when a third world came west: segment 33

One time Sam asked me if he could get away but he wanted to get away by himself.  So I agreed I said sure.  He tossed his ginger ale at me when we pulled over at a gas station to meet up with the people who were supposed to be picking him up.  It was near the Congress Avenue exit in Boca Raton.  I didn’t want to be alone so I drove back towards West Palm Beach and I stopped somewhere along Meisner Avenue, parking my car near some Palm trees and a dime meter.  Then a fluctuated back and forth between a Fat Tuesdays that made Pink Panties margaritas that was filled with sophomore college kids all going to Florida Atlantic University, and another bar.  It was the first place where I saw granite counter tops up close and a waiter who matched them in black asked what he could get for me and I ordered a cosmopolitan.  There was a younger guy down at the bar who was my age and that was pretty much it.  There were two guys on the other side who were older, with cigarettes and blowing their smoke out towards the open doorway with the people walking by on the slack tile.  I don’t know how many drinks I had before one of the older guys approached me, drew a picture on a napkin of his house that he was renting from an old lady.  He told me was having a party there that night and he invited me.  I don’t know what possessed me to say yes but I agreed to give him a ride back to his place.

We picked up cigarettes first at a Mobile station and we drove around the inlet with more palm trees till he told me to put on my lights.  We drove around some neighborhoods and then I hit the curb when I parked alongside it and next to only one car.  I knew I was the only one here and probably would be the only one here the rest of the night, but I followed him through the grass that grew through the stone walkway anyway.

When he pulled back the gate  I saw a large pool clear of leaves in between a guest house to the right and the main living space. I could hear music off in the distance but I didn’t know from where.  We opened a screen door with plastic crank blinds and walked into his kitchen where he fed his pit bull with all the lights on in the room.  He went around the house opening up the rest of the plastic crank blinds on the windows until the air that was coming through was humid and hot wind.  He asked me what music I liked and I asked him what kind he had and he named about five or six albums he had until he said the Grateful Dead.  He came back over to the couch and I sat beside him in my short skirt and crinkled top with my face hot from the air and the wind.  We talked for a little bit and then he asked me if I wanted to smoke up and I’d never turned it down up to now so I welcomed it and we sat back and listened to “Saint Stephens”off “What a Strange Trip it’s Been”.  Brett looked at me and asked what my story was and I told him a little about what had happened lately. I expected him to give me advice or to tell me that I should be nicer to my mom or dad, understand more from where they were coming on their side of the fence.  But he said “You guys are gonna change the world, huh?” It was what I thought too at that moment. Like something great was gonna happen for me and Sam. I felt so in love at that second that my stomach hurt, that my head got big, that I couldn’t come up with anything to say back to him.  Everything just felt real lately and I couldn’t describe it.  He kissed me once before he went into his bedroom and shut the door to go to sleep.  His dog followed with him and took off one of the throw pillows from a lounge chair and pressed it up against the end of the couch so I could rest some.  But I kept going up to his turntable and playing “Saint Stephens” and “Jack Straw” again and again and again.

In the morning while Brett made coffee and stood with his back to me against the counter chewing an English muffin, I slipped the cd into my bag and zipped it up.


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