!

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