Kinky Penny: Skyping

“Vacation time. You and me.”

“Yeah? Where do you have in mind? And if you say anything west of the Mississippi, I’m going to punch you in the balls.”

Ben smiled at that remark. “No, baby, way east of the Mississippi.”

“Home?”

“Not yet. Maybe we can drop in on the way back and see if everything is holding up.”

“OK. Then where?”

“I’m thinking the islands.”

“The islands?”

“Yeah, the islands.”

“Cuba? Puerto Rico?”

“Or the U.S. Virgin Islands… or the British Virgin Islands.”

“Will we need a passport?”

“I don’t know. Why don’t you do that research while I’m away? It will keep you busy.”

“Oh, I’ll be busy. I’ve got four stories wrapping up over the next two weeks.”

“Well, then, if you can squeeze the research in….”

“I’ll make time.”

“That’s what I thought. Got to go, Pen. We’ll talk this evening.”

“Looking forward to it.”

“Me too.”

And then he was gone, swept away by yet another Uber driver–a mainstay these days in our lives.

Passports. Let’s see.

That was easy. No passport needed for the U.S. Virgin Islands and that included St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. Perfect.

I texted Ben. “No passport necessary for the U.S. Virgin Islands, including St.Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix.”

His reply: “Awesome! Thanks for looking that up.”

“Now make it happen.”

“What’s that?”

“Make it happen–the vacation. I need it. You need it. We need it.”

“Agreed.”

“Now make the work stuff happen. Make the owner happy enough to send you away for a few weeks.”

“That’s my goal.”

“Good. Love you. See you soon.”

“See you soon.”

There was work to do for now. I landed on all four of my stories that were creeping their way toward going live, put on my editor’s hat, and went to carving.

By two, my neck was stiff, my ass hurt from sitting in the kitchen chair, and I was hungry.

Time for a short road trip and a bite.

Deciding on Colorado casual, I threw on a pair of jeans, a sweater, and a sleeveless vest. Make-up could wait for this evening. I put my hair up in a knot on the top of my head, grabbed my keys off the kitchen table and headed toward the closest taco place down the road.

The lunch crowd dissipated, it was easy to walk right in and take a table.

Chips and salsa appeared magically and without ordering, a 12 ounce margarita set close to my hands. Obviously, I was becoming a bit of a regular.

I’d need to mix things up moving forward, I surmised.

“The usual?” Ana asked me on her return trip.

“The usual,” I conceded. Chicken nachos supreme sounded like the best damn thing in the world right now.

Minutes later, a piping plate of nachos was in front of me.

I dug in, both hands flying, devouring lunch.

“Excuse me, miss.”

I looked up.

A businessman looked back at me. Perfectly knotted tie. Expensive suit. Even a damn pocket square.

“Yes? May I help you?”

He smiled. Not a single ivory missing or out of place. I could almost see the sparkle like in one of those fresh, minty breath commercials.

“I couldn’t help but notice you. I have lunch here almost every day.”

“And?”

“Well, you seem to be a regular.”

I nodded to myself at that. Definitely needed to switch up the routine.

“Agreed,” I acquiesced.

“I’m sorry, how rude of me. My name is David. David Smith.”

I smiled at that. David Smith, huh? That could be anybody.

“Have a seat, David,” I offered, not thinking about who else may be watching.

He took me up on the offer. Ana whisked by, smiled at David, and dropped a Corona in front of him. Obviously, he was a regular, regardless of what his real name may be.

“So, you like the chicken nachos, I see,” he said between sips.

Zero points for originality. Maybe a bonus couple of hundred for knowing what menu item was in front of me.

“Yes. They’re light, filling, and just the right meal in between writing sessions.”

“Writing sessions?”

“Yes, I’m a writer.”

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