I love the beach and its long walks to nowhere. That’s where I’m going…nowhere. No deadlines. No calls. No mail. No worries. The surf licks at my toes with a foamy tongue. It tickles and feels good. The massage you need even if it makes you squirm.
What’s the deal with sandpipers? Run to the water. Run away. Over and over and over. Looks familiar. I’ve spent my life running to work, running home, running to dinner, running for the phone. Do your thing little sandpiper. Whatever they’re doing, they’re intense. They don’t even begin to acknowledge me. I’m used to that…nothing new. There’s plenty of surf for all of us, anyway. God knows I need it so I guess they do too. Me, I’ve been working way too hard for too long. All my life boiled down to this little excursion.
No wife. No kids. None of the things people usually bitch about. I haven’t checked my email. I haven’t checked voicemail. No texting. No Facebook. This is pure heaven and I should have gotten here years ago. Too much running for all the wrong reasons. I don’t miss you.
For a beach resort, the place is deserted. Granted, it’s off-season but you’d think there’d be some locals around to take advantage of it. I’m not complaining. This place literally sucks the frustration out of you. The hostess pads out to me when I get back in my hammock. She’s so accommodating. Whatever you need, it’s yours for the asking. The credit card at the desk guarantees no waiting on all goods and services but I don’t know where the hostess draws the line. It’s a slow time, like I said.
Her name’s April and she did have a drink with me earlier even though I don’t think she was supposed to. Just a shot. It was quick. Nobody saw it and nobody needs to know. Who am I telling? It’s our secret. I like that. April and I have a secret and that makes me smile for a change. I wonder if she sees it that way. She probably has drinks with everybody. Why not? It’s all customer service right? I don’t miss you.
* * * * *
Shift change happened and April never came back. I hope she didn’t get in trouble for that shot. I’d feel bad if that’s the case. Poor kid was just trying to make an old man happy. Tomorrow’s a new day and it’s check-out day. I’ve got the room through the weekend but I’ve had enough fun. Time to go home. I’m sure I’ll see April before I go. The guy waiting on me now does a decent job but he’s not much to look at. I’m sure the girls probably think Logan’s a good-looking kid but I wouldn’t do him no matter how stiff he makes my drinks. That’s the only thing he’s making stiff.
I laugh and realize I’ve obviously hit my limit since I’m thinking about how much I don’t want to fuck this guy. “You’d love it,” I echo into my empty glass as he arrives with a fresh one. Good service…no complaints there. I shift in the hammock to look at stars above my watery horizon. I think if you drove a boat fast enough you’d shoot right off the edge into space. Probably not as peaceful as it seems. Tonight I sleep on the beach. Everybody should sleep on a beach at least once in their life. Tonight’s my night. Besides, I doubt I’d make it to my room. You’d love it here but I don’t miss you.
* * * * *
I wake up to giggling. It’s still dark. Wake up to my own snoring? Yes. Giggling? Never. Between the rum in my system, the swinging hammock, pounding surf, and giggling, I’m disoriented as hell. I remember I’m on the damn beach. Jesus. I’m officially a beach bum now. OK, I’m a beach bum with a platinum Am Ex at the front desk but a beach bum nonetheless.
More giggling drifts through the air and I need to know where it’s coming from. I can barely make-out Logan but he wouldn’t be giggling. There’s a girl around here somewhere. Squinting through the darkness, I see April. Great! That’s just fantastic. They probably didn’t notice me in the darkness or were too preoccupied to care. It’s for the best anyway, I guess. I’d practically jacked myself raw to April with the cheap lotion in the room my first day here. I probably couldn’t do her much good now anyway. The fucking is clumsy. I pictured her wilder. Wishful thinking, I guess. Youth really is wasted on the young.
You, on the other hand were always more than wild enough. How many meals did we burn while you rode me on the kitchen floor? I really just wanted to help you cook, I swear. Watching them makes me want to miss you but I can’t. I won’t. I drift off again pissing through the hammock watching Logan and April fumble-fuck each other. Tomorrow…last day.
A little crab skitters off the hammock and scares the shit out of me. The sun is warm on my face and April is back on duty bringing me a Bloody Mary. Good girl- Does she know? Would she care? Maybe it was on purpose. I like that. A little show for the generous creepy guy sleeping in the hammock. Seriously, an entire beach to screw on. I sign for my drink and wonder if she still has sand in the crack of her ass as she walks away.
Disgusted with myself, I wash down a couple of pain killers in anticipation of stiff joints and a sore back. The vodka lights-up everything inside me and I realize April gave me the good stuff this morning. Might be something to salvage here after all. The pain pills roll through me and make me tingly. I like this
I hate myself for swiping these out of the closet. I know you need them but I also know you can get more in the blink of an eye. You’ve always been good so you don’t get grilled when you need a script.
Fuck these are good.
I feel a stupid grin creep across my face as I kill my drink and eat the celery like a cow. April returns with a refill and I’m in heaven.
“I saw,” I say.
“Good,” she replies smiling and pads away in the sand.
I know I’ll never see her again.
* * * * *
Shift change happened hours ago and I’ve had Logan running all night. At least the kid makes a good drink. I reach over to the table and grab my bag. Three Cohibas left. I wave Logan over and order three brandies. He returns and I show him the cigars.
“Sit with me,”
I hand Logan a brandy and light his cigar. For a moment, we’re buddies drinking, smoking, talking. I’d worked so much I’ve only ever had those fake work-friends and friendly customers who appreciate dinner, drinks, and concerts. Sure, I was Logan’s customer but I could overlook that if he could. The kid looked like he was having fun. It felt good. He’s funny. Probably gets laid a lot – make a girl laugh and it’s all over. He thanked me and took our glasses. It was late and he was done for the night.
“Leave the last one. April can take it tomorrow.”
* * * * *
I clipped my last Cohiba, lit it, grabbed my brandy and headed for the water. I wanted to be in the water on my last night. Everything was smooth. The water…the cigar….the brandy. Either I wasn’t touching bottom anymore or the pain killers had kicked in. You couldn’t taste them in the brandy but there were enough to leave some grit in the bottom of the glass. I let it go.
The first little wave popped over my head or I went under it. Either way I lost the cigar and got a mouthful of water. In a flash I second-guessed what I was doing. I knew you wouldn’t approve and that’s why you don’t know where I am.
I never told you what they said.
Love you too much
You won’t suffer
You won’t watch
I won’t let you
Easier this way
Hate me for quitting
I miss you.