Friday, April 20, 2012


The spaces between the words are dangerous. You get down in that basement, surrounded by Dangerous Writers reading and critiquing each other's work, you get to feeling a certain kind of comfortable and a certain kind of belonging, and right in the middle of someone's reading, right there in the space between the words, something will pop right out of your mouth.

Usually it's a laugh or an "oh god." With Charles, it might be a little giggle when the choice of words in someone's piece sounds unintentionally dirty. And then Sage will slip in, "Innuendo Man!" like he's announcing the arrival of a super hero.

With me sometimes it's a repeat of someone's turn of phrase. The reader reads the sentence and there, in the space after the period, right out of my mouth before I realize it come a few words, parroted back, in admiration. Last night, though, it was the mermaids that did it.

Adam was reading a beautiful piece set on a drive through Florida. The basement was all silence except for Adam's voice and the here-and-there turning of pages, and then he read the passage about the car driving past the sign reading Weeki Wachee. And in the space after the words, right out of my mouth like a hiccup: "I've been there."

I had my hand clapped to my mouth before I got that last r out, and then we all laughed and Adam continued reading, but I felt a little mortified for my outburst. So I'd like to take this moment to blame it on the mermaids. If you've ever been to the cheesy camp glory that is Weeki Wachee, you may understand why.

Here's exhibit A. Complete with dreadful song. [Weeki Wachee is a roadside attraction in Florida where girls dress up like mermaids.]

Exhibit B. Weekie Wachee in earlier days. Apparently mermaids send a lot of time drinking sodas and eating apples. Must be delicious in that fishy water.

Now, come on! How could I not want the world to know, right then and there, that I had been to this place?

Adam was recently published on Intellectual Refuge. You can check him out here.


  1. Oh my God!! Where did you find that?!
    I loved it!!

  2. "Dancin'. Swimmin'. Fishtail women." This is great!

  3. Aww, shucks, thanks for all the love! And I didn't mind your comment en medias res, it was really so funny!