( A shot of memoir for change...more if you like )
He leaned over and said, "‘Damn, I love your accent. I just love to hear a lady talk like that. Just say something. Anything’.
‘How about Fuck Off’ she answered. Her eyes never leaving the money for a minute. Did he really have a cowboy hat on? She couldn't make it out .The drugs was starting to haze her up.
She could see only the money.
He looked hurt. In a single movement. She put her bag over the money on the bar and scooped it all up in one go. God bless America in all the dumb American men who lived inside her.
Out in the truck. She and Sherry counted up the money, popped another Quaalude and drove off into the night.
It was just like being in a movie except that even I realised we were in fact driving dangerously slowly.
I had chosen Miami over New York because I thought New York was too scary. New York was where you got mugged , shot at. It was full of Saturday Night specials and murders that were not called murders, but homicides.
Miami, though was where the tourists went. That's why the flights were so cheap. To be honest. I wasn't exactly sure where it was.
I was twenty and the exchange rate was good and America was calling or something. Something was that could be America. Perhaps it was in my blood. My father had been American or was American. I didn't even know if he was dead or alive. I didn't know him. I didn't know anyone there at all. Still, it was something I had to do. I’ might even live there’ I announced breezily at goodbye parties. This was not me travelling it could be actual living. The bravado evaporated as soon as I got onto the plane. I could smell my own sweat. I was terrified but it was too late now. You must never lose face.
Gusts of super hot air were blowing in my face from some kind of fan. That's what it had to be ,this unreal heat. Real air couldn't have been this hot. I was feeling slightly shaky and guilt ridden and thought it was something to do with being surrounded by people in uniforms telling me to ‘Have a nice day’ in the middle of the night. Everywhere there were signs, instructions on washing your hands and being pleasant and smiling and being happy and not taking drugs and not dropping litter and getting in the right line. I got in the right line. I got let into the country.
Vacation or business . Definitely business, I would hate anyone to think this was some kind of holiday. ‘Well lady you want a hotel you have to pay for it’ The taxi driver looked me up and down
‘ I can pay for it just not that much.’
‘ You know Miami? Miami Beach? you know a motel. Hey, know what you're doing?’
It was already taking too long to get to wherever it was that I was going. I felt sick, like had like I had swallowed too much of this hot hair. That it had wriggled inside my stomach, my savings a few 100 pounds were ticking away on the metre. I would spend it all on one cab ride on Miami unravelled itself in front of me. We stopped somewhere with cardboard walls and the promise of air conditioning . Everything in the room was brown with the fridge that whirred all nightlong. I fell asleep to the wailing sirens and noises that sounded like gunshot .I guess I must have been dreaming.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Letters from Suzanne to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.