Visit Ernest Hemingway Home :: Key West Tour


TOE goes places so you don’t have to.

hemingway house

I think she sighed the loudest.

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This pouch was comparable to Samson’s hair. The loss of this pouch meant the loss of his strength. Once, a student reprobate tried to rip this pouch from Parra. The whole class sighed. Delilah was there.

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Believe me, I’d tell you if I remembered why everyone in the classroom was abnormal. I wouldn’t keep something like that from you.

It was the perfect lecture, the perfect story to prove to you how I fully appreciate the culture.

Damn, I remember Professor Parra so clearly even though I can’t remember what he said.

He wore pressed slacks, brown.

He wore soft leather black shoes that tapped loud and hollow when he paced the linoleum.

He wore a short-sleeved dress shirt – tucked in – with brown and black thin vertical stripes and a pocket that carried one ballpoint pen.

He wore a black leather belt. Cinched.

How dare you think his belt didn’t match his shoes! Professor Parra was dapper

with his jet black hair just long enough to comb back. A matching mustache.

Brown skin,

almond eyes.

I remember his eyeglass pouch that his belt ran through, hanging where a pistol holster would normally hang.

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To this I can only say,

-Sorry for the memory failure, man. Seconds before the blank spot, I remembered precisely what Professor Parra told the class, and I was going to tell you. But now I have absolutely no fucking idea. I’m suddenly lost, and at the worst possible time. Professor Parra was about to tell us why we were abnormal, and I was about to tell you how I fully appreciate the culture.

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To this I can only say,

-It was in ninth grade that my sociales teacher,

a short napoleonic eyeglass-wearing Colombian,

told the class what it meant to be abnormal.

He said,

Todos ustedes son



Es verdad.

Y sabes porque?

Hands didn’t shoot up in the air. The classroom was silent, suspended on the edges of their seats.

-Hey, this is better than I expected. It has the spice of our culture. What did he say?

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-Of course you are. You’re like everyone else. Our brain is born with the ability to learn multiple language. But you don’t even try.

To this I can only say,

-Look, man, school here is more fun than school in any other part of the world even if I can’t speak Spanish. I’m not making this claim from experience. I haven’t attended every school in the world to really make this comparison. Don’t be foolish. I’ve only attended school here, and I still can’t speak or write Spanish, but I still love going to school here. So what if I can’t learn the language? That doesn’t mean I can’t fully appreciate the culture.

-No. I’m sorry. It does. The language is everything. You can’t even fully understand the music here, and that in itself is an important facet of the culture.

-No. I’m sorry. You’re wrong. I fully appreciate the culture here.

-Prove it. How so?

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-You do? You know that I’m thinking about how many years it’s going to take before you learn Spanish. How many years before you become fluent?

To this I can only say,

-Is fluency even possible for me? Am I capable of achieving fluency?

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To this I can only say,

-I know what you’re thinking.

December 16, 2009 10:01 pm

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