The sand's soft underneath my cheek; cool and grainy like a scattered pillow should be. I hear the crash of waves and the call of gulls. A headache starts to brew on either temple while stale *** coats my famished tongue. I feel a light drizzle tickling my face. Flashes of wide smiles and high conversation skims through my broken memory. The suns rising. Its heat is on my back. My eyes flutter and slowly open to a scene of white froth colliding with pure light blue ocean. Seagulls bob up and down in the rise and fall of the waves, their faces look like their made of stone, their eyes indifferent. I smile, getting sand in-between my teeth.
I reach out my hand and grip the hot sand. Tiny pebbles rub in between my fingertips. Another scream from the sea gulls above me. The sky seems like no place for a crowd. Reaching a little farther, I discover a half-empty bottle of Bacardi *** and a packet of cigarettes beside it. A lighter is tucked inside.
"Lucky day," I say aloud to myself, "Lucky day for you indeed." I bring the bottle to my chest and lean it in between my pecs. It rests perfectly there. Smacking a cigarette out of the pack, I place it in my mouth and dig in my sandy pockets for a lighter. It's still there. This surprises me. I light the cigarette and my eyes immediately cringe as the heavy billow of smoke erupts forth. It's a sting I'm used to, so I blink hard a few times. The pain only lasts for a moment, then it's gone.
"There we go," I say leaning my head back, wedging it into the sand, "Let night become this day."
Clouds dissipate and the sky opens up clear. A toucan bird clatters its beak in the distant banana trees. I look to see where it is, but the birds colors are lost in the dark green and yellow of the trees leaves. I fit my lit cigarette in between my middle and pointer finger, push myself up to lean onto my elbow, and tip the bottle of *** back with my other hand. The *** is sweet and warm. Been sitting in the sun too long. I always like with a bit of ice in a Dixie cup. It pinches my lips and eyes for only a second, then starts to travel down to my stomach lining, warming it. The sun passes the dawn and the dark blue night sky becomes a new morning.
I lay there watching the water and the night become day for I have no idea how long. I've no obligation to no one, not even to myself. Time for me is a fleeting thing, but even if time is slipping away, where is it really slipping to? Time stands still and we are the ones that move. Perhaps we have created time to prove to ourselves that we are in fact alive?
The freight train I jumped to get down to Cozumel came from Arizona. It was crowded like a ******* with vagrants, drunks, dealers, and desert kids. Me, I was in the last train cause I can't run for nothing. Shrapnel tore into my right calf when I was in the war. They tried to patch me up as good as they were able, but once something like that happens, it's impossible to truly get back to normal one-hundred percent. It's hard to come back one-hundred percent from anything when I think about it.
Come to me, lady Dee. Come to me lady who lives by the sea. You are the one I'm always thinking of. You are the one who sends me reeling and in love. Your hair is like honey: soft, golden, and sweet. Your eyes are like acorns: auburn and neat. Oh' when you went away that one winter's day, I was left with a feeling that there wasn't anything left to say. Where have you gone off to? Where do you stay? Will you ever come back to me? When will be that day?
Noon came. Children kick at my bare feet. Their laughter sounds like the echo of birds chirping. I can smell them too: red licorice mixed mixed with fried fish and fresh lemon. Where have they come from? What do they want with the likes of me? One of'em gets me hard in the ankle and I spring up onto my feet and roar. I see they're kids from town. Their skin is maple leaf brown and their hair, long and to their shoulders, is streaked yellow from the sun. I look down at them. Their faces are frozen, stunned. The smallest one of the groups teeth begin to chatter. I roar again louder and they scurry off up the white sands of the beach toward their homes, the smallest one lagging behind like a gimp donkey. I check my pockets to make sure none of them swiped my wallet or keys. Still there. My pockets are filled with sand and I dump them out as I make my way up the beach toward my cabin on the other side of the cove.
I built it myself, my cabin. She sits at the top of a sand dune overlooking the water. It's all I've got. Made a deal when I first arrive with the land owner, Perez Sandiago (Sandy if you know him), that I'd work for his iguana farm once or twice a week if he'd let me have the plot. They aren't too bad, the iguana's, as long as they don't bite you. Once they know you, they rarely do. More prone to sit and bask in the sun to bother anybody. All they need is to be fed, given some water, and left the hell alone as Sandy will say.
As I walk up the hill, a few small ***** and strings of seaweed in my hands for lunch, I see a small part of the roof is gone. The wind may have taken it off or maybe some of the tie came loose. The sun above is hot and relentless. I put my hand over my eyes to shade them walking forward. Sand washes over the top of my feet, warming them. I stop, closer to my cabin now, and take off my shirt. I lay it on the sand and place the few ***** and seaweed on it. Then I tie them up in kind of a ruck sack so the ***** won't get away. They're always running off to some place when they know their gonna' get killed, but I guess I would do the same.
There is a single chair I leave by the front door and I take it and step up on it to get a better look at the roof. There isn't any tie left. It either fell inside or blew away with the missing piece. I look over the roof of the cabin further down the beach to see if it's laying out there. Nothing, just the beach. The roof's too weak to climb up on, so I get down and circle the cabin. I make my way around and reach the front door. The only other place it could be, if it isn't further down the beach somewhere, is in the cabin. I take out my keys and fit it into the lock. It's unlocked. A wave crashes behind me and spreads out on the sand with a sizzling hush. I take a step back and think for a moment, then walk inside feeling every grain of sand between my toes.