Sometimes Less is Less

She opened up about her talent for wearing two hats, and he knew exactly what she meant. He let go a medium stare her way, spawning a visual. A visual of what she might look and be like wearing her other hat.

He opened up, albeit barely, about his history of sabotaging relationships with the truth. She wanted to know what he meant, so he shed a wee bit of light on the subject.  Revealing too much wasn’t on the menu.

Pigeon Holed

He read her note.

One line stood out.

*

He read her next note.

The same line stood out.

Her third note was sickening.

And there was that same line again.

*

He wasn’t being called stupid, fat, or ugly.

He wasn’t being called a liar or Jew Boy.

He was being told worse.

Highway Two Hundred

This is all fact. It surely went down. Not to me, but to my friend Abel. I wrote about my friend Abel a few stories back. This story doesn’t have a thing to do with that story. I really shouldn’t even be writing about this story, but I am going to anyway. I figured my stuff is so under-read, that it just doesn’t matter one way or another.

Back to Abel. Abel was enjoying a fresh fish dinner right off the two lane highway that connects Acapulco to Salina Cruz. It’s a big stretch. 500 miles or so. Where it happened along that stretch isn’t of too much importance. In case somebody IS reading this, I will say the Google Coordinates can’t be trusted anyway.

OK, back to Abel. Fish Dinner..Restaurant..Hwy. In walks this old man. The old man looks around the empty restaurant, approaches Abel’s plastic Corona table, and decides to have a seat. When Abel looks up at the old man, the old man smiles, introduces himself as Alex, and politely asks Abel to buy him a Coke. The old man tosses a 10 peso coin on the table and says, “They know me here. They know I am not supposed to have any simple sugar in my diet because that’s what the doctor has said. Pretend it’s for you.”

So Abel calls over the server and orders up a Coke. The server looks at Alex and just shakes his head. After the server leaves the table, the old man and Abel begin talking. Small talk. Super Small. Secretly small.

This wasn’t Abel’s first time seeing, or even talking to the old man. Abel told me that he had seen him around numerous times before, typically in the oddest of odd places. Places that would make anyone sense as though he/she were being followed. It never felt spooky or dangerous.  Privleged if anything. Abel said that it had happened enough times at enough odd places, that he began to jot notes. So in a notebook, he decided to write down each encounter, rather each old man sighting. He would write down where he spotted him, and what time. He would jot down weather temps, sights, sounds, stuff like that. And after having a dozen or so worth of sightings, Abel began to size up the greater meaning.

Whoa dude, so he just came right up to your table?
Simone Ese. He was hard to look at actually.
 
The server brought out a cold coco with a straw and said they were out of coke. It didn’t seem to bother Alex. He knew a cold coco will forever be the golden ticket in the tropics, so he smiled and started sipping away. Through a straw of course. Abel kept his head down, eating away at his fish dinner. The old man sat in his plastic chair, sipping away his cold coco. Nothing was spoken between them for what felt like centuries. Therefore, sometime between 10 minutes and 100 years later, Abel says he must have made it obvious that he was finished with his fish dinner. What happened next Abel says will forever be impossible to forget. It goes like this:
 
You’re not going to eat around the head..it’s the best part?
I think I will pass.
I was told you were smart. Because if you were smart, you’d eat around the head.
I guess I’m not smart then. Would you like it?
Sure thing brother!
 
Abel pushed over his plate, and the old man began eating away around the head. He began humming as he was picking away at the fish head. Periodically he would take a sip of his cold coco too. Abel just sat there and watched. And that’s when it happened. The old man had his head down, working his plate. Abel watched him take a small piece of corn tortilla, smear some hot sauce over it, add a little wedge of avocado and some black beans, and then stuff it complete with some fish eyes and brain meat. Abel recalls the old man taking a gigantic bite of this concoction, and chewing with his head down for about 15 seconds before lifting his head. When he lifted his head, that’s when Abel saw his eyes. Everyone who was anyone had heard about Alex’s eyes.
 
What do you mean they turn Gold?
It means his eyes turn from Blue to Gold.
Yeah but what does that mean?
It means what it appears to mean.

Plagued

So far as we were capable of telling, she wore the exact same thing every single day.  Without fail, she always had the mustard colored tank top and faded blue jean combo going.  Morning, Noon, & Night.  The faded blue jean thing we could understand.  For it was winter in the tropics, and just because us Gringos only wore board shorts 16/7, doesn’t mean that everybody else does or should.

Perhaps she rotated her faded blue jeans the way you or I might rotate our socks or underwear.  That we got.  The mustard tank top had us twisted, but giggling for more.  We were both quick to remember the Seinfeld episode with the beautiful girl that only wore the black and white dress.  We kinda sorta toyed with the idea of sneaking into her room to see with our own eyes whether or not she had dozens of them in her closet.

She had long, curly brown hair down to the lower part of her back.  Every time she walked by us, she would look our way, smile genuinely, and say hola.  The best night of our recent lives was when she approached the chain linked fence and asked if she could borrow a machete.  We just melted.  The second best night of our recent lives was when she asked if one of us had a crescent wrench she could borrow to fix something on her scooter.  We almost died.

She was beautiful  She is beautiful.  We were in love.  We are in love.

This past Tuesday, we had the chess table set down in the garden area so that the blazing afternoon sun wouldn’t affect our competitive outcome.  During crunch time, we both noticed Julia at the exact same time.  She was walking our way.  We both smiled from ear to ear, and we both said hola at the exact same time.  Noonan!  Of course she said hola back.

She then looked me square in the eye and asked, “Are you going to be at La Punta later?”  I knew the question was directed at me because she knew that I lived on La Punta, and like I said, she was looking me square in my God Damned eyes.  Without any hesitation, and with my most champion sound, I answered, “Yes, for sunset, are you going to be there too?”  She said Yes.  I said that I would see her later.  She left.

When she got out of sight, I tipped my King and shouted Yahtzee.  It was 4:30pm. I jammed home on my moto.  I needed a shower and a change of bathing suits.

At 5:30 or thereabouts, I walked from my apartment down to the beach.  I took the back roads.  Regrettably, I chose not to wear shoes or a shirt.  Supposedly, I wore my lucky SeaGlass Medallion around my neck.

I scanned the area for a pretty girl in a mustard colored tank.  I didn’t see her.  I decided to walk left.  It was the the right decision.  From about 75 yards away, a woman in a bikini waved to me.  It was her.  She saw me first.  Yikes!  This was really on.

When I got up to her I noticed a couple things right off the bat.  She was in a black, string bikini, and she was even more adorable up close.  Extra unassuming.  Super natural.  Soft spoken.  Cute as a button.  I sat in the sand next to her.  I knew that she spoke better English than I did Spanish.  That is bueno.  In light of that, I also knew that much of what I would say stood a solid chance at being misinterpreted and/or lost in translation.

My manner of speaking, for better or for worse, has become quite fragmented with random tongue & cheek isms.  I can’t help it any longer.  It’s not for everyone.  At times, it can hardly be for anyone.

As predicted, there were plenty of words that I said that she didn’t understand, and there were plenty of words that she wanted to say but didn’t know the word.  I suppose there were some awkward moments, but nothing out of the ordinary.

The sun was still warm, so I decided to have a quick dip in the ocean.  The water felt great.  I stayed in for about five minutes.  The sun had another 20 minutes before it would disappear for the night.

I found out she is 30 years old, despite looking like she is 20.  I found out she is single.  I found out that she was born in Paris.  I found out her mother is French and her father is Mexican.  I found out she went to school and began a career in the high fashion industry.  I found out her father is a popular actor in DF.  I found out that she would like to be able to stay in Puerto Escondido, but that she is taking one day at a time.  I found out that she was here to “clear her head”.

I started to itch.  Then I really started to itch.  I noticed big welts appearing on my skin.  Julia noticed them too.  Between the sand fleas and the ‘malagua’, I began breaking out with hives.  If Julia wasn’t there, I would have been completely out of there in a heartbeat.  But she was there.  And she was so sweet, and so beautiful, that I just had to carry on despite the irritations.

I told her about this extra top secret bit of business that I am working on right now that is certain to forever change my life in the very near future.  She wanted to know more.  I told her that I have been sworn to secrecy.  She didn’t press me for the information, but I felt that I had captured her attention and imagination.  She also seemed to be pretty relaxed.  I saw a tiny opening and took it.

“Hey Julia, this isn’t easy for me to do, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but I would like to take you out for a nice dinner sometime soon.  Would that be OK?”

She definitely didn’t deny my request, but she also didn’t say Yes with too much enthusiasm either.  She wanted to know if we were going as friends.  I knew that was a tricky question to answer because she wasn’t really even my friend.  She wanted to know if there was any agenda behind my desire to have dinner with her.  I began wishing that I never said a fucking thing.  My skin was absolutely ballooning on me.  Life was backfiring.  I tried to stay present.  Stuff felt awkward.  I must have had 99 welts.

I was unsure what to do.  I told her that I had 99 reasons why I had to leave the beach.  I tried to button up my dinner request by asking whether we should plan on something or play it by ear.  She didn’t understand what playing it by ear meant.  I thought about a different way to say it, but couldn’t.  The fact was that both my ears became so fucking itchy, that I wished I didn’t have any ears to play anything by.

She said that she needed to leave too.  She asked me if I wanted to get a lemonade.  Who drinks lemonade I thought?  I said Yes, but meant No.  As we were walking off the beach, I stepped on a Zicatela Thorn.  The same style thorn that laid me up for a good month in September.  This one pierced my second toe, but I knew it wasn’t going to be any kind of severe injury.  I still said a few God Damnits.  Julia showed concern.  I was no longer present.

We sat down at Morros.  She ordered the pineapple, guayaba, alfalfa juice.  I ordered the same.  It was 7pm.  The mosquitos were out.  She put on her faded blue jeans and mustard colored tank.  I sat there barefoot, with no shirt, with my ‘unlucky’ medallion hanging off my neck, and got eaten alive by mosquitos.

We both finished our juice at the same time.  She wrestled for some change while I paid the bill.   She tried to give me her money.  I refused.  We walked out on the dirt street, and waited for a cab to take her home.  I stood on a medium sized ant hill for about 60 seconds before I felt anything.  In a swollen instant, I was ON complete FIRE.

Get me the fuck out of here!!! I kissed her on the cheek and told her that it would be a good idea on her part if she took me up on my dinner offer.  I wasn’t around to hear her reply.

When I got home, I looked in the mirror.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Between the Sand Fleas, the Malagua, the Mosquitos, the Thorn, the Black Ants, and Julia, my body was riddled in red.  I took a cold shower.  It was 8pm, and I knew I had a 1500 word story to tell.

What the Critics are Saying

That’s the dumbest story I ever read. It makes very little sense, and if any of it is actually true, it makes even less sense. Incoherent ramblings of a middle aged man pretending to be a kid. Your style is amusing at times, but as RZ once told JL, you’re not saying anything!

Rick from Canada

Enter Kelly Slater

By 2005, I was able to convince Kip & Spuds that Lance Armstrong deserved to be at the same table as Babe Ruth, Muhammed Ali, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods.  A cozy little table for five.  Lance’s achievements rung a little closer to my home than theirs, but they had hung around me long enough to know how unprecedented his fitness, combined with his competitive hunger, really was.  Lance took it to the craziest, most unimaginable level.  In every phase.  In every way.  And it all went down in Europe.  It’d be the equivalent of some American Soccer Player coming along and becoming as good as Messi.  No chance.  No way.  Once in a blue moon.  And even with all the information coming out these days regarding him being a cheat and a liar, his sporting accolades, namely his 7 TDF titles still shines brighter than the Palmares of his ‘supposed’ table-mates.

Enter Kelly Slater

So me and my two close friends would talk regularly about this fictitious table for five.  And the most common thread between these five athletes was that they single handedly Transcended Sport.  Not only Their Sport, but All Sports.

Transcend /tran’send/ v   Be or go beyond the range or limits of (something abstract, typically a conceptual field or division).

Born in 1895, Babe Ruth produced stats in baseball that FAR surmounted any player of his era.  His 714 Career Slams, .342 lifetime batting avg., and his 2200+ RBI’s stood firm for quite some time.  His 1200 IP combined with his 2.28 ERA proved that The Bambino could do it all.  Then there was his 59 Home Runs in 1921, followed by his whopping 60 HomeRuns in 1927.  Not to mention all the whispers about him being able to claim and predict his home runs.  And what about all that black and white film that captures him “fast running” the bases even though he was a slow poke?  Hot dog eating champion.  Party Animal.  Couldn’t deny The Babe of his Cigars & King’s Crowns.  His $100,000 salary was 20x that of his peers.  The Big Boy earned himself a candy bar, which is still my all time favorite.  As a side note, I used to tell kids in school that I was named after Hank Aaron.  He got a candy bar too, and I happen to love the Oh Henry as well.  It just wasn’t in Caddyshack.

Enter Kelly Slater

Muhammed Ali always gets thrown into the best athlete of All Time conversations, just like you can’t talk about the NFL greatest of All Time without mentioning Jim Brown’s name.  He became Ali long before it became trendy to change your name.  He publicly resisted, refuted, and made mockery of the draft, all the while rubbing elbows with Malcom X, MLK and dem sortz a fellas.  He was handsome, and pretty, and he floated like a butterfly.  He spoke his mind as a black man in the racially prejudiced country that we still live in.  And who can forget about his unlikely friendship with Howard Cossell?  And to top all that off, he was The Self Proclaimed Greatest of All Time.  But make no argument, Muhammed Ali fought spirited 15 round boxing matches all over the world, at a time when Heavyweight Boxers surely roamed the earth.  3 of his 5 career losses came when he was in his late 30‘s.(Berbick, Holmes, & Spinks)  In his prime, he lost once to Ken Norton, and once to Joe Frazier.  He also beat them big boys too.  And Down Goes Frazier!!  He was a BAAAAD man!

Enter Kelly Slater

What can you say about MJ that already hasn’t been said.  Sort of a fading icon if you ask me, and as I am sure most real sports fans have begun to mutter.  Even the “experts” are allowing Kobe’s name to creep into The MJ Debate.  Especially if Kobe gets his sixth title.  Then of course Lebron is coming of age, and who knows what that BEAST will end up becoming.  I guess my point is that Michael Jordan absolutely put the third sport, NBA basketball, on the map for absolute good.  It always took a two or three player combination of NBA players to identify the era. And along comes Michael Jordan.  Guy makes a trillion zillion dollars with the whole Air Jordan phenomenon.  Spike Lee commercials.  You remember.  But then there’s the womanizing and the gambling.  And then the failed mini comeback.  And what did HIS Charlotte Bobcats finish the year…10-72??  Da Bulls!

Enter Kelly Slater

Tiger Woods.  Good Gads!  He’s got to be relegated to the kids table.  He had his chance.  In the end, His one time “good friend and whistle blower” Roger Federer made himself a stronger case for this fancy dinner table of five than Tiger Woods ended up making for himself.  Woods appeared on pace to double the number of majors that Jack Nicklaus set forth a generation prior.  He was absolutely crushing the ball, and playing Uber-clutch golf week in and week out, Major In & Major Out.  What about the Tiger Slam?  The guy had it all.  Unique name.  Black Man in A White Man’s Arena.  Clearly a once in a lifetime sort of athlete.  But now he is stuck on however many majors.  14 is it?  And then all his well-documented domestic BS.  I’m done talking about this clown.

Enter 11x World Champion, Kelly Slater.

Neo-Pro

I just have to give a shout out to The Boswell Family of Bend Oregon.  One of their own, namely Ian Boswell, has signed his first European professional cycling contract with the Very Best Cycling Team in the World.  And the kid’s just 22 y/o.  He signed w/ Team SKY, the team of 2012 Tour de France Champion Bradley Wiggins.  As IBoz was quoted as saying, “It’s like signing a contract to play for the NY Yankees in baseball.”

I(We) just really don’t know what to make of it.  I do know that he will be groomed to be a long time participant in the Tour de France, if not an eventual winner.  It blows me(us) all away.  And to think that I was riding his uncle off my wheel for all those years up in Chico.  LOL.  And now, his 22 y/o nephew, is poised to be a professional athlete at the VERY highest level in the sport.  Stay the course young man.  You Owe Us.

http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/10/news/sky-signs-boswell-to-neo-pro-contract-for-2013_240485

In with the Old

Lots of Grandmas and Grandpas around here.  Same amount I guess as anywhere.  Difference is here you see them and there you don’t.  I take that back.  There you see them in line at CVS pharmacy, and driving slowly in cars heading to Costco.  Here you just see them.  And they got it made here.  They are the kings and queens of their designated castles, and always dressed in colorful sundresses and flip flops.  They cook, clean, do laundry, and watch the children.  They aren’t threatened into believing they need poisonous drugs to stay alive.  They aren’t threatened into thinking they should be something that they are not.  They get one Novella on their one TV channel, and they believe every damn word.  They live in peace and die in peace.  They don’t use wheelchairs or crutches.  They don’t wear glasses or high heels.  They most certainly don’t get put away by their own families to live die with other old folks they have never known.

          

Familiar Stranger

Neither of them had shoes on.  She couldn’t keep her tongue out of his mouth.  He didn’t have a shirt.  They were both darker skinned.  They could have been any brand of human.  My only guess is that they were not from Oaxaca.  He had dreads.  Plenty of tattoos.  She was gorgeous.  Probably 20 years old.  Perfect complexion.  He wasn’t much older than she.  Chiseled.  Very cool.  Boxers showing.  They were both in front of me in line at Super Che.  She had a loose top on.  No bra.  Tons of jewelry and tethers hanging all over her wrists and ankles.  They were a good looking, young couple, without what seemed like a worry in the sky.  Together, they purchased like six limes, some cilantro, and maybe a few other herbs and what not.  

 

I couldn’t get this guy out of my mind.  For that matter, the girl either.  But the guy was like somebody I had seen a dozen or so times.  For weeks I tried to put my finger on it, but couldn’t.

 
 

A fourth stoplight found its way to Puerto Escondido during my six months back in The States.  Like the other three, this stoplight is also on Hwy 200.  It’s at the entrance to The Adoquin.  I guess The Bare Footed Blow Torch Juggler decided to give up his post at the Main Stop Light located at The Crucero for the new stop light at The Adoquin.  And he upped his ante to christen the new stop.  Now he does his act on a six foot step ladder.  Light turns red–He runs out there and performs, timing it as such so that he has maybe 20 seconds time to ask the captive audience for their handouts.  It’s an incredible display of talent and desire.  I’m dying to meet the guy.  So next time he’s in line in front of me, I hope to have the courage to introduce myself.

 
 

Noonan!

The very finest piece of ass in this town walked right up to me the other day.  I was like here we go again.  Back up.  About three months ago, this other succulent piece of ass walked right up to me and said, “How’d you like to go fly somewhere together?”  I was like, “Where to Ms. Succulence?”  That was her cue to pitch the skydiving business that she reps down at the beach.  Of course!  Always a catch.  Too good to be true.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah, the finest piece of ass in town.  Not just a fine piece.  The fucking finest.  The filet of the mignon.  So she walks right up to me and says, “Hola Aron, Do you have 200 pesos I can borrow?”  I was like Holy Shit, the finest piece of ass is asking me a question!  I reached into my bathing suit and pulled out a wet 200.  She took it and smiled.  I thought for sure that meant that she was testing me to see how loose I was with my dinero.  Testing to see if I had the money to provide for her and her family the rest of our lives.  And of course our family too.  She must not know that I am The Pressure Washing Kingpin of Santa Cruz, CA.  Sure..no problemo…take the money…i’ve got oodles of it.  FACT:  If she had asked 100 acquaintances in town for 200 pesos, nobody in their right(or wrong) mind would have coughed it up.  No wonder I haven’t seen her fine piece of ass lately.