Orlando is a city of lakes, but right in the middle is a small one called Lake Eola. It’s a place of dreams come true. Not far from Disney World, Universal, Sea World, and a plethora of entertainment venues, Lake Eola is renowned as an urban focal point. Many great events are held there to the delight of the locals and vacationers alike.
One visitor wrote,
Lake Eola Park is an oasis located in the heart of Downtown Orlando. Amazing variety of birds, great place to dog and people watch. Restaurants and bars located within inches from the Park. Great place to hang out.
But in my conception the lake is viewed at night, and from a darker insight. It may come from my first visit to a lake. My family lived in Aurora, Illinois, about forty miles west of Chicago. We went up to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, which is on the IL/WI border. As a ten-year old kid I was excited to go on a big trip to a lake. I knew about rivers because we lived near the Fox River, but a lake was a whole new thing.
We rented a boat and my dad and I got fishing poles and bait. It was awesome trying to get a worm on a hook, I loved it and knew we would catch lots of fish. We cast off, and with the small motor soon got out into the middle of the lake. As I was trying to get worms not to fall off my hooks, I notice dad was nervous. I wondered if he might be afraid of the water. No, that couldn’t be true because he told me of times he fished before.
Then he really got agitated and was swearing at his pole, the boat, and the lake. I knew what was coming. Next thing, after only 20 minutes on the water, he took us back to the dock. He tied the boat and told me to wait. He said he’d be right back. Hours passed and I played on the scant beach and tried fishing from the pier.
But dad never came back because he went into the lodge and got drunk. Later, when I found him, he was all smiles and seemed very relaxed. He was, of course, because the alcohol was taming his urges. But he had no interest in fishing any more. I went to our cabin and spent the day with my mom, sharing in the disappointment of a dysfunctional home.
16″ by 20″ acrylic on canvas
on panel board in a black wooden frame