Michelle has the long-skirted swagger of a spinster schoolmarm, the kind of woman whose corset you could really sink your teeth into. She appeals to Gutter’s sense of chivalry with her distressed damsel antics, but Gutter admits he shat out his manners long-ago, about the same time he stopped giving a damn about Cleveland dames. Michelle pleads for Gutter’s help. Her sister is missing.
With its lush flora and fauna, Wekiwa Springs State Park is a mimicry of Eden. It has all of the prerequisites for paradise: crystal-clear spring water, a snack-bar and tame woodland creatures. A leisurely float downstream, across the park boundaries, beyond the jurisdiction of park rangers, is Wekiva Island. If the state park is Eden, Wekiva Island is man’s fall from grace.
It was one of the Blue Crab Festivals of yore when I met the girl not named Stacy. 38 Special was the featured performance. The crab harvest was promising. I was smoking Cuban cigars in a linen suit while riding the mechanical bull, El Toro Roboto, in the beer tent. After a fall into the limestone dirt, the voice of a spectator urged me to ride again. Now, I am not one easily swayed into acts of reckless wild abandon, but if it is going to happen, some strange dame is likely to blame. She called herself Stacy. And I called myself Bucky Swoon. I claimed to be a card-carrying member of the Tea Party who insisted on lifting the speed limit for jet-skis in manatee zones. God, Stacy said, you are fucking stupid. We spent the night on her front porch.
GALAXY STAR HOTEL ORLANDO, Fla 28° N, 81° W Spartan Conroy looks more like a gin-blossomed, pot-bellied, self-published science-fiction author who works out of a trailer than he looks the part of a salsa instructor; and for good reason: Spartan Conroy’s day job is writing intergalactic space-smut out of his double-wide. Nevertheless, by night the…