Also, here's a poem from way back when, off of my old website, WaySouth. Seems right again now that it's summer.
Woman Working In Summertime
Summer was here. Same things returned with it, no matter where the company sent its people. Dash from the city heat into the dark, dank air-conditioning of a liquor store. More gin for the tonic. Back out into the glare.
Sunglasses get slammed down from the top of the head. Back at the room-bar, the medicinal lime fizzes the tip of the businesswoman's nose while she takes a sip back to salted porch furniture and the incomprehensible buzz of grownups talking: to the house on The Island for an agitating two weeks. Aunt Bunny's bathing costume is as faded as her Labrador's muzzle.
Everyone never fails to mention how athletic Aunt Bunny was in her day. A beautiful tennis player. Right. Right. Credibility lost long ago on the woman. Bunny had never bothered her Dior lips to boast a confirmation. She was athletic after all. Not a teller of stories.
Aunties and cousins are shrugged off as simply as brushing off sand from the underside of your thighs. The meeting speaker talks about 'cultivating your people-base.' The businesswoman believes she is more a cutter than a cultivator.
She thinks about the gardenia bush behind the beach house -- the house before Hurricane Hugo. The woman thinks pre-hurricane when she remembers her summer times. She was already a professional by the time the big storm came through and caused another house.
The speaker is now saying there are actually four categories of people. Hurricanes have more than that notes the businesswoman. The secret to success in the business world is knowing what kind of people you have working for you, what category they fit into. None of the literature pertains to gardenias. They will be tested for their category nonetheless.
The woman wonders if smelling gardenia blossoms can be addictive. The scent is probably too funereal for that. Too much like church with its heaviness. The business lady is sleepy. Her eyes wander out the windows. "Probably" is not a power word. She uses it all the time. I have bad habits - she supposes.
The speaker does not use the word "funereal" at any time. The people-base in the room is busy at listening well, but she suspects the men of contemplating the airing of their pop-up camper when they get home.
The woman thinks -- inside the pop-up camper box. She knows a couple who bought one recently. They are the only people in their thirties she knows who have purchased anything remotely like that. For some reason, she was surprised to see that pop-up campers were still being manufactured.
The couple had shown the woman a brochure of their pop-up model. It looked cumbersome and over-ripe. That must be why the listening people-base is thinking of airing them out. They have their own summertime to return to.
She doesn't hear a sound of ice cubes clinking in pop-up campers. There are sticky, plastic cups of leftover baby juice baking in the pop-up sink. She hears nothing but that the group is now informed and adjourned.
Her people-base awaits her arrival at the Crown Room. Gin and tonic please. Summer is here. Business lady would like to get to it before they call her flight.