She was checking price tags on her register, rapidly adding numbers to the final bold number, but to allow the experience be less unfortunate, she a Jamaican woman in her early 50’s, with fine manners, a soothing voice, and fast hands, asked me if all hose positive things she hears about my country, Costa Rica, are all true. I tried to be as realistic as my pessimist critical self allowed me to be, avoiding any scathing or propagandist arguments.
After I was finished, she told me, while still making rapid “bips” with her laser gun, that many years ago she traveled to Florida to pursue a chance for a better living, but after much time, money no longer being an issue and near retirement, she was now re-evaluating her present state against all she had left at her home island, to find out that her later years, the golden ones, she preferred them spent in a living place, because she considered this advantageous, comfortable lifestyle of shopping malls, see water canals, white sand beaches, and swamps, an early coffin.
She knows of people who have fled retirement in the sunny Southeast for other countries, to again cover themselves with tripes and scars kickstarting new projects on their terms, something they know at home may be considered inappropriate at their age, but they do flee to avoid dying of comfort. She herself wanted to go back home to a harder bed, one that makes her wake up; she took a moment and smiled.