Saturday, June 21, 2008

Me and The Salty Old Locals...

...drink some vanilla rum after chicken and rice and the backpacker across from me who has my name but spells it differently, my doppleganger if I were a hairy hippie who was overly generous with her blackberry wine and was an undergrad from Maryland, laughs with her head thrown back.

We talk about this and that, something about Korea, the sea, what could be done with a high school education...they want to sing karaoke, they sigh that they aren't twenty years younger and we shrug politely. Yes sir, if only. If only the novel I'm reading weren't 900 pages about mental illness. If only there weren't low-flying pelicans trying to steal our johnny cakes.

Waves of cheering fall over from across the river. Kids are graduating and everyone wants to celebrate. Except us. We're not wandering ten yards from our hostel door.

You can't walk two blocks to the swing bridge in Belize City in the dark, that's what we've been told, shady characters slinging rocks and so forth, but in the daytime I've got on Angry Face and the dusty, the young and shirtless, barbecuing at seven in the morning and licking their lips at first, shrink away from me, perhaps because I haven't showered in days, perhaps because I meet any "Hello Girl, Do You Want To Dance?" with a scowl, I learned something in New York and if that something is how to repell people, unsavory or not, right or wrong, well I got that down, got that in my pocket, won't shine to them, won't let them come to me, snip the straps on my bag, no not once, I've got some salty old dudes on my side and Angry Face and I can run faster than I look...

Now we're back in the sun and in the water where we belong, we're Sea Monkeys like that, there is a lobster festival and we are not tired, no not at all, maybe because we haven't yet had to run once.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

beautiful writing, can't wait to read more.