Swim by Allison L. Williams Hill
mal Alzeshi was amused by the people waiting at Miami International Airport. He stood facing the seated passengers, his back to the large window showing air and space vessels taking off and landing. The view was welcomed by some waiting for their connecting flights as they watched the minutes ticking and the sun slowly bathing the tarmac in the last rays of the day.
Alzeshi sipped Powr-Cola™ from a can through a straw in his smile. They live in a land of opportunity and don’t really know what to do with it, he thought. Sad, pathetic people. He slurped turning the can to get all of the tickling bubbly fluid. I think I’ll have another, he thought. Allah bless America. The voice announced that his flight was boarding. Since he was standing, he was one of the first to queue at the gate. Boarding pass in hand, he thought to get his second soda on the plane instead of rushing to buy another. He was directed with smiles to his first-class seat, section A, row 2, seat 2 window. Stashed his luggage overhead, he sat down as a lovely, middle aged flight attendant with an attractive but professional smile, approached.
“Would you like to have a drink?” Alzeshi returned the smile.
“Powr™ please. Would it be alright if I have the can?” The flight attendant closed her lips over her teeth, nodded and said, “I don’t see why not.” He smiled even brighter. “Thank you.” He sat back waiting for his favorite beverage as he buckled his seat belt. Alzeshi peeled the pop-up, inserted the complimentary straw and began slowly sipping his beverage. The same flight attendant approached each passenger with a menu from which they chose their lunch. Alzeshi selected the vegetarian plate with, of course, a Powr Cola™. He began requesting the can, however, the flight attendant beat him to it and placed the can on his fold-down tray with a smile. Alzeshi returned the smile, sipped the beverage from the can as he picked up the sealed plastic disposable cup of ‘Apple Stuff’®. He opened it, removed a half spoonful, placed it into his mouth and chewed. “Delicious,” he said softly. The flight attendant came along the aisle to see to the satisfaction of the travelers.
“Pardon me, is it possible to get another one of – “
“A can of Powr Cola™?” she added brightly.
Alzeshi smiled and said, “No. Another…’Apple Stuff’®?”
The attendant smiled, “Absolutely,
sir.” She handed him not one but two containers. “Thank you,” said
Alzeshi, feeling like he won the lottery.
Spirit of the Island I by Allison L. Williams Hill
Three weeks later, Alzeshi examined his body before a morning shower. His pubic region looked a little darker than normal. His hair was the same deep black it always was. He pushed his wiry public hairs to either side to see his skin. He searched, pushing more hairs to the side noticing that right around the follicles his skin was noticeably darker than it normally was. His breathing quickened as he saw the dark brown color radiate from around each one of the hairs. It’s spreading, he thought. His ne’er to the sun complexion had spots of dark. He lost track of time. A shower was the last thing on his mind now. Alzeshi hurried out of the bathroom. He speed-dialed his physician.
“Good morning, Dr. Smith’s office. How may I help you?”
“Good morning, Mrs. Centurano. This is Mr. Alzeshi.”
Hello Mr. Alzeshi. How can we assist you?”
“I’d like to arrange an appointment immediately.”
“Let’s see….” Mrs. Centurano’s rhythmic breathing over the phone did little to calm Alzeshi.
“An appointment is available tomorrow at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.”
“Tomorrow? Is there anything available today?” A couple of moments went. If there were, wouldn’t you think I’d have told you, Mrs. Centurano thought to herself. She breathed in and said, “There are no openings or cancellations at this time, Mr. Alzeshi.”
“Alright, I’ll be there at 3 tomorrow. But if anything opens up, please, please call me regardless of the time.”
“You will be notified in the order of the Waiting List, Mr. Alzeshi.”
“Thank you,” he said resigned to the fact he may not see the doctor until the appointed time. He sat down hard, bewildered as to the cause. He did not feel ill or remember anytime within the last 6 months any indication of something coming on. In any case, his shower was waiting. As soon as he cleaned, dressed and combed his hair, he thought of breakfast. He went to the kitchen, opened the refrigerator and grabbed a can of Powr™ from the caseload he put in for the week. He popped the tab, inserted a new straw, and drew a long sip and swallowed. He stared straight ahead thinking the worse possible thoughts