When the Women Come Out to Dance

Lourdes became Mrs. Mahmood’s personal maid when her friend Viviana quit to go to L.A. with her husband. Lourdes and Viviana were both from Cali in Colombia and had come to South Florida as mail-order brides. Lourdes’ husband, Mr. Zimmer, worked for a paving contractor until his death, two years from the time they were married.

She came to the home on Ocean Drive, only a few blocks from Donald Trump’s, expecting to not have a good feeling for a woman named Mrs. Mahmood, wife of Dr. Wasim Mahmood, who altered the faces and breasts of Palm Beach ladies and aspirated their areas of fat. So it surprised Lourdes the woman didn’t look like a Mrs. Mahmood, and that she opened the door herself: this tall redheaded woman in a little green two-piece swimsuit, sunglasses on her nose, opened the door and said, “Lourdes, as in Our Lady of?”

— Elmore Leonard, in Pineapple Anthology of Florida Literature, Volume 3 9781561648061