1988. West Palm Beach, Florida – a hateful shithole where the theater has imprisoned me and the rest of the cast in a retirement home hi-rise that overlooks the Greyhound Bus station. We are in sub-tropical Florida but our rooms have no air-conditioning. So, to avoid heat prostration, we are forced to keep our windows open and eat bus-exhaust 24/7. Meanwhile, our fellow residents sit staring into space while drooling prune juice down their T-shirts that proclaim “Sexy Grandma” and “Over What Hill?”
West Palm. Did I mention it’s a hateful shithole populated by hateful rednecks, hateful New York Jews and hateful Haitian junkies? Did I mention the hateful Haitian junkies have AIDS? I’m warned before embarking on a drive across the Everglades not to stop in Belle Glade – the Haitian capital of Florida and the AIDS and felony capital of America.
West Palm Beach is, not to put too fine a point on it, a hateful shithole. And, a hateful shithole drowning in a drug-fueled crime wave. Make that crime tsunami. Muggings and burglaries do abound. So, to protect its vulnerable residents, the retirement home hi-rise hires Rottweiler’s to patrol its halls after 10 PM. One Rottweiler per floor.