Segment 23: When a Third World Came West

            We were eating at a breakfast place at the shore where a man in Spanish shouted to walk-in customers when he found an empty table that had been left by a family or an elderly couple with their half-eaten eggs, bacon, and cereal on the table.  We’d sat down over a half hour ago and Sam was almost finished with his bacon that he’d mixed in with his grits, not speaking to me because the waiter had been more friendly to me than Sam.  Afterwards I walked along in my blue overalls and muddied up sneakers without socks and I kept track of where we were with a map I’d picked up at a post office on our way near here.  I’d mailed a post card to Kim there with a night shot of Miami on South Beach and a big moon over the ocean, thanking her for storing our stuff because I’d left really without saying thank you. Sam had loaded our stuff off in her storage shed while I’d made last minute amends with Skye while sorting out the in’s and out’s of the house, like who’s name the electricity would be transferred into and who would pay the mortgage for the rest of the summer or if he could get his ex-girlfriend to rent out the place.

            We slipped into a shell colored adobe afterwards where a woman with shiny black hair and a tight white shirt that looked like a sexy nurse’s costume for Halloween, served us premiere cups of café Americano with bone China saucers.  We sat and drank like we were someone to be looked at, among these other couples that really did have money and connections and who were known all around town and he asked me when my parents were going to wire the money to us for the apartment we’d seen in the tall towers overlooking North Biscayne Bay.  Truth was after we’d met in a conference room with that agreeable elderly woman with reddish dye and a receding hair line, I’d taken the elevator downstairs then smoked by a retention pond where I sat four feet away from three blue herons taking their turns standing underneath a new fern tree.  I didn’t call them.  It didn’t even cross my mind.  What we were doing was ludicrous and I wanted to stay with him but it was up to us to come up with a deposit.  My parents shouldn’t be responsible for anything.  But I sat now taking a cigarette out of my purse and lighting it up in the hot humidity and blowing it towards another woman with white on, a dress, who was speaking French with a handsome black-haired man in a linen shirt.  I sipped my coffee thinking of the words and said to Sam that they were having issues with David’s dorm right now and couldn’t be expected to fund another apartment after throwing away good money for my living space back at college inNorth Carolinathat I’d just abandoned.  I couldn’t read him so I kept on sipping, smoking, ashing, staring till he said that we needed to borrow money from someone and again I thought why was this my problem.  Where were his connections.  He made friends well enough, but I didn’t say this because we were having so much fun.  He was outgoing, persistent, confidant and he stared me down and when he looked at me he made me feel I’d met his approval.  So I considered the idea of us getting a job down here and saving up funds until we could move or that maybe we could move into the beach house at my parent’s place and save up money until we had enough go back down here.  My parents might go for that.  The condo idea slipped out of my mouth without giving it much thought and I kicked myself for coming up with it.  I bragged about it at moments like this when with other people when there was a lag in the conversation I brought up mom’s beach place to sound formidable, but now I would seriously have to take this into consideration.  Sam had come over once and hadn’t made a friendly impression on mom and Jim and they were weary of him anyhow.  Since I’d met him I’d dropped out of school, spent all my money in my bank account and here I was drinking coffee not doing anything and scheming out of ways to have them help me out more.  No.  We had to come up with something else.  But Sam was relentless the rest of the day.  He kept talking about what good it’d do to have all that time on our hands, to really get to know one another, without the stress and to save up money so that we could be on an even level.  And it sounded good so in the end I caved and dialed up their number and they relented, maybe because they thought some good would come of it and that was that.

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