My Shaman Days


I once lived in South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida in the early 1980s. That was just before the time when it got moy trendissimo. The Cardoza Hotel on Ocean Drive had been renovated; but that was pretty much it.

Collins Avenue in the South Beach area was a bunch of gone-to-seed storefronts. The art scene was just in its infancy on Lincoln Road. The hotels were full of retired old Jews. A dying breed.

There was a health food store on Collins run by an old lady. She and the store looked like they had both been there forever. One evening I strolled by and stopped in for a visit. It turned out that the old women died. Her daughter was there that evening, seemingly to wrap it all up and clear things out. There she was smoking behind the counter. A health food store!

Now, I took her smoking to be a clear statement that whatever that store and the business had meant to her recently departed mother, it didn't mean any more to that girl than the steam off her sh*t. If that.

I observed to her that if her mother could see her here smoking, she would be spinning in her grave. Didn't budge the twit one iota. Whatever.

I bought a bottle of that proven dispeller of bad juju, Florida Water. The go-to solvent for spiritual cleansing. Then I opened it in the store and proceeded to bless the area liberally with spritzes from the bottle.

The girl went ballistic. Summarily threw me out of the store.

Time passed.

The new tenant was a storefront church.

You do the math.

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