Saturday, February 11, 2017


Not so long ago in a neglected 1974 Ford Galaxie not so far away and parked toward the back of Donny’s Mira-Lago motors in Pahokee, Florida, Donald Trumbow finished off the last roach in the tin Altoids box with little more than ashes left in it, slid it back in his pocket and his oversized self back into the seat and sighed. A  four door ’74 with the base 351 certainly wasn’t going to attract the resto-mod builder who might have a marginal interest in something like a ’68 with the 427 and a four speed or even a 2 door ’72 with the 429, and besides it needed much more  work than it was worth in mint condition. He could see gravel through the floor.  The guy in the Gas Monkey T shirt had taken about a minute to look it over and walk away before Donny had even begun the story of how many people were lined up for this car if he didn’t take it fast. He didn’t have the energy to pursue him.

Trumbow, or Dumbo as his wife called him behind his back, was going to need some cash right away. Some wise-ass with a paintbrush had changed the L in Lago to a C last night.  Mira-Lago had been his wife’s idea and was supposed to mean ‘Lake View’ if you could trust Google Translator, and that might, she thought, give the seedy enterprise a more impressive air, at least with the non Spanish speakers, which they both would have preferred. But Mira was her name and Mira-lago said the cheap looking sign  -- until now.

Mira Cago, he was pretty sure meant “looks like Shit.”  It would really look like shit if he tried to fix the sign himself and to get anyone to do it, he was going to need cash, things being as they were. Nothing was selling and the last person he could ask for a loan (and the only one he hadn’t lately) was Mira herself, although her Tarot and fortune telling business was making money and taking up a good part of their double-wide up by J&J fish camp.  It had no more of a view of the lake than the car lot did, but only of the Hoover dike keeping the Southern end of Okeechobee a lake and not a swamp, and the ditch that surrounds it. Mira had begun to appear double-wide herself in recent years, but that didn’t noticeably interfere with her accurate predictions of 10 minutes of oral sex following the transfer of 20 bucks to the ornate box she kept the cards in.

Donny closed the squeaky door gingerly, the door skin on the ancient Ford being barely attached, and went over to the trailer “office.”  It was starting to get hot. “Looks like shit” he said to himself, thinking of his life.