The Legend of Gloria Dump

::camera swings around @ 180 degrees to view an elderly me::
That was 3 summers past now that we met ancient old Gloria Dump.
3 whole summers since we took her to swim.
Gloria never did sink like a stone like she swore to us she would. She was a floater through and, through. Watching Gloria bob and, float in that segregated pool, now I imagine it’s what eagles feel like when they soar the heavens.
3 summers past that was. 3 days till we realized old Gloria didn’t know how to swim a lick and, that she had drowned, Almost immediately actually. 3 more days passed till we fished her out too. My friends and, I learned a lot that summer though. I couldn’t tell you what any of it was of course the intense guilt of throwing a blind colored woman into a pool that didn’t know how to swim drove me to intense heroin abuse. Which only became exacerbated by the immense humor I then found in accidentally drowning a colored woman named Gloria Dump. That was 3 summers ago,…a time when the whole world was going fast and, they were trying to slow me. Ma told me countless times being the understanding woman she was. ” Now, don’t push Gloria too hard.” In retrospect that was probably a warning about coloreds now knowing how to swim I just thought she was worried I’d get a stomach cramp or something. I wondered for a long time how to start that theme, how to start writting about something that was important to me. And I finaly began like this: When I stepped out into the bright sunlight, from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home…God fucking damn you S.E. Hinton.Image


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