Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Excerpt: Short History of Tides...RhondaK "The Faint of Heart"

Excerpt: Short History of Tides...RhondaK "The Faint of Heart"
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“You know, I’m always scared to ask if a woman’s pregnant. Once I asked a woman when she was due and she let me know right quick that her lifelong problem with weight was none of my business.” He slipped me some M&Ms.

I slipped him my last smile before I fainted there on his cold, loving floor.

The Faint of Heart

“Girl, you gave me a scare,” the 7-11 clerk said. He was old. He should have been retired, but what passes for industry out here didn’t usually have a pension.

“Let me talk to her Frank,” an elephantine woman shuffled into view . She had long graying hair braided into 4 braids, two of which fed into the parallel rivers down her back.

“Do you feel anything? Pain? Pressure?” she wiped my face with a cold cloth while holding up my woozy back.

“Embarrassed.” I was glad I didn’t pee my pants when I went down.

“OK, doll baby, let’s get you up,” and she had me up before I could protest. I wasn’t sure if I shouldn’t have stayed still longer, but I knew I didn’t want to risk an ambulance coming.

“Should I call someone for you – an ambulance, a doctor?”

“No, I’m fine. Just fine. Just needed some water,” I was backing towards the door, regretting I had to leave the air. The cold false world of refrigeration and Icees.

I’d never fainted before. Never relied on the kindness of strangers and the sort of sick I felt was closer to my heart. A fear of reliance on others. It was a nausea. A soul nausea of realizing how helpless and clumsy I was. How the outside saw me as this pitiful, baby carrying creature. Frail. I couldn’t believe this was who I was in my heart. I couldn’t.

“Look, baby, let me give you a ride. It looks like you walked up here.”

“I did, but – I’m OK.” I had just walked 82 miles and had slept on the Flagler Beach Pier pretending to be with a fishing family.

“No, I’m not paying one bit of attention to you, sweetheart. You’re not in your right mind. My name is Louise, people call me Weezie. OK? I’m everyone’s Aunt around here. I’ve never seen you before.”

“I’m new.” I said feeling a sort of old. I’d never been away from home before but for church trips to parks and once to Orlando. The sun outside was in its unrelenting zenith where you’d think you could tune it in on a radio to hear it frying.

Weezie’s car was old person hot with old person smell. The cracked seats scratched the back of my legs and I couldn’t figure out how she thought she was helping me. Further, how could I tell her to drop me off in what still accounted for virtually no where? Just a straight A1A by a groaning, writhing sea.

“OK, girl, spill it.”


“Look, you’re sunburned. You’re in good clothes, but they need to be washed. You’re tired. You’re not meeting anyone’s eye even when you’re obviously in dire need of help.”

I didn’t feel Weezie. That is, I didn’t feel her bulk, her old beat-up car, the sound of her voice – none of this made me want to drop the truth like change in a buskers hat. I don’t think fat people kind. They’re just people. Nor are t hey any more lazy. It was the sense of her. The way she seemed to take me over more like a kidnapping than an angel. The way she snapped my seatbelt closed and locked my door. I could have run, but I feared the police might be called to help the poor, out of her mind pregnant girl.

“You’re right. There’s a story, but I don’t want to talk about it.”

She drew on a cigarette, blew the smoke into my face and smiled.

“Tough are you?”

She pulled out of the parking lot back on to A1A heading North. My heart’s way.

“So, what happened? Who knocked you up or do you know? You girls these days have no idea how much all of that is worth.”

I thought she meant my virginity, but it ends up she’s telling me how women these days are making money not precisely selling their babies as much as fraud.

“Babies– now that’s easy money. Pretty thing like you could start a bidding war between two couples and…”

“Ms. Louise…Weezie, I’m not interested in money.”

“You’re one dumb slut – you know that?” She says it lazy like she might remark on the color of the sunrise or a lost shoe hanging on a telephone wire.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bayfest is Saturday and

I am crazy busy painting up.

Meantime I restocked Restless Native in Holmes Beach. 

The copyright for Walk a Mile in my Flip flops and...RHONDAK Native Florida folk artist