What gives in Florida, Hamlet?

Petite mort, as the French call orgasm, is a little death but also an ecstasy.  And in ecstasy, experience compresses in a single dose of timelessness.

By that logic, my quick trip to Florida last week was a little ecstasy.  The past was exceedingly present, pressed onto me as a double being. I’d been in Florida since my college days when my parents started seeking the sun.  I was a daughter there, attending a father in a light-spotched room, dying young; a mother overstated with flowers, then also wilting.  Myself as a mother.  A wealth of significant moments kept appearing.  It was like hopscotching the boxes of daughterdom.

Things got stuck in the present.   Even though my mom and dad have passed away, I was still in daughter role.  The referents were gone, but the rituals and roles clung, I kept looking over my shoulder, wondering who, what was there.

When at a loss, go to literary images: Hamlet.  The classic fellow was haunted with the problem of a repurposed family.  I was staying in our old house, with a father not my father, and his wife not my mother.  Were all these memories at my shoulder telling me something, serving a sign, some urging for action?  Some prescience about the future? Shakespeare, the writer who most understood the roles we play, would understand that I kept slipping out of role.  Fractured under the sun.  Nothing new.  All the world’s a stage. Beyond all that, it was a fab trip!

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