I park my car in my secret place off Fort Lauderdale Beach,behind the sea grape hedging The Button nightclub where years later, the spot will become a designated place to store recycling bins, but for now, for this second in time, it’s a place to park a small ass Karmann Ghia without coming back off the beach and finding it towed.
I’m good, better than a few weeks ago where you and I finally cut loose. I’m nineteen, my beach chair is under my arm. I’m years before worrying about attaching an umbrella to the chair to protect my skin. My book and a cold can of coke are slung over my shoulder in my beach bag, a plastic shopping bag from Macy’s my grandma gave to me so I would always have a bit of NYC on hand. My driver license is stuck under the mat in the car where I don’t give it a single goddamn, though years later, that’s all I worry about, how someone could steal my stuff, my identity and this will become my single excuse for not going to my beach future.
I walk to A1A, thinking about how yeah, I am feeling pretty good, I’m sort of cute, short sure, funny always, but what I would learn years later, I felt less co-dependent and damn good detaching from someone sucking the life out of me. In my blind spot, I sense (hear really) a truck wheel itself behind me on the sidewalk, the same sidewalk “Where The Boys Are” movie filmed in my mother’s time and hell, there you were, yelling out the driver’s side window, get in. I look at you and laugh my ass off. Seriously, is what I would say now all these years later, but for now, I look at you and say, uh no, I’m going to the beach and you can go to hell. I turn my back on you and I head to the street and I hear your truck rumble along behind me on the sidewalk, a brick sidewalk. The truck revs, but people heading to the beach crowd you because even you will not run down a pedestrian and risk that precious Roll Tide scholarship even if the pedestrian was me, but I don’t worry, not one bit. The light changes, the signal switches and I cross to the most beautiful beach in the world with the flattest ocean and the most majestic palms and a cloudless sky bright with sun where I open my chair in my secret hiding place behind the public bathrooms and breathe deep and hope to never see you again

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