fiction from my head
It was the sunglasses, always on. Otherwise, she seemed pretty normal. Super normal, really. Just a sun-shrunken Floridian with funny and sad things to say about Florida. Ruined it was, built upon carelessness, besmirched, dying. She cared about the environment. And animals. But at some point, she started wearing sun glasses all the time, even indoors. Actually, not all the time. Only when the public could see her – at the grocery, or at a cocktail party, or at the movies. When she talked to you, alone, on the couch feet up, drink in hand. She did not wear them.
She took a shower with Tennessee Williams. Not many women could say that, but she could. She was too young to drink, but she recognized him sitting at the beach bar and sat next to him. She ordered a beer, which the bartender gave her without even asking her age because in Florida then, no one cared. Mr. Williams got up and walked down to the fake little hotel beach and went in the water. She sipped her beer, which was as sour as her disappointment. But Mr. Williams did not swim long. He came out of the water and walked up the sand to the shower by the pool, one of those beach towers with multiple heads. She went over and stood under the stream of the one next to his.
He said that he thought Tennessee Williams was a mean drunk. He also thought he treated his lover like dirt. So he avoided him except when he couldn’t. Key West is not a large town. Sometimes Tennessee came into the grocery store and came through his line. One time he went to a little bar with a friend to get a bite to eat and something to drink and there were only three seats left. Two at the end facing the bar and one next to them alone. They took the two seats and then in comes Tennessee and sits in the other seat and starts reading poems to the room. Practically shoulder to shoulder, expecting him to smile and nod.