We left it all. The cats, the dog (Please, Lord, let the neighbors feed the dog!), the bills, the wayward child with a payday wad in his pocket, the refinanced -high financed-home-sweet-home, the dirty dishes, dirty laundry, and dirty little secrets. Left ‘em all.
When the tires crunched on the coquina driveway, salty dust dancing in a lazy tornado around the car, we smiled. Big summery run-away smiles. We listened to the last verse of the song and waited for the sand to settle, a flannel blanket on the car. “This is good. This is so good”. Our doors opened and slammed in tandem.
We parked our little fannies three feet from the unlocked motel room door. The splintery Adirondack chairs were just our size. Like Goldilocks and the three bears, we tried them all on until we found the ones that “fit just right”. Comfy, cozy. The ocean roared and hiccupped salty spittle into the air…GOD, I’M IN LOVE…..
“Whatchoo girls doin’?” the big fellow, crossing the grass and ambling our way, drawled with a slow grin on his face. “Bonding” she whispered over the pink Marguerita. “Well, that’s nice. Real nice” “Whatchoo girls drinkin’? he said with his head tilted and his smile sliding sideways into his double chin. “Sunshine” we chimed. We’re drinking in the sunshine. He laughed with his eyes to the sky and turned on his feet like Fred Astaire…..sauntered back to the Tiki Bar.
“Bartender! We need some room service here! Gotta delivery to make!” “See that blonde hippie chic over there……” And so began the week-end.
Bonding with our new best friends.
The three suburban fifty-something ladies, on a girl’s night out. They giggled and drank foo-foo drinks with little pink umbrellas, stewed meatballs in a crock-pot plugged in through the window, and played hopelessly romantic 70’s songs from a giant boom box. At midnight they were dancing on the sidewalk, in their two-piece (not bikini, thank God, not bikini) swimsuits and cover-ups.
The little league Dads and their tribe of youngin’s. On a Field-Trip of dreams. The kids ran in an endless “You’re gonna crack your head open and knock your teeth out” circle…. around the picnic tables, down the sidewalks, through the bar, into the pool, onto the deck, in your room, my room, their room…laughter trailing behind them like bubbles from a magic wand.
The big fellow and his brother. The chef with his guitar. The absolutely adorable bartender with no hair and tattoos. The brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and the biggest baby I ever saw from Indiana.
The cops. Sauntering by at 2:30 in the morning. “You folks need to go to bed now”….respectfully shining their flashlights at our barefeet and not blinding us with their intrusion. “You got all day tomorrow, Coach".....
The housekeepers, smiling toothlessly and knocking in early morning whisper tones. “Well, if you don’t want no towels or nothing’, do you need ice?” “We gotta get it before the bar opens up again”
We left a good tip.
The tires spun on the too hot, too dry gravel . I adjusted the rear view mirror and gunned into traffic. There was no looking back. Only a lazy tornado spinning in the distance.