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Published: August 12th 2010
I've given up on trying to get up early; didn't see the point of it and I slept in until 9:30. And it was noticably quiet. There wasn't a dozen Mexican kids yelling and screaming down by the pool. My room is on the top floor, the fourth, staggered back from the pool, but I can usually hear those kids before I've gotten out of bed. I looked out the balcony door, over the rail, and down at the pool and saw almost nothing going on. All of the loungers were laying flat, the table umbrellas were all closed. The only movement was a lady dressed in khaki pants, a polo shirt, black arm sun-protectors, and a pink baseball cap, and mopping the area around the pool.
I quickly put on some shorts and a t-shirt, stuffed books and water into Mr. Bean, and headed down, not bothering to put on any sun tan lotion since it was the shade I was eyeing. And it was a peaceful solitary morning by pool as I read The Road Calls Me Dear
That lasted about ten minutes. It started with an American couple in their mid-60's. She checks the water in
the pool out and sends him back to the room for some food. She's plump with short dark gray hair and is wearing perscription sunglasses. He has almost the exact same hair but with normal glasses. He has normal sized legs and, from the ribcage up he was of normal size, but in between he was very round. She gets into the pool with the delicacy of a doctor performing a surgery; slow and methodical, not wanting to get wet the paperback in her hand, and she walks over to the shaded part of the pool, which is, of course, right in front of me.
She slowly trolls the water in front of me, pacing back and forth, never taking her eyes off the book she is reading. Then the music starts up from the pool bar, the Glen Frey classic You Belong to the City
. I raise my book of Short Stories for the Road and continue reading a story about a wife-beating outlaw who sells the electronic hardware produced by the alien being tourtured and held hostage by the crazy old man with the wife being kept alive by the iron lung. Glen fades out to the
Pat Benatar classic Fire and Ice
The husband returns and sits three loungers from me with a bag of goodies. He plops down with his own paperback and whips out a sandwich bag. But instead of a sandwich, it contains a piece of fried chicken. The wife notices (I get the feeling she smelled it) and makes her way over to his lounger where she gets her own sandwich bag. She returns to her pacing the shaded pool area right in front of me, one hand holding the paperback, her other hand holding the open sandwich bag while she munches on the thick part of the fried chicken leg sticking out of the top of it.
Pat gives it up for Bon Jovi.
The mop lady is now rubbing down all of the loungers.
In the story, the lead character thinks about his wife and son as he fights with the crazy man's son, who has been helping him get the alien-produced hardware off of the busy, dangerous highway.
She paces and reads and eats while he lays there eating and reading and letting out an occasional loud fart, never letting the sound or the occasion interupt his staring or the reading of his book. The the 80's nostalgia continues with Jesse's Girl
The sun keeps rising and we thre are in the last shaded corner of the pool. She beaches and comes to join her husband, taking the lounger two over from me. Now when I hear a fart I can't tell if it is his or hers.
The foot of my lounger is now in the sun and I should have taken that as I sign that I should go back to my room upstairs. I finish the story (the man takes a hacksaw, kills the tortured alien, and goes back to Canada to serve time for beating his wife and son), put the book down, and just sit there, enjoying the little breeze coming in off of Cortez. I look over at the husband and he is eyeing me while holding his paperback at arm's length above his head. And he keeps staring at me. I should say something to hurry up and get this over with. "Was it good?" I said. He says nothing and throws the paperback at me. Or, rather, he throws it toward me.
"Another classic!" he said. I catch it and look at it out of courtesy (I can't remember the title or the author) and I try to give it back to him. "Keep it, you won't be able to put it down." he told me.
"I'll just donate it to the little library they have here in the lobby", he said. It is not a library but just a four-shelf bookcase, with one shelf completely empty.
As I try to find something to interupt our conversation, maybe another story to read, they load up and move to one of the now opened umbrellas halfway across the pool. My lounger is now in the sun and I look around for more shade but see none and decide to finally go cool off in the meat-locker up on the fourth floor and try to get all of this crappy 80's music, and the smell of fried chicked, out of my head.
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