Segment 25: When a Third World Came West

We were leaving Miami defeated with an empty pizza box defeated, listening to Paul Okenfoald on the cd changer for the fifth time and Sam had complained that my Fugees album that I’d bought on the way down from Savannah , Georgia next to a Payless was too old to be listening to and I thought he was right and looked out the window.  The palm trees and highway sidewalling were starting to look less tropical now as The Florida Turnpike nearedFort Lauderdaleand as we headed further northeast pass through the toll roads.  I bit on my thumbnail trying to come with something to say before I’d answered a bunch of what Sam was saying with ‘yes’s’ and not hearing what he was saying because I was wondering where we were gonna sleep tonight since I hadn’t really slept at the motel and since I couldn’t sleep now.  Sam was keeping my air conditioner on low low and I covered a raspberry chenille blanket over me in the carried back but I still couldn’t get warm because he was driving too fast and complaining about me not entertaining him and turning the music down when he didn’t like the songs and talking errantly about the drivers to his left who didn’t know how to change lanes and so I felt responsible or like I had to stay up and listen.  He hadn’t made impressions with my parents before we left and so I didn’t know what we were going to do now.  I knew he was probably tired too just of how his hands were hanging at 10 and 2 on the wheel and cause of how he was being picky about the songs on the radio and I wondered myself where he was gonna sleep tonight and pawed through all his places in my mind till I thought of the one behind the Century Bank building.  It was kitty corner to Orange Avenue, across from Lake Eola and after I’d met him that first night downtown he’d walked me back to this hiding place behind this building where he’d found a corridor that the trashcans lead down to and he slept somewhere about fifteen feet away from them.  I thought of these as we were driving back and blankets that I could take down from the mirrored closet in my bedroom to give him before dropping him off.

When we got home though things got a lot worse.  Sam didn’t want to be dropped off behind a building by it’s dumpster of course and I didn’t agree to stay out all night with him either so I was stuck having to endure him sleeping in my car next to the Woodard’s oak tree with my car parked to the left of our driveway.  The neighbors across the street had tons of kids and their kids had tons of friends and I knew it would be a matter of time before my mom got a knock at the door with some neighbors complaining about a middle teenaged guy slumped over in a hoody in the driver’s side of my black Volkswagen Jetta.


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