florida-addHello! As my blogging has not been very regular over the past month or so, I thought I’d share another section from my book, Florida – A Delayed Discovery. To set the scene, I was in Daytona and things weren’t going to plan. After a day at the Daytona International Speedway, I went for a wander…

I’d just finished watching RED (Retired, Extremely Dangerous) at the cinema and I wasn’t quite ready to retire for the evening so I went for a walkabout. I passed a bar with a racing car above the entrance and it had Led Zeppelin blaring out on the stereo, so I went in for a drink.

Upon entering, the place was dead. It was milking the NASCAR heritage Daytona is so proud of (and why not?) and everywhere was covered in aluminium with leather seats. A few cars were dotted about. I liked it so I took a seat at the bar and a waitress took my order. As it was the time before craft beer, I played it safe and had a Bud. The waitress left me to my drink and went back to cleaning the bar.

Not long after, a woman entered the bar with scraggy blonde hair, a few bruises and scratches on her face and sporting a broken arm. She decided to sit next to me.

“Hi” she said. ‘Crap’ I thought.

“Hello” I replied and smiled.

“Hey, you’re English! Where abouts are you from? Don’t worry, I not going to offer you a blow-job or anything” and she laughed. I half-laughed, told her I was from Blackpool and went back to my beer. I was hoping she was telling the truth.

She hollered at the waitress for a drink. When she came over with a bottle of Bud, my new acquaintance patted around for some money and mumbled to herself. She eventually found a few dollars in her bra and handed over the cash. She then told the waitress to cheer up and went back talking to me.

“I don’t suppose you have a light do you? I lost mine.” I told her I didn’t smoke and supped some more beer. Then came the sob story.

“My boyfriend did this to me” she said as she pointed to her cast. “He pushed me over, can you believe it?” I said that that was terrible and she went on to call him every name under the sun. “I managed to get away from him tonight, he doesn’t know I’m here” she whispered and took a swig of beer.

Travels from Overend Daytona

I held my bottle up to the light and saw it was still half full. My intention was to neck it and get out of their but unfortunately she finished her beer first and asked if I could help her across the road. “I don’t want to fall on my arm again” she whined.

“Let me finish my beer” I said. My new intention was to make that beer last as long as I could and hope that her patience wasn’t as good as mine.

After what felt like an eternity of small talk and me pretending to drink my beer, she started to get restless. “Can you help me across the road yet?” she asked. I pointed to my beer and told her I’d not finished yet. I suggested that she should ask one of the bar staff to help her. That’s when she lost her temper.

“That bitch won’t help me, they all hate me” she shouted. She called me a few colourful names saying that all men were the same and then, to my relief, she turned around and left.

The waitress came back over and took her empty bottle. “Has the crazy lady gone?” she asked me.

“Yeah, thanks for your help!” I answered with more than a hint of sarcasm. I looked out of the door. Luckily, my new friend had made it across the road without falling over, but she was now facing back at the bar and staring at me. I looked at the waitress. “Another Bud please. I might be here for a while.”