Toastmaster

Jeffrey immediately likes the restaurant, Salute, which is nothing but an old porch built right out on the beach, open to the ocean and the huge pink sky, which goes on and on and on. Jeffrey has never seen so much sky. “Very Key West!” his mother announces, as a personage in a kind of robe (Jeffrey can’t tell if it is a boy or a girl) shows them to their table by the rail. Personage is a word from Jeffrey’s vocabulary book. He follows his mother and her friend, slipping between the tables, the Invisible Boy. Each table has a different kind of cloth on it, and different chairs. Some people are barefoot, and some are dressed up. A girl at the table behind them wears a string halter. A man at the table next to theirs has a big bird just sitting on his shoulder. The bird swivels its head almost all the way around to watch them take their seats, Jeffrey and his mother, Dar, and her friend from the conference, Lindsay.

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