Archive for February 20th, 2013


© 2013 by James Clark

Sitting in a young man’s car, parked at the Florida prison where the man she wants to marry but has not as yet met resides on Death Row, Charlotte Bless (her last name perhaps a drawled distortion of Bliss) asks him, “Why aren’t you in college?” He informs her, “I was… I was a swimmer…” She’s delighted with this, and exclaims, “I’s a swimmer! Swim like a mermaid!” This, what some might call, lack of due perspective upon rational training, seems all of a piece with her having told the boy, Jack, earlier in the little vigil, “Everyone who comes into the area beyond normal relationships has these powers… telepathic powers… Hillary and I have that kind of connection.” (Earlier that day he had told her, “I do write…” [she looking for his Pulitzer Prize winning older brother, Ward, who had agreed to do some muck raking on behalf of having the conviction overturned], and she had, as she did later, piped up, “So do I…I write letters [petitioning on behalf of Hillary]… I’m pretty good…” [But not as good with rational folks [and their “normal relationships”] as with the likes of pen-pal and alligator hunter, Hillary; on the other hand, she could ring bells with a fellow-showboat like Ward].) A bit later, shooed away by a prison guard, she puts out the story, “This boy’s daddy’s in there, and we want to send him good vibrations…” (It’s 1963, and canny Ward has already made a killing doing Civil Rights promotions in a Miami newspaper, far from the uncanny alligator swamps that lubricate Moat County—that term evoking a palace where, for an array of beauties and beasts, it’s always Showtime.) (more…)

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