We played three sets of doubles and changed partners each time. Everybody won one set, while one special athlete won all three. OK so these characters are all a bit older, but damn serious about their tennis. I have this athletic trick I use on most folks that wrestle me into competitive athletics these days. Been doing it for years now. In a nutshell, I nonchalantly go about the sport at hand pretending that winning isn’t everything. And it isn’t. Or is it?
Brad and Dan drove away around 11am. They lead busy lives in Puerto Escondido. I don‘t lead anything, so I decided to stay. Rick offered up an outdoor shower, and asked if I was interested in some french toast. Music to my ears because this man was starving. I really shouldn’t say starving, but I was on fumes. One doesn’t typically need to eat as much food down here on a regular basis, yet every so often you run the tank empty because of that. There I was.
Rick is a cool guy and a good man. He’s 58 and a self professed Hermit. He looks and acts like a Jew from New York, yet he’s neither. He is from the back country of Northern BC. Safe to say he likes his space. Probably why he is a professional astronomer. Things finally just got too frigid for him in Northern Canada, and the tropics came calling. He bought himself a hectare and drove all his belongings down in a huge trailer. He hasn’t put a shirt on ever since.
I sat down at his piano and supposedly played music to his ears. He fell prey to my simple rhythms. I played Tiny Dancer, Georgia, Under Pressure, and my hip-hop version of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Among many others. He just couldn’t get over it. He then went on to play some guitar and tickled some real ivory of his own. A polished pro w/ both instruments. I knew right then and there that it would be hard for him to part with Old Blackie. My mind went upright.
At 3pm he invited me to stay the night. At 5pm I ran thru the thicket, stayed high and tight to the barbed wire fence, hopped over and around some big rocks and cactus, and found myself on the deserted playa. Nobody around. Not a thing. I took real caution in the ocean because that’s what smart humans do. The shore here is a bit rocky and the surf was quite powerful. I gathered about 15 unique Unicorn shells and brought them back to the house as a stupid gift.
We hit tennis balls until sunset and then shared a beer with Mr. Gomez. Rick offered up a leftover Pork Chop with beautifully prepared carrots and potatoes. It was money. After dinner, we primed ourselves for some music collaboration. We followed that up by eating Tostitos and viewing an amazing documentary on Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. We ended the night by watching the 1969 US Open final(on grass at Forrest Hills mind you) between Rod Laver and Tony Roach.
I slept pretty well on the blow up air mattress, considering it didn’t hold a nick of air. I still managed some fitness work down at the playa early in the morning, as Rick played singles with a European guest named Paul. Paul had taken the 7am bus to Santa Elena for 14 pesos and then the 50 peso taxi from the highway. I took note that Paul showed up with an ice cold six pack. At 10am, I snagged a ride back to Puerto Escondido with some stud named Wild Bill.
I told Rick I’d be back sooner than later. He said anytime amigo.