I’m sitting in a warm, bathwater pool as a ch-ch-ch sprinkler sounds loudly as if from a megaphone. It’s likely an insect; they grow them loud and proud here in the armpit of the panhandle of Florida.
My only job on vacation is to feed myself, I’ve decided, and since chicken salad, pita, carrots, and ranch now swim in my stomach, I’m back in the leisurely playground space.
Earlier on the beach I got to know our neighbor after Evelyn asked to see inside his bucket. At first, it appeared empty, but after he sifted through the sand he pulled out a sand flea.
Where I come from, sand fleas are bouncy bugs no longer than a pinch of your finger. But these things, holy shit!
The oblong, potato bug-like crustaceans were the size of toy cars, and were what the man used for bate. This Tuesday, he told me, his son is catching nurse and bull sharks, and if I’m around I could give their sandpaper-like skin a stroke.
In all the flight turbulence last night, I thought I would die. Coincidentally, the master class video I watched by “Joy Luck Club” author Amy Tan asked a question the moment after the plane settled, “Tell me about a time you thought you were going to die.”
Eagerly, my fingers expressed themselves, and in the end, I had something real and honest to add to my book.
I’m learning that writing in satisfying ways means leaping into my oxygen-deprived spaces, holding my breath, and exploring them until I turn blue. And then something shocks me back to life allowing to me to jot down as much as I can recall.
It’s fucking madness, I tell you!
The guy from the beach stopped by while I was in the pool. “It’s a rare one and a $30 fish at the store. And scaleless.” In his hand was this post’s photo. “They’re sought after and are followed by fishermen down the coast as they migrate in schools.” He told me the name, but I forgot it. Edit: Thanks to my Georgian Facebook friend Debra G. for the reminder, it’s a pompano fish.
Anyway, I love you. Thanks so much for being here today.