I stood over the bar. Mary(pronounced Mah-ree) looked beautiful in her yellow sundress. She had a receipt written out, but needed my Domicilio. I got that confused with my Apellido. I started spelling my last name. She chuckled. I knew I had the word wrong. She didn’t have the where-with-all to explain what it really meant.
Her 71 y/o father entered the scene. He had spent 40 years of his life in Long Beach CA. He said it meant address. I told them that I didn’t know my domicilio. He asked me if I had a telephone number. I said I don’t carry a telephono. Laughter should have been in the air, but it wasn’t. But it would be soon. I just needed more time.
I handed over 600 pesos to cover us for the month. The Jefe said that I misunderstood, and that it was 600 dollars. I went out on a limb and processed his comment as a joke. “Oh, OK..wait a sec., and let me go out to the car and get more money,” I said. I saw the smirk already appearing on his face. The ice had been broken.
We talked and talked. He told me about all sorts of stuff. Tarzan, Mexican Mafia, Crocodiles, Young Pretty Ladies, Givers vs Takers, Carne Asada Tacos, you name it. He broke down the history of his Sweet Water Lagoon, and the many stories that went along with it. My partner was long gone on his morning paddle. I was conducting business.
I told him that we were good people, and that his daughter is so very lovely, and that she’s been taking great care of us. I told him that we will do everything in our power to make things right around here. I thanked him again for allowing us to keep our equipment locked away on his property. I then got on my board and went for a two hour paddle.