Friday, May 24, 2013


Seen in St. Augustine, Florida at about 1 p.m., Monday, May 20th, 2013

My family came to St. Augustine years and years ago, when Florida was older than Old Florida and the shore was choked with plants that looked like they had clawed their way up from the floor of the ocean. The buildings hadn’t been repainted or opened to tourists. It was humid like it is now, but not so clean. Back then the air was heavy with the musk of salty seawater and rotting fish and disease. The people at that time, my ancestors, were no strangers to death—after all, they lived on Matanzas Bay.

I am the first one in my family to renounce the Catholic religion. Mama was furious—ripped my grandmother’s gold cross chain right off my neck. But giving up your faith does little good in this town; the whole place is built on it. Magnificent old churches everywhere you turn. The great cross rising above the bay that marks the location of the first Mass in the New World. The crumbling stone fort, which bolstered my ancestors’ faith that the city would stand. Lincolnville, formed from faith in the idea that black men should and would live free.

And, of course, there’s the Fountain of Youth. Maybe that’s what really kept my family here all these years. Maybe that’s what keeps me here now. I think there’s a faith flowing through my veins, a faith I can’t escape. Whether I want to or not, I have faith that that if I stay here and drink the waters, the same waters that my ancestors consumed, I will stay healthy and live forever.

Ok, that will be the last story from Florida, I think. Back to the CTA next week. Actually, now that I look in my archives, I am reminded that last year I did a Memorial Day Weekend challenge, which was lots of fun. So I think I'll do it again! Here's the deal: if you share PTKY through social media--a retweet, a reblog, a facebook post, etc.--I will write a flash fiction piece about WHATEVER YOU WANT. That's right. You come up with the idea, I write a story about it. All for a little internet love. Sounds like a good deal to me. 

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