La agua de México

On early morning sidewalks
beneath soiled skies,
residents and shop owners swab away
yesterday’s footsteps.

Gaunt men with yellow brushes
clean Benito Juárez’s bone-white marble feet.
Young boys wash two cars
from a single pail of sudsy water.

Near the corner stand
bicycle bells scratch through the morning
as vendors transfer a slab of ice from bike basket
to orange plastic crate
where it will take all day to melt,
cooling the jumble of Coca, Pepsi, Peñafiel.

In la catedral,
a mother holds her little daughter to the font
guiding her hand – forehead, chest, shoulder, shoulder –
then helps the girl kiss her thumb
before they hurry down the aisle.
A fledgling priest begins Mass
with bursts of water from antique aspergillum.
Plumb-bob chandeliers
illustrate the tilt of the old church,
pulled down sideways into the ancient Aztec lake.

Delivery trucks honk their way
through complicated traffic,
their cargo of 20-litre containers of water
for tall office buildings on la Paseo de la Reforma.
On la calle de Niza
shelves at el super K crowded with water jugs
beckon like pale, valuable gems,
while around the corner, hotel maids
leave two new bottles on the cheap plastic tray
in the tiled, fluorescent bathroom.

Courtyard fountains
lure babies to sleep, an easy transition
from amniotic swoosh.
Statues of myth, of revolution,
bathe daily in splashing spray
in centers of palmy glorietas.

In the patio of Hotel del Cortés
elderly waiters deliver tall limonadas,
one careful ice cube each.
Beer ordered con lima receives four cubes,
a quarter-cup of lime juice,
a salted-rimmed tumbler.

Mid-afternoon cloudburst causes commuters
leaving the Metro at Copilco to stop,
fold barely-read newspapers into inadequate hats,
then splash up stairs,
now a waterfall from the rain.

Boutique clerks on avenida Presidente Masarik
put squares of brown cardboard over polished granite steps.
Thick drops splat against rolled-down plastic walls
of sidewalk cafes in la Zona Rosa.

After the storm
rain remains puddled in broken sidewalks.
An old woman brooms water away from her flower stand,
the hem of her pea green skirt drooping and damp.
The beggar who squats between the María Isabel Sheraton
and Starbucks
returns to her post,
left hand cupped and outstretched.

(c)Melinda Green Harvey

May hold hidden dangers

Sometime in the early morning hours of the day that would be New Year’s Eve, I woke up from a dream that had already vanished, leaving behind only two words: CRASH CART.

I went back to sleep.


Hours later, the day started like any other Saturday. The normal part lasted only until 8:37. Then my dad called, frantic: my mom had fallen and he needed me right away. I arrived at his house just as the ambulance took her to the emergency room. My dad and I followed in the car; as we turned the first corner he said, “I thought she was dead.”

She was dead before lunch.

When we caught up with her at the hospital, she was still slightly aware of what was going on. I found a cloth and washed dried blood from her hands and her right elbow. I told her that I’d bought a green silk jacket with my Christmas gift card. She said the backboard hurt her neck.

By the time I had almost started to resign myself to the idea that this might be more than just a few hours at the ER, the doctor had moved her into the trauma room, and the nurses were working swiftly, grimly, not making eye contact with us.

I slipped her wedding rings from her finger.

When the doctor started saying things like “no significant hope for recovery,” I’d started making calls, to my husband, to my sister, to the pastor: the plates of the earth were shifting, ever so slightly, causing great earthquakes as I became the adult in charge.

Before any of them could arrive, my dad was saying “great fear of nursing homes” and, finally, “we have to let her go.” Family arrived, nurses withdrew, the chaplain appeared. As she slipped away from us, as softly as a whisper, we stood around her bed, holding her and each other. My father’s tears dropped to her dying face, the last rites of his love for her.

And it was over. I scanned the room, and my eyes fell on a red cabinet on the other side. The sign over it said CRASH CART


Those first ragged months of grieving were harder than I could have believed. Almost anything would trigger a flood of grief but the hardest of these were the ones that snuck in and kicked me before I knew what was about to happen.

A Bruce Cockburn song with the line “if I fall down and die without saying goodbye” reduced me to tears for the rest of the day.

A passing thought about appropriate mother’s day gifts stabbed me in the gut.

Thinking about my dad going shopping, alone, to buy my birthday present was so sad that I barely made it though dinner.

For so long, everything held the hidden dangers of learning how to be motherless, until one day, that song didn’t make me cry.

September 1, 2008

The apparition speaks

Are you his people?

I was at home that day, the day
it happened.
I was waiting
on my son to come by
to carry me up to St. Joe
for my sister’s funeral. I’d just
lost my husband,
you see,
and wasn’t up to the drive.

Those two cars hit
and there was a fire
and that boy and his little dog
You could hear the dog, too,
for a minute,
but it seemed longer.
An ambulance came, of course –
closest one is in Sedalia – but by then
it was just too late.

His people do come by
and put out new flowers.
I get my grandson
to mow around it.

No, it doesn’t bother me
to have this
outside my window.

But I can still remember
that little dog’s howl.

(Benton County, Missouri, 2006)

The only other highway

The Only Other Highway

The scene plays out:
a young family driving to Presidio
for Christmas never arrives.

The children’s gifts,
purchased only the day before
at Family Dollar,
help fuel the roadside inferno
that melts asphalt and turns an elm’s rough bark to charcoal.

Life looks good. After too many years
of seasonal work – a flagman on the highway
one year, the cantaloupe harvest in Pecos another –
he has a steady job with the propane company,
making deliveries to ranches all over the county.
She’s checking groceries at Thriftway, her first job
since high school.

Feliz Navidad, indeed.

They leave later than he wants to – there’s no way
to make it to mass at Santa Theresa
unless he can make up time on the roads,
roads he’s driven his whole life.

Three-across in the back seat,
the kids speculate about their presents,
giggle about seeing their abuelitas again.
Their noise gets on his nerves. Just where the highway curls
around Cathedral Mountain, he turns his head
to snarl “¡Callense!” toward the back seat.
He misses the curve,
but not the elm.

In February, unable to drive past the four crosses another time,
he throws what matters into his car,
leaves the key where the landlord will find it
and takes the only other highway out of town,
escaping this new prison.

When he runs out of gas in Las Cruces
he figures it’s as good a place as any to start over.

Farm Road

When I was a kid
I’d spend the drive to my grandpa’s house
in the backseat of our Fairlane
looking at fields
plowed across the land.
With no hills to interrupt the view,
I could see all the way down the rows
until the mounds of dirt
or lines of cotton merged
into a faraway vanishing point.

The scissoring of those rows
one after another after another after another
reminded me then,
and still does now,
of skinny legs striding,
nearly keeping up with our progress.

Center pivot systems,
which can irrigate a half-mile radius
have replaced the old method of draping hoses
into the rows, running well water in rivers
up long dirt appendages.
Now fields are plowed
to match the pivot’s path
as it turns in slow moist circles all summer long.

No more dirt legs pace me on my drive.

For a day or two after a rain
puddles fill roadside ditches.
If conditions are right –
clear sky, no wind, bright sun –
the water will mirror
dirt, telephone poles, crops.

And if you turn your head just right,
or narrow your eyes into a squint,
those reflections will become
a hole, a narrow gash into the center of the earth.

Once the wind picks up –
and the wind always picks up –
the illusion is erased by ripples on the water’s surface.

The dawn was the color that is exactly
between blue and pink while cloud fringes
were rimmed in gold,
like the setting of a gemstone ring.
Last night’s full moon hovered on the western sky,
an opal glowing.
As the sun grew brighter
the moon-opal began to evaporate,
craters disappearing first,
until it was like it had never even
been there to begin with.

The land seems flat enough
until three foggy mornings in a row
show how the mist settles into the county,
surveying the low spots.

The dip at the crossroads that mark the half-way point,
just before the road curves right-then-left
to skirt the water well on the south side,
holds fog,
keeping the well,
and the reason for the curves,

The place where the road
bisects the normally-dry playa lake
is low enough
and broad enough
to contain a foggy nebula
that lingers even when it’s burned off
everywhere else.

And just past the house
where I once saw a farmer,
pitchfork in hand,
walking toward a freshly-dead
German Shepherd in the east-bound lane,
the road dips,
and fog slides down
to hang at the bottom,
mingled, maybe,
with the specter of that dog.

Sun and age and wind plow wrinkles
into the contours of the farmer’s face.
His forehead,
shielded by a faded red cap
from the co-op gin,
stays smooth.

A stray stand of cotton next to the road,
white puffs bright on dry stalks,
looks like a patch
of missed whiskers
on a furrowed face.

The cotton harvest went for months,
well into the wettest winter ever.

The module trucks hauling
huge loaves of cotton to the gin
shed mud onto the road,
leaving clods that traffic mashes
into red-brown cobblestones
so hard that even more snow
doesn’t dissolve them.

Every trip made
by every truck
built up the cobbles
until the road by the gin
was paved over
and driving at highway speed
was unwise.

When dry weather eventually arrived
the weight of traffic
pulverized the cobblestones
turning them to dust
that the next strong wind

From the top of the rise,
the cows look like kiwi seeds
scattered in the bright green winter wheat.

In the east half of the county
unpaved north-south roads
carry bird’s names,
alphabetically – bobwhite, hawk,
nightingale, all the way through quail.

East-west roads
carry the names of animals –
bear, cat, elk, fox
and so forth.

Which brings to my mind –
for this is how I think –
the inevitable intersection:
horse and nightingale.


in the desert
a meteor flames out
crashes to that arid floor
leaves a wound so deep
that eons
and cactus
won’t erase it.

Imagine, too,
that on that same desert
your heart crashes into mine:
another astrobleme
is born.

Lubbock, Texas

The Piano Lessons

On a street where the asbestos siding on all the other houses was white, my piano teacher’s house was pink, a shade between it’s-a-girl carnations on the altar at church and garish flamingos in National Geographic photographs.  My sister and I would go there to music theory class every Monday afternoon and then to private lessons on Tuesdays.  The classes were held in what would have been the front bedroom, which was furnished with an upright piano, the teacher’s chair beside the piano bench, table-and-chairs for theory class, and a chalkboard with the treble and bass clefs painted on it.  Wide windows, shaded by Venetian blinds, opened onto the porch and the side yard.  A big radio in a wooden cabinet stood in the corner, two tiny triangles of masking tape on the dial marking the most positive spots to tune in favorite stations.  The room itself was colorless:  the household allocation of color had been used up on the outside.  It used up the light, too: the rest of the house was very dark.

The piano teacher’s name was Ruth Graydon Dean; she was a tiny woman with skin the texture of chiffon, genteel wrinkles, and thin gray hair that was carefully crimped.  In warm weather she most often wore floral print dresses made from a floaty fabric; her winter wardrobe was flannel trousers and turtleneck sweaters.  Her heavy gold wedding band had a treble clef and notes on it.  The ring was large on her bony finger, letting the notes of the ring’s song twirl around freely.  We employed Southern conventions and called her Miss Ruth and she signed our certificates of accomplishment Ruth Graydon with an ahead-of-her-time flourish.  She wasn’t ever called Mrs. Dean.

Miss Ruth drove a huge black Ford, dating from before the big war.  Or, at least the car was always there, docked in the driveway, poised for action.  It was actually hard to imagine Miss Ruth ever leaving that pink house to drive around town.

Her husband was the principal at Bean Elementary School, but we never saw him except as a glimpse of a retreating shadow on rare times when he’d get home before theory class let out.  They didn’t have children of their own.  Her piano students and his elementary ones served as surrogate kids, though we must have been exceedingly poor substitutes.

Miss Ruth always called me Mee-linda, presumably to distinguish me from Belinda, my fellow student.  Belinda and her sister both took lessons.  They were always dressed in shoddy, out-of-fashion clothes.  Their hair was wrong and their glasses frames were bad.  Their mother, though, drove a new Cadillac and wore flashy outfits:  tight leopard-print Capri pants, low-cut blouses, and stiletto-heeled mules.  She had big dyed-red hair and lots of eye makeup.  If she smoked (and she probably did!) I imagine her using a long and dramatic cigarette holder.  Their trio made a decidedly discordant picture.

Because of a two-year age difference, my sister and I were in different theory classes.  During my sister’s class my mom and I would run errands or find other ways to kill time.  Sometimes we’d go to Globe Discount Store, the first store like that I’d ever been in.  We’d rarely buy anything, but would wander around taking in all the sights.  Once I saw a waterbed on display; to my adolescent eyes it was both tantalizing and embarrassing.

Theory class was hard, especially for someone with an ear for words instead of notes.  Sometimes we’d have to transpose tunes into another key; I learned that just moving everything up or down the clef the same number of spaces doesn’t necessarily work.  The worst part of theory class was when Miss Ruth would suddenly stab a gaunt finger toward one of us and say “G” or “A” – and expect us to sing the note.  On key.  I am certain that in six years of weekly lessons I never once got it right.

Moms generally sat in on the private lessons; they’d sit at the theory table and read or hem a new dress, keeping an ear open to hear how much practice time we were assigned for the coming week.  The girl who had her private lesson after mine also took dance classes and her mom would often walk across the street to oversee her lesson carrying an armful of costumes and sequins, needles and thread, preparing for dance recitals that seemed to occur with great regularity.

It would have been unusual for someone’s dad to come to the lessons.  They were all at work during the day anyway.  Besides that, almost no boys took piano; that pink house was a female domain.

We had no say in what we worked on for our private lessons.  Miss Ruth would give us assignments from books or sheet music, which our moms would buy for us at Jent’s House of Music or one of the other music stores in town.  We’d labor over the piece as long as she told us to, eventually moving on to something new.  During the private lessons, she’d mark direction lightly in pencil on the pages of the music – suggested fingering, reminders to crescendo, or when to take our foot off the pedal.  When my sister got the same pieces assigned to her, Miss Ruth would carefully erase the notes she’d put on the pages for me.  I suppose she felt it would give my sister an unfair advantage to get to start with those hints.  Or maybe she was trying to shield me, keeping my sister from seeing how much help I needed.

My mother thought I was talented.  The fact is that at best, I was marginal.  I couldn’t hear wrong notes – everything sounded good to me.  I have many memories of sitting at the piano in the living room, banging out some song or another while she cooked supper.  “You missed a sharp,” she’d announce from the kitchen.  Or a flat, or any number of other errors.  I did?  How’d she know?  I had the music in front of me and I hadn’t even noticed.

Most of my friends took lessons from piano teachers who were part of something called The Guild, which had competitions on Saturdays throughout the year.  Miss Ruth wasn’t part of this, so we didn’t have the chance to compete to win ivory-colored busts of Beethoven or Mozart.  Even though I wasn’t good and would have hated the pressure of performing and competing, I still felt like we got cheated by having to take lessons without the possible reward of plastic statuary.

In our case, the piano lesson season culminated with a recital in the spring.  On the last theory class before the big day, Miss Ruth would take us off one at a time to practice our recital piece on the baby grand piano in her living room.  Along the way, we could try to peer in to the other rooms of the house.  But the walk was short and the secrets I was sure were inside lurked in the darkness, away from my view.

The recitals were always held on a Friday night at the Garden and Arts Center, a municipal facility on the edge of a big park.  The recital room was the grandest room the building, with wood floors, windows along the south wall overlooking the park, and a vaulted ceiling.  The grand piano was positioned near the windows, whose glare was shielded by the kind of curtains our moms called “sheers.”  The audience sat in metal folding chairs that had City Property stenciled across the backs.

The students wore our best outfits, usually that year’s Easter dress, pastel confections sewn from voile or dotted Swiss.  Our dads would wear somber suits with white dress shirts and dark narrow ties and our mothers would wear Sunday dresses and maybe a pair of white gloves.  (Except for Belinda’s mother, who would wear something far more outrageous than the event warranted.)  Someone’s brothers would hand out programs and the families would file into place and settle onto the cold squeaky chairs.  The recitalists would take our places in the front row, where we were seated in the order we’d play.

The little kids played short, plinky songs. My first recital piece was “The March of the Wee Folk.”  The students who had been taking lessons for a while had long pieces, usually something classic and sometimes even recognizable.  According to programs archived in my baby book, the recitals almost always included duets, and one year – when an extra grand piano must have been handy – two of the most advanced students even played a duo.

One year, I couldn’t memorize my recital piece.  I played it over and over until I could get through it without peeking at the annotated sheet music.  But, if that music wasn’t there as a crutch I couldn’t remember all the notes.  So I had to play from sheet music at the recital.  I was the only one who had to.  That was the last year I took piano lessons.

It’s been over 30 years since my last recital.  Miss Ruth’s house now has the ragged look of a rental.  The pink siding has faded to a splotchy look, like the start of a sunburn, and a mustard-colored Subaru station wagon has replaced the old black Ford.  But an air of missed notes and ignored assignments still hangs in the air and I can hear Miss Ruth counting out the tempo for her long-grown students.

Me and the kids

Me and the kids

Me and the kids was in the yard when the picture was took that day.  The gal was on Biscuit, her horse.  It was always easy to find her:  if she was outside, you could bet she was a-ridin Biscuit.  Never needed no saddle, neither.

Them kids with their striped shirts was always hangin around.  Their pa was dead and their ma was always a-carryin on with some feller or other.  The middle boy, he had somethin wrong with one a his feet and always wore than funny bandage on it.  I never was certain what happened, but I guess it might a had something to do with how his ma kept house.  That house a theirs was the worst I ever did see.  Hell (excuse my language!) our yard, even with Biscuit livin in it, was cleaner than her livin room ever hoped to be.

And that other kid, that one dressed like a cowboy.  That’s my boy.  I hate to admit that part.  He wadn’t never right.  Him and his ma, they was close.  Too close.  He turned into one a them mama’s boys.  He loved a-wearin that po-lice outfit but even with it on he still looked like a dad-gummed sissy.  He liked to dance, too; if I’d a let him, he would a took tap dancing and baton twirlin and who knows what all.  Prolly ballet, too, for all I know.

After he told he me wanted to take Tommy Simmons to the prom, I throwed him out a my house.  Ain’t no boy a mine gonna date another feller.

I never saw him agin after I throwed him out.  Heared he wound up in some pansy singin group, which sounds about right.  Heared too that he always dressed up like a po-lice in that group, but that part don’t make no sense.

Won’t last forever

(from a project I am working on, where I write brief stories based on orphaned snapshots)


All the boring girls are wearing those dark dresses.  They always wear dark dresses, which I think is stupid but then again I don’t really mind because it makes it easier for me to stand out, to look good, to get noticed.  And let’s face it, the only way to get anything to change is to get noticed and get out of this dump of a town.

Look at them – Doris and Thelma and Ruth and Betty – all in those crazy gabardine suits that look like they borrowed them from their mothers!

Not me.  I love this dress.  I love the floaty skirt and how it skims the bottoms of my kneecaps when I walk.  I like the cap sleeves, too.  I think they are flirty.

And also, look at their shoes.  Big heavy ugly shoes.  But at least they match those dresses.  My shoes, which really are as expensive as they look, are perfect.  The salesman said that spectator pumps go with anything and he was right.

Anyway, here we are, the four crones in their black dresses, and me, in pale, summery chiffon.

Anyone could look at us for five seconds and tell which one of us has a chance to make it out of here.

My looks, including this dress and those shoes, are my tools.  They won’t last forever, so it is up to me to put them to use now, in my prime.  Because the day I show up in something like my mother would wear is the day I have given up, have surrendered to never, ever getting away.



Some travel notes, Little Cayman Island

Our resort’s beach is protected by a reef, and I rather wish that it weren’t: my favorite part about going to the beach is bobbing in the waves. We don’t have any, because the reef catches them.

This place says it’s green, or eco-friendly, or whatever. But the cache of plastic stuff caught in washed-up sea grass was there yesterday, same as today. And I bet I’ll see it again tomorrow.

Turns out, I can sit crosslegged in a hammock!

No loud beach-side music here. Right now, this is what I can hear:
– The roar of the surf on the far side of the reef
– The cables hitting the mast of a nearby catamaran
– Wind moving through the thatched roof over the hammock
– A few air cylinders clanging together over at the dive boat dock
– My hiccups (if you really want to know)

I snorkeled yesterday for a long time. A long time for me, anyway. Saw a nurse shark, which was just a little bit creepy, even I though I think it’s a vegetarian. But wait…if it’s a vegetarian, why does it hang around the dock to eat when the fishing boat comes in and the fish guts are thrown into the water? I must have misunderstood something sort of critical here.

Corn porridge with coconut milk was on the breakfast menu. It tastes like coconut-flavored cream of wheat.

The beach-side palms have coconuts on them. This morning, a split piece of a coconut was floating in the water.

We walked to Little Cayman airport yesterday afternoon; it took less than 15 minutes (which included a stop to look inside the church). So now we’ve seen, I am pretty sure, all the development on the island.

The beach next to the airport was rocky and had even more washed-ashore plastic. Maybe that’s what they mean by “green” at the resort: the beach isn’t as dirty as it might be.

I would not argue if this place offered free booze.

But since they don’t, here’s a note to anyone planning on coming here: buy a bottle of rum and some cokes at the Little Cayman store. Swipe limes and ice from the resort dining room. You’re welcome.

As long as you can have these two things – shade and a breeze – it is very comfortable here.

I wish my hair were this curly at home.

No sunburn yet.

At the cottages by the airport, the ground was covered with hermit crabs. The biggest crabs were a bit larger than a golf ball. It sort of looked as if the ground were undulating.

Our room is on the end of the building (the end cap, if you will) so we can see the ocean from our room.

Another note to anyone planning on coming here: if you bring your own wide-mouth water bottle you can keep it filled with water and ice. There is a big ice machine in the sunroom. You’re welcome again, although this note is not nearly as fun-provoking as the bring-your-own-rum tip is.

Iguanas have the right of way here.

I’ve only seen one iguana.

Maybe after a week, the food will get predictable or boring, but so far it’s good.
– Lunch, day one: soup, salad (green), salad (potato), salad (something), sandwich board, boiled sausages, some other kind of meat, hamburgers, dessert. (Soup. Soup? I must find out why they failed to follow the Soup Rules, which clearly spell out soup season as being the time between when the migratory geese arrive and when the same geese leave. Also, must recommend counseling to people who are not following the Soup Rules.)

– Dinner, day one: soup, salad (green), salad (pasta), salad (couscous), mac and cheese, BBQ chicken, BBQ ribs, beans, cornbread, beef (thin slices, very rare), dessert.

-Breakfast, day two: corn porridge, fruit, bacon, eggs, potatoes, made-to-order omelets, breads, fruits. (OK, Mister Smarty Pants. Hot breakfast cereal is, and always has been, exempt from the Soup Rules. Cereal ≠ soup.)

-Lunch, day two: salad (green), salad (apples, pears, pecans, blueberries, with a yogurty dressing), salad (mussels), sandwich board, lasagna, chicken and broccoli, rice, dessert

There were approximately a gazillion mosquitoes at dusk yesterday. Even copious amounts of insect repellent didn’t faze them.

The dive boat is returning: today’s solitude is about over.

We stayed in a Comfort Suites in Grand Cayman on the way down. It could have been in Missoula, for as much the same as very other Comfort Suites that it was.

The dinner in Grand Cayman was very expensive. But it made up for it by not really being all that great.

Wait, what’s this? The people at the next hammock have a little table to hold their drinks. Where did they get that? And, if I get out here early enough tomorrow, can I “procure” it for my own hammock?

I have not been sitting crosslegged in the hammock since about three minutes after I wrote that I was. Turns out it didn’t really work out that well.

Speedo-man: don’t. Seriously.

The swimming pool felt really good.

The shallowest water in the ocean is nearly too warm to swim in. It must be 90°.

The rest of the water – except in the shadow of the dock or when you get one of those bands of unexplained cooler water – is probably around 80°. So it’s a bit like swimming in a bathtub. A bathtub full of salty water. And sharks.

The little church had a black box on the altar; it looked like they were set up for conference calls. It was called a “digital hymnal” – God’s karaoke, perhaps? I wish I’d played with it. I think you punch in a number to correspond to songs in the hymnal and you get a pipe organ and maybe a soprano.

I can tell by the way the woman in room 116 shuts the door that her little daughter is still napping.

Car horns are honking – must mean someone’s won the World Cup.

The man at the liquor store/car rental agency told us yesterday that he would be closed today while the World Cup final was on. He’s rooting for Spain (I asked) because he “has a Latin girlfriend.” Otherwise, I guess he’d be for the Netherlands.

This close to the equator the days are almost exactly 12 hours long. It seems odd, somehow, for it to get dark so early in the summer.

I only had two naps today, but was able to have one in the morning and one in the evening. Careful scheduling is the key.

I should go in and take a shower: the last one I took was Friday night (today is Sunday) in Grand Cayman. But I don’t want to go inside.

Or rather, I didn’t want to go inside. But I am in the process of changing my mind. A woman just claimed the other hammock in my hut. Two seconds later, she’s yelling, “George! GEORGE!! Over here! HERE! FURTHER RIGHT!!!” And then here comes George, carrying their beers, and here’s what he had to say:
– It’s the same everywhere.
– People putting their towels down to reserve it then walking away.
– Same shit everywhere you go.
– People are pigs.
– If you leave, you should have to give up your spot.
– Shit.

If he looked over my shoulder, he could read this.

I may leave my things here the whole damn week, just to piss off old George.

I am headed to the room. Leaving my things, too. Take that, George.