I entered Savannah at 11:38, give or take. Savannah's legs, like Savannah's oaks, had a pleasing reach and fetch.
"Your convergent canopy reminds me of Spanish moss," I remarked.
Best American Erotica 1997
"I know," she replied. "I meant to dye it red like the rest but with Ricky taking sick and the hall light burning out and me without a ladder, one thing led to another." Her voice trailed off.
"Savannah is a very sensuous city," I said. Spanish moss hangs in feminine tresses from the tree branches or nestles as shyly as pubic hair where the branches form a crotch. "It's similar to the pineapple, did you hear?"
"More like sausage, I'd say," she replied."Straightened andouille or kielbasa frozen stiff. But very definitely, sausage, not pineapple."
"Spanish moss is a bromeliad and so are pineapples," was my reply.
"I didn't know," she said apologetically. "I only eat canned pineapple. Have you tried it with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry? Spoon-whipped cream around the hole (pineapples are hollow in the center, (I'm sure you've noticed), then gently insert a cherry minus its stem. No utensils allowed. The fun is extracting the cherry without getting whipped cream on your face. It's really quite, uh, excuse me, ooooh, delicious."
"Forgive me," I interrupted, "but the job at hand requires intense concentration. The trick is to think about other things." Maybe I can continue at this pace while still keeping to the subject. Spanish moss is epiphytic, not parasitic (or so the experts say), and goes by the name Tillandsia usneoides.
"Oh, god! Don't do that!"
"Don't do what?" I asked, slightly alarmed.
"Start talking to me in Spanish: Spanish rice, fly, moss, men. Spanish tile. Everything Spanish is soooo sexy. Just the sound of the word Span-ish." She closed her eyes and grinned.
"It's Latin," I said.
"Yes, Latin men are the best, absolutely -- their dark eyes. Are you and your pineapple Latin?"
"I myself hail from Minneapolis."
"Is it wet outside?" she asked.
"Sometimes it has a pungent odor when wet," I answered.
"I'm sorry," she said, her face reddening. :I realize that we've only just met. Are you offended?""
"Not at all," I said. Those tangled gray-green mats of epiphytic vegetation simply remind me of pubic hair.
"Even if the color is different from my hair?"
Ah, certainly. Oooops. Slow down, please. Slow down.
"Sorry. You don't have to shout. Is there a speed limit or something? Is there a law saying a girl has to travel at this or that miles per hour? She squeezed her lips into a pout.
"No, ah, forgive me. Yes, that's it, yes. No, back off, that's a little fast, just a lit-tle fast, but everything's going to be A-okay." I can handle the occasional speed bump but not sustained acceleration. I'm trying to picture Spanish moss quivering in a light breeze, but it doesn't seem to be working. We're fine, however. This is quite restful.
"Don't fall asleep," she admonished. "I don't smoke during the ride, and don't you sleep."
"It flowers, you know. It has little white flowers and spreads its seed far and wide."
"I've never seen one with flowers," she said, suddenly interested. "What kind of flowers?You mean a tattoo? What other sort of flowers could there be? I knew about the seed, of course. Everyone knows about the seed. It's even in the Bible."
"Oh my goodness! Oh, sí, señor!" she cried.
"Mercy me, sorry to step on the accelerator."
Then Savannah yelled in my ear, "I bet you never fucked a city before!"
"No," I yelled in hers, but I once fucked a state named Georgia (and possibly a Virginia too)! I felt myself pitched this way and that as if adrift on a violent sea. With a scream, I abandoned the slippery deck.
And then, what was that? It sounded like a bell. Of course. I remembered reading about a bell formerly in the tower of the Savannah Cotton Exchange.
"Must be noon," I said.
"They don't ring that bell anymore," said Savannah.
"Well, somebody just rang something," I replied.
Other stories in BAE 97 by: Thomas Roche,Eric Albert, Bob Vickery, Tsaurah Litzky, Michael Lowenthal,Simon Sheppard, Joe Maynard, Bill Brent,Lucy Taylor, and M. Christian