[First wee excerpt from the Florida chapter — from my two trips down there, currently titled “Banquet of Consequences” or perhaps “To a Pelican” or “To an Octogenarian Ex-Pat at a Burns Supper on the Rodeo Grounds.” I am still mulling over this one.]
Walking through a seemingly deserted exit at Fort Lauderdale Airport I am startled to hear a smoky male voice declare, “You’re beautiful.”
It’s the kind of voice usually associated with a long exhalation of smoke, a nonchalant air and a wearily handsome, late-50-something lounge lizard. Surprised, I look about me and see nobody. Perplexed as to the whereabouts of my unknown admirer, I eventually notice a sign declaring this to be Jim Green’s Talking Vestibule. I was not expecting to be greeted by a talking vestibule.
I clear the sliding doors and prop myself and my bag against an adjacent wall, feeling pleased at the compliment. What a nice sincere place Florida is! I listen, wondering what else the vestibule might have to say were I to sashay through again. “Hey lady, you’re a neat packer!” Or maybe, “Boy, that Samsonite really matches your eyes!” Before I get a chance to duck back in, a disheveled woman with approximately eleven unruly suitcases sweats through the automatic doors. “You’re beautiful,” oozes the voice. I am crestfallen. I thought I was special. I thought the vestibule and I had established something. That vestibule is full of talk.