'Twas my second day on the loose and when I crossed from Georgia into Florida my old pal Beaux telephoned. He too was in Florida. It was so unlikely
that we would both be in the same place at the same time we felt obliged to take advantage. Mid afternoon I parked in Palm Beach and met up with Beaux and his youngest son Max downing sandwiches and fries at Greene's Pharmacy.
They recounted how, “Right in front of Mummy's house!” they had caught a shark line casting from the beach. “We stuck poles in the sand and right away we saw fins!” One pole bent from strain and Beaux reeled a medium sized Spinner shark onto the sand where it went mad. In the chaos one of them suggested, “grab it by the tail!” And just as someone did lunge the shark was thrashing back into the surf, where it vanished, dragging the fishing pole away forever.
Leaving Greene's Pharmacy Beaux asked, “What kind of car you driving?”
Sensing a trap I settled for vague, “Grey,” I replied.
“Can I drive?” He asked, utterly rhetorically.
Transpired Beaux had scheduled a 3 hour round trip inland to visit Belle, retired housekeeper who'd worked for the family since before he was born. On the way Max bleated about how he was, “gonna burst!” I winced when Beaux handed back an empty bottle which Max did his best to fill and I tried not to picture the inevitable spillage. The pee w
as pungent and I opened my window. We found Belle in her wheelchair by a window. “I was your favorite, right?” Beaux asked, and introduced Max for the first time. Belle smiled and half mumbled stories. She will turn 103 this June. Max cried when he said goodbye.
Finally we were in the ocean, body surfing on the mild froth. I was loving the warm water. Until something touched my leg. “Shark” I screamed and shot to shore, heartbeat thwacking. Beaux departed, to catch a flight and I stayed at his mother's for dinner. This necessitated a change into my single ladylike dress. After the plates were cleared we played a word game with tiles and lots of rules which were vigorously argued over. Beginner's luck but I won all the games. This went over like a ton of bricks.
I stayed the night in a friend's handsome home on the Intracoastal. Comfortable and spotlessly clean it was nothing like the motel from the night before. Bonding with the luxury, coffee in hand, I stepped onto a balcony and gagged. I snapped, “How did Palm Beach make me her bitch?” I retrieved my car from the depths of a basement garage of cement and dirty air. Last thing I did before I hit the highway was toss out the bottle of piss. Like a taunting reminder the spilled pee reacted with the elements and crystalized, covering the backseat floor mat with silvery flakes, like insect's wings.