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from The Kiss by Shirley Holder Platt

Copyright © 2020–2021 Shirley Holder Platt

Birthday Fall Back

It is all planned out for me. All I have to do is go along for the ride. The drive into the resort is a divided boulevard lined by very tall palm trees that are never still for a moment. The breeze resembles a gale at times. In this place, the sun shines through clear blue skies every day until about 2:30 when the clouds roll in and begin to fill the sky. The thing you notice most is the wind. It makes the palm fronds dance and sing. It undoes the most meticulously hair-sprayed “do.” It never stops to take a breath.

The foyers are large and airy, a still place, a refuge from the wind. Large arches hold up sand colored walls. Shoes click on old Saltillo tile floors. Business people sit in wicker chairs, resting one-hundred-dollar shots of bourbon on antique coffee tables. Bellmen in starched white Mexican style shirts with black pants bearing a white stripe down the outside of each leg carry floral carpet bag suitcases for rich old women who buy the blue color for their hair in the salon on the premises while receiving manicures and facials that fail to make them look any younger.


Stretch limos with blackened windows await outside the busy entrance. Taxi drivers, upset with tiny tips, curse the rich bitches and drive away grumbling and gesturing madly. No one else seems to notice. They are just the help.


I wander aimlessly along the corridors. Barbara always wants to go to the “best” places. She loves to spend money and brush shoulders with the rich and famous. She is so anxious to be “somebody” that she forgets to be herself. The Barbara I met and fell in love with is long gone. This Barbara wears my patience as thin as my pocketbook.


As I said, I am just here for the ride. Barb’s business takes her traveling quite often. When I can, I come along. The business cruise on this trip was the worst.


Barb and I walked into the unrelenting wind to the northern most slip. We clanked up the narrow, rubber-lined steps, flanked by uniformed men saying, “Welcome aboard” as if they meant it and weren’t paid to say it. We went into the ship’s (152 ft, 150 and under is a yacht we were told) lounge area. Mirrored walls reflected the pink salmon leather couches. A band played in the next room, the pounding beat led us there. We stepped onto the dance floor, alone in the party atmosphere. We glanced furtively around for the bar. It was very near. A sm...

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