My rich uncle owned a condo in Myrtle Beach, and he let my family stay there a few times. I don’t have a clear picture of it in my mind, but all vacation condos I’ve ever been in are the same. Light pink and light blue Polynesian floral patterns cover the soft surfaces: the walls, the cushions, the bedspreads. All hard surfaces are white: white cabinets, white wicker furniture, white tile on the floor. Condos are luxurious and cold at the same time. People are always coming and going, living and creating memories and then disappearing into oblivion. The decorations lack any sort of personality; they must fit everyone’s taste and also provide an easy way to quickly wipe away any sort of living that went on there. The condo waits, sterile and empty, for another family to come along.
It is the time we spent outside of the condo that made the trip memorable. This trip to Myrtle Beach will always stand out in my memory because of the amount of alligators we saw. We saw them on our bike ride sunning themselves, on the grass by the river, the river where we fished from a small wooden dock. My father, forever afraid of worms (he and I have that in common), used hot dogs as bait, which attracted all the alligators in a five mile radius. He hurried to take my fishing line out of the water as a large dark shadow paddled closer and closer. Hot dogs safely back in the cooler, we decided that was enough fishing for one day.