When I asked Rafael his occupation he smiled and told me his history of start-ups: silk bowties, artisan turkey jerky, and organic mango-lemonade. Rafael told me about summers in Key Largo teaching scuba, then a month he worked for an independent cleaning company scrubbing office toilets and wiping telephones with Lysol. His last stint was at an Arthur Murray dance center where he taught the retirement crowd all the popular island dances. “The old folks love the merengue,” he said. “Maybe I’ll take you out dancing one night and show you how to chasse properly.”
I knew what was next. He would just need money for that restaurant he wanted to open or a down payment for a car. Nevertheless, he had me at merengue, and I would end our date by paying the bill.
Pietra Dunmore writes short stories, creative non-fiction, and poetry. Her writing has appeared in Philadelphia Stories, Hippocampus Magazine, The Journal of New Jersey Poets, and Human Parts.
Originally published at https://mariasatsampaguitas.wixsite.com on March 15, 2021.