Note No. 23

October 5, 2009

It’s still dark outside, so why are you getting me up, Bladder*? Just a quick trip to the loo then a few more hours of Zs.

What’s that? 6am already? Oh, geez. Up we go.

Down, down, down to the coffee machine. Up, up, up to the shower. Out, out, out to the ATM, because there’s going to be a lot to pay for today.

Oh, hello, Handsome Masseuse Man. Yes, I’m fine. Sorry I did not make an appointment after all. I was in the middle of discovering my ceiling could cave in and we have guests coming Monday. Okay, then; have a nice day.

Over, over, over to pay my debts for the rent-a-maintenance-man.
Oh, hello, Chicago. Yes, it’s been a year. How’s your stay at Casa Sirena? Going snorkeling are you? Oh, don’t mind my sweat stains at 9am. Just been rearranging a bit of furniture to get ready for one of the rooms to be destroyed. ‘kay then. Gotta go!

Out to the taxi stand, off to pay the Internet bill. Oh, would you look at that line?

On to the hardware store. Six meters of extension cord will do, thank you.

Next stop: Construrama; and could you wait here, please, Mr. Taxi, while I go place my order?
Fifty kilos of cement, please, and make that two more massive bags of I-have-no-idea-how-you’d-say-this-in-English. In the bodega, you say? Let me just tell my taxi driv—he’s gone.

Back to the curb. Hail, hail, hail. Oh, hello, Australia. Me? Just trying to get my cement home, thanks. And y— oh, wait; this young lad is stopping for me.

Good day. Will you carry my 100 kilos of dusty crap downtown in your trunk? Thank you. Pull around to the side, please.

Okay, then, Australia. I’m off. Sorry to be in a rush. Take care of yourself.
Load, load, load and off we go. Here we are. Just wait here while I get Ceiling Fixer Men.

Up, up, up. C’mon, c’mon, c’mon. Down, down, down.

Wait, wait, wait, Mr. Taxi Boy of the Nice Loafers! You were not supposed to unload that yourself. Well, thank you very much and here’s a tip. No, thank YOU.

Okay, then, Ceiling Fixer Men. Hustle, hustle, hustle. What’s that? Paint, you say? Yes, I can get that.

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Hello, Mrs. Paint Lady Who I See Once a Week. What do I need? Well, they said something about a paint that takes off rust. You don’t have it? I am going to have to get back in a taxi and go all the way back to where I just came from? Ah, wait. Just this thimble full that you happen to have will do, you say? I’ll believe it when I see it but thank you for your kind and generous ways.

Trudge, trudge, trudge, back to the base … oh, hello, Manager Man With the Goatee. Don’t worry about sweating; we’re all sweating. Yes, I have been fine, thank you and you? Working at another restaurant, I see. Oh, it’s temporary; is it? Okay, then. Gotta go!

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Were flip flops really the choice footwear of the day?

Here’s your paint. Oh, you need more; do you? And there was no possible way to remember this before you sent me off the last time?

Oh, hello Rent-a-Maintenance-Man. Yes, just carry on painting like last time. The roller is broken, you say? But you’re going to saw it off and refix it with tape? Brilliant. Byeeeeeeeee!

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Oh, hello, Organic Restaurant Yoga Couple. Opening shop again; are we? Tomorrow already? And how was your vacation? Me? Just running around. You know how it is. Gotta gooooo!

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Yes, I’m back, Mrs. Paint Lady. They need a liter of whatchmacallit. Cap? Tap? Well, those you are showing me are cloths and they specified a liter, which I am pretty sure textiles are not measured in. What’s it for? To seal a bum cement job. Yes, that sounds right. A liter, thank you.

Oh, hello, Magic Furniture Maker Man. How have you been? Not working on the boat anymore? I am on still waiting to get those plans so I can hire you to make more chairs. Oh! Gotta go!

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Oh, hello, Cuban Restaurant Waitress of the Cheery Face. How long it’s been! Working at that cafe down the road now; are you? And what is going on there exactly? Internet and frappuccinos. Looooovely. Yes, I will send you some clients when we have them again. Gotta go! Wonderful to see you!

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Here’s your paint. Oh, gawd. I forgot the clean-up bags.

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Hello, Bakery Staff. Would it be possible to get some large flour bags? Two, please.

Look at that line for the deli. Oh, hello, Friend of a Friend. How are you? Don’t mind my clothing. Have I been painting? Well, you could say that.

Here are my bags, all floury and authentic. What do I owe you? Three pesos? I thought it was a rhetorical question, to be honest. I can’t believe they actually charge for these things.

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Oh, look at that paint roller go, Rent-a-Maintenance-Man. Good job.

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Oh, my God, Canada! When did YOU get to town? Oh, don’t hug me; I’m all sweaty. Off you go. Well, me, too.

Here are your bags, Ceiling Fixer Men. Is that it then? So I can slip out for a few hours then? Back at 6 okay?

Shower, shower, shower. Dry, dry, dry. Bikini. Towel. Sunscreen.
Go, go, go!

Oh, hello, Wife of the First Guy that Fixed Our Place Up. Haven’t seen you in awhile. How’s your health? What’s that? A Chinese medicine patch? Hmm. I hope that works. Yes, you take care, too.

Oh, hello, New Friend with Whom I Am Hanging Out Today. Yes, I would love to see your place. Ooooo, look at those paint colors. Ahhhhhh, I love the view up here. Starving? Yes, I am. Let’s go then. Fish on the pier it is.

Stroll, stroll, stroll. Sit. Sigh.

Would I be offended if you had a beer at lunch? Lord no. Send me two.
One. Two. That doesn’t feel like a few.

Oh, hello, Daughter of My Former Neighbor. It’s so good to see you, too! How ARE you? How is your dad? Yes, I met his girlfriend. She’s gorgeous. Party tomorrow? Ay, I would love to make it (but I doubt I will). Yes, take care. Hope to see you very soon.

To the beach, shall we? Stroll, stroll, stroll.

Oh, hello, Stylish One Whose Gift I Happen to Be Wearing Right Now, Thank God. Had a bad day with your motor scooter; did you? Mechanics giving you the run-around; are they? Yes, it does get to you sometimes, being a gringo in a land of non-gringos. It does get to you. Well, have a swim; it’ll make you feel better.

Stroll, stroll, stroll. Bags down. Clothes off. Cool, blue water.

What’s that? King’s Bath, you say? Well, no I have never been there. Yes, it is a bit unbelievable that I have been on the island a year and a half now and still never been to this tidal pool. We should go; you’re right.

Out of the water. Back to the clothes. Across the bridge. Quick, quick. quick. Act engaged so the guards do not stop us. Oh, they don’t care; do they?

And here we are. So THIS is what I have been missing. Soak, soak, soak. Float, float, float. Yes, this is definitely what I have been missing.
Oh, dear. 4:41. Turtle release in 19 minutes. Dress, dress, dress. Climb, climb, climb.

Well, yes, we do have time for a quick drink and listen, they are playing that M.I.A. song I was just telling you about at lunch.
One margarita on the rocks please. Two straws.
On your mark; get set; go. Sip, sip, sip. Done! Just in time for the music to change.

Off we go. Here we are. Oh, now which way do we go? Let’s just ask these lovely friends.
How do you do? Does everyone know each other? Excellent then. Yes, off to turtle release we are. Oh, show us the way then.

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Chat, chat, chat. Through this hotel lobby, down the stairs, out by the pool, onto the sand, and oh my God. Would you look at that? The whole island must be here. Oh, how nice. All this for the little turtles.

Well, hello there, Everyone on the Island. How’s your ankle? How’s your foot? How’s your back? How’s the move going? How’re Spanish lessons? Welcome back. How was your trip? Cool weather, you say? Ah, what I would not give for cooler temperatures.

Omigod, hi! I didn’t you know I’d see YOU! You must have just got off the plane. Heard you got delayed, missed your connecting flight.

Hey, now. It’s been an hour of this talking onstage. Is it even about turtles? When are they going to release the little guys anyhow? Not for another thirty minutes. Oh, well. Gotta get back home. Next year then. Bye!

Oh, hello, Not Sure What Your Name Is but We Met Two Days Ago. Look at your lovely family. Enjoying the show; are you? No, things are not punctual here but you never know if they will be when you are least expecting it. Gotta go!

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Oh, hello, Mr. Electrician Who Did Not Answer Your Phone Yesterday. Yes, we do want to hire you for that job. Yes, we do work differently, we North North Americans (no, that’s not a typo, because you, too, are a North American) but I think we can make this work. Monday, then; shall we? Okay. Gotta go!

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Home, home, home. Shower, shower, shower.
Hi, Ceiling Fixer Men. I’m back. Working in the dark; are we? Yes, finish tomorrow. The whole job is going to be HOW MUCH? Oh, Lord. Here’s an advance then. Yes, it is a lot of work; I know. You’re doing an excellent job. Thank you, then. Here you go, then. Bye now, then.

Quick bite to eat. Off to the taxi stand.

Oh, hello again, Chicago. Off to dinner at Casa O’s? Have a lovely time then and safe travels tomorrow.

Out, out, out to the burbs, burbs, burbs.

Oh, hello, Lovely Dark Porch Where No One Knows to Find Me and hello, One of My Bestest Bestest Friends in the Whole Wide World. It has been a day; hasn’t it? You, too, then?
No, I won’t have a beer, thank you. Had some at lunch. Just this chair in obscurity will do.

Sigh. Now that’s better.

*All names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals.

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