Come now, Stranger, and be at your ease. It is true that in the past I was cruel to travelers, but those days are now long faded. You see before you a broken creature. I will do you no harm. You must be weary after your long journey. Sit yourself down. Take what food and drink there is. It is only the simple fare of a shepherd, but I offer what I have.
“You’ve never told me why you and Chris split up?”
“Does it matter?”
“No, but you’re hurting.”
“Don’t say that mum, I’m not fucking hurting.”
“…Sounds like your fine.”
Jane couldn’t keep her clothes on.
She’d been arrested a few times on public decency charges but when the authorities witnessed her prison togs repelling themselves from her, the charges were dropped.
She was referred to experts on everything but there were no experts on spontaneous clothing removal by the clothing itself.
Potosí, Charcas, New Spain
They call it Silver Mountain, but it has only brought misery to my people.
My head hurts. Kneeling, I plunge both arms into the pool of gray sludge, feeling for another lump of stone. My fingers close around a rock and I haul it out. A piece the size of an infant’s head. I know from overhearing the Spanish azoguero that after the bonding process with mercury, the silver in this rock is worth a small crate of porcelain. But I don’t know what porcelain is, except that it is some kind of platterware.
I don’t drive. Everywhere I need to go I can walk, bus or taxi. I take a bus to my job at Hadleys Department Store in the Consumer Help Department. You should know that I am a highly valued employee based on my ability to resolve customer problems while still maintaining company policy. Trying to find a parent for a screaming child or dealing with someone whose credit card bounced without ruffling feathers or giving away the store is like walking a tightrope. Someone who wasn’t both reasonable and sensitive couldn’t handle it, believe you me!
“I know you said that you didn’t want another drink but I’ve poured you one.”
Gina accepted the glass of wine.
Wilma sat down at the table.
“You’re a fisherman for fuck sake.”
“I was, I’m retired.”
“That’s beside the point, you know what it’s like about here, you were a fisherman and you always will be!”