Honey Girl

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Chapter 20


I own a small house in Key West. It’s the most basic of any of the properties I own. Maybe that’s why I chose it. Who knows. Who cares. It’s two stories and has a small private beach, which explains the price tag: four million. I’d thought it a steal at the time, since it’s close to the center of town, right around the corner from Hemingway’s house, the sprinkling of old-fashioned bars, almost at precisely the most southern point in the continental United States. At the time I’d thought all of those details interesting. No longer.

The interior of the house is painted earthy colors, the furniture sparse but modern. Oversized white couches. There’s a small galley kitchen and a huge solid dining room table. There’s a wrought-iron balcony on the second floor, where the bedroom is, with a view of the private beach and the sea. And there’s a long dock for the boat. I have a housekeeper look after the place when I’m not in it (most of the time). I called her and told her to stock it with non-perishable food, whiskey, wine and beer. Then I told her to leave, that I wouldn’t be needing her services again until I contacted her. I offered to pay her her usual wage until that time came, which she accepted.

The shuttered windows were open, the tropical breeze spilling in. I took off what was left of my battered tux and left it in a crumpled heap on the floor. I found an old pair of cotton shorts in a drawer and put them on. Then I helped myself to a generous glass of red wine. It looked like blood.

I sat there on the cool wooden floor and looked out at the soft waves.

I sat there until I’d drunk the whole bottle.

Then I opened another one.

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