A mustard yellow single-engine plane interrupts the quiet evening. I watch it take off from my balcony overlooking the airstrip. It occurred to me a few days ago that the homes across the water sporting odd-looking garages probably house similar aircraft. I wonder where they store their cars.
A few seconds after takeoff, the familiar evening sounds return. Squirrels chirrup angrily at mockingbirds. The cardinal hiding in the bougainvillea shares its signature whistle song. Boats hum into the docks, depositing tired fishermen in long white sleeves who unload coolers and gear while the kids disappear before they are given chores. A small dog yips.
Sun sets in an hour or so. Evening in Islamorada in August is a quiet affair, a far cry from the crowds and bustle of Key West. I prefer it here, island life lived at island pace. While my husband cooks the fish we caught today, a smattering of vermilion snapper, grunt, and triggerfish, I write. I read novels by Carl Hiaasen and try to pinpoint his local settings. I listen to the water lap at the dock pilings. And every once in a while, I stop to watch a little plane fly away to who knows where.