Gasoline, Dumpster sauce, and Cheap Cologne

By: Lorri Primavera

Living in Daytona is like a drunk redneck screaming “woooooooo hoooooooo!” all the time. At all hours of the day and night. Through the motorcyle rumblings 24/7 of bike week, to the crazy f***ing horns those b***ards who come here for truck week have. I’ve been on my bike when one of those sick a**holes had to announce his presence to everyone within 2 miles. Really, it seems like everyone just comes here to celebrate their transportation. It’s silly. I don’t know if there’s a calendar or something announcing what sort of week is going on at all times, but I bet it’s mostly vehicle love. I understand the whole racing connection, etc. I don’t care. They come here to honk their horns, drink light beer, drive on a few miles of beach and leave a greasy, stinky mess everywhere. Daytona always smells like gasoline, dumpster sauce, and cheap cologne.

Of course, I do live in the heart of it, by the boardwalk and pier, so I’m bound to get the biggest concentration of it all. I didn’t quite know what I was getting into when I relocated here from the north Georgia mountains. I moved here because I found a good deal on an apartment within walking distance to the beach. I really wanted to spend some time living by the beach. I love the beach and I’ve found that I love it most after 6 PM, when all the cars have gone and the people are starting to leave. It’s even better in the winter, just me and the seagulls .

Sometimes I become triggered with crushing anxiety by social life. As my journeys beyond my city, my neighborhood, and sometimes my house, become more limited. I become increasingly agoraphobic. I push myself to get out and explore places nearby but, unfortunately, nearby is usually pretty crowded, full of people who just make me angry with their vehicle-loving “fun.” But, then again, I have anger problems too.

I can’t walk to the gas station without getting angry at least once. It seems like everyone is either trying to have fun or getting angry. I guess that’s what happens when you live in a tourist town. People are getting angry watching others have fun while they’re not. People are just angry, people are just trying to have fun, or people are angry because someone is trying to disrupt their fun. Daytona is full of anger. I’ve probably seen more fights on the streets of Daytona in the past couple of years than I’d seen in my entire life before. I’m still looking for the Daytona fun. I’m not sure if I’ll find it. But until I do…the local boardwalk slumlords have reopened the amusement park, and I do enjoy filming people getting off the rides and trying to see if they’ve been amused. I like to watch humans being “normal” and weird at the same time, like when I take pictures of an entire family in leisurewear jumping in front of the ocean. 1...2...3...JUMP! That’s so weird to me. I don’t understand the jumping part.

Ending on a positive note: I am so glad to have found such amazing friends in the area. I’ve never felt so accepted and encouraged to create, and to totally be myself, until I moved here. You guys are all weirdos and have accepted me into your eclectic family, and I can live here and laugh at the nonsensical reality of the city and also be welcomed by it at the same time.