The Lowdowns (Ch. 11)

On New Years Day Morning, I met Miss Burgstrom down at the beach in front of Guadua.  Guadua is(was) a fancy restaurant halfway between Playa Zicatela and La Punta.  I’ve eaten there a few times.  Tasty food.  When hurricane Carlotta came to town this past June, Guadua lost its million dollar palapa.  I got word that it really only looked like a million dollar palapa, but that they cut out many of the costly corners that would have helped with fending off 100+mph winds.  Sounds more like it.  Their once gorgeous palapa disintegrated.  Gone.  No roof.  Poof.  I think the rebuilding process has been slow.  It appears that they are back open for business.  I couldn’t be 100% sure.  I couldn’t care less either.  

Irene showed up five minutes early.  I should know because I got there early to stretch in the shade that the lifeguard tower makes from the sun.  We began walking the shoreline towards Zicatela.  I began with the ‘lowdowns’ in order of importance.  I wanted to get all the ‘lowdowns’ out of the way so that I could segue into more the nuts and bolts of her apprenticeship.  Tasks, chores, responsibilities, public relations, that sort of nonsense.  During the ‘lowdown spiel’, Irene appeared to be wide eyed with fear.  Her left eye began to twitch.  She wanted to know if the lowdowns were true.  I didn’t understand what she meant.  She then asked what would really happen if she looked a stranger in the eye or walked around Puerto in bare feet too much.  I told her it depends on which stranger, and whether or not she can walk and chew gum at the same time. 

From about 100 yards away, I could see two surfers walking with their boards.  I knew one of them, which meant I knew them both.  Seeing The Surf Mutt really caught me by surprise.  He didn’t see me because he’s a fucking mutt.  I stopped and explained the story real quickly to Girl.  I labeled it an unforeseen lowdown.  I told her a little bit about our pseudo friendship, and that last year we parted on strange terms.  She naturally wanted to know what happened.  I told her that he apparently got sick & tired of me changing his nickname, and decided to walk right out of my life.  I explained that I didn’t try to get to the bottom of it because, although I liked his harmless company, and his chess prowess, he had never really proved that he was any sort of real friend.  “Plus his favorite word is Hitler,” I said.   

But there he was.  The Big Nazi and his boy J the BV from British Columbia.  I was unsure what to do.  The old me would have let them get in the water and dealt with it later, if it even came to that.  But with some mild encouragement from Girl, I just walked right up to both of these maggots, and made like nothing had ever happened.  Played the reverse differential card.  Outfoxed em.  At first they didn’t recognize me because I had extra long hair.  I said my hello’s and kept my words nice and tucked.  I let the Surf Mutt and his dumb dumb boy toy do all the cackling.  Friday ran a mean interference, and the whole encounter was a piece of cake.