You can’t even see plays downtown anymore because the Palmetto Theater couldn’t compete with the malls and multiplexes.“Oh,” Fiona says.
Finch, it’s really nice of you to drive me home,” she says as we pass Seminole Acres, where they’re putting in 15,000 new units.“Fiona, you are a valuable person who deserves nothing but niceness and respect,” I say.
This is an empowerment phrase we’ve been encouraged to iterate at regular intervals to counter the self-esteem crashes that hormones induce in girls Fiona’s age.
All too quickly we’re on Elysian Boulevard, where the blocks stretch out to accommodate a steady stream of shopping centers and fast-food restaurants.
Nervous to be riding in a teacher’s car, Fiona unzips her backpack and reorganizes things, moves a teddy bear out of sight, sticks some loose papers into folders, reviews tonight’s homework.“Mr.
To make room for her feet, Fiona has to kick aside a pile of old newspapers, but she is gracious as ever. Finch.” I drive along Flamingo Lake and cut through Walnut Grove, my childhood stomping grounds, whose narrow, leaf-strewn streets and teetering bungalows I find soothing.
It was once the residential heart of the city but is now dwarfed by surrounding subdivisions.
Matt is a foot shorter than Fiona, was suspended recently for smoking cigarettes, and seems to boast no exceptional abilities other than the willingness to try dangerous tricks on the lower-school rope swing.“To help me feel better, mom let me buy a new dress for the dance this weekend.”“Did that help the whole emotional piece fall into place?
” I turn onto Crispus Attucks Avenue and pull up in front of her house, a Greek Revival Mc Mansion that bulges to the edge of the lot.“I don’t know.
” I ask Fiona as we drive through the gates of Liberty Estates, where she lives.“Oh, he broke up with me last week.
I was grieving and all stressed for a while, but my mom thinks I’m coming to terms.”“Perhaps it wasn’t a good fit,” I say.
I’m not sure of its impact, but I know it’s a heady time to be teaching girls.