The Coast of Venezuela; December 1992
The game goes on…
It never ends
No rest for the weary
Play, play, play.
What came first? Chicken? Egg? Or the fox to eat the chicken and egg? For that matter; what about the black panther? I can’t remember the exact sequence of events. It was 27 years ago, I have no notes and my memory is faulty. It all happened about the same time in a jumble of activity. In reality, the separate events were not even rationally connected. But in my imagination, the events are now all twisted together into some kind of grand mythological drama that I had a part in. In other words, the universe played a trick on me and 27 years later, I’m still trying to figure out what happened…
I stirred into consciousness in the early dawn in the hammock in the garden with a slight hangover headache. I heard the sound of the outdoor shower running and it made me have to pee so I opened one eye to see. Gaya was there, lathering up her large black breasts with foamy soap as she hummed a song in the shower. Did she know I was awake and watching her from the hammock? Probably… maybe… She didn’t seem to care. She seemed to be putting on a performance for me. It was the bath dance… the shower scene… the soap and water tease. She hummed happily to herself as she cleansed her various body parts. She was a big woman. Much too big for my taste. Nevertheless, my 27 year old body responded naturally to the vision. I had a strong urge to climb from the hammock and demonstrate my manhood to the naked female. But I couldn’t do that. She was Stuart’s girl. He was asleep in just the other room. But wow. Just look at her… She knows I’m watching… She definitely wants it… And I really have to pee…
But I held it, uncomfortably, and pretended to sleep as I watched her rinse and then dry herself off. She certainly took her sweet little time. I almost wet myself. Eventually, she wrapped herself in a towel and headed towards the cabana entrance. I climbed from the hammock and followed a little behind her. As I reached the door to go inside, I saw Gaya through the door window. That’s when she surprised and shocked my poor innocent soul. Instead of turning left and going back into Stuart’s room, she turned right and went down the hall to Pierre’s room. Oh my god… Is this story a soap opera or a porno flick?
I went inside to use the bathroom and drink some water. Afterwards, I returned to the hammock in the garden and went back to sleep. When I awoke a few hours later, I was still in a brain fog and Pierre, Stuart and Gaya, were now all sitting at the picnic table in the garden eating their breakfast. Did I dream about the early morning sin? Was it all in my imagination? It seemed so vivid and real. But the apocalypse highway dreams seemed real as well. Perhaps the tropical heat was disturbing my subconscious. I was still recovering from the strange virus I picked up in Nicaragua. I was reading the bible, taking lariam, smoking weed and drinking lots of booze while trapped on the coast of Venezuela by an ongoing revolution. Of course I was having crazy dreams. The Garden of Eden intermingled with the apocalypse. A mythological history of humans was erupting inside my subconscious.
“Good morning sleepyhead,” said Gaya from the table as I slowly blinked open my eyes and sat up in the hammock. “We thought you were going to sleep all day.”
“Good morning,” I said. “My head hurts. Too much rum last night. What time is it? What’s going on?”
“It’s after ten,” said Pierre, “and morning news reports say that the socialist coup leaders have fled the country. They are now reportedly in Columbia hiding out with the FARC.”
“So the revolution is over?” I questioned. “No more state of emergency?”
Gaya stood up from the picnic table and brought me a cup of coffee in the hammock. “Not over yet.” She said as she handed me the cup. “They are still rioting in Caracas. Are you ready for some huevos?”
“Yeah,” I said, “eggs would be great. I’ll have scrambled please, I mean revuelto.”
“Si Senor,” said Gaya sarcastically, “I will go make them.” She went inside the Cabana.
“The State of Emergency is ongoing,” said Pierre. “But with the Socialist leaders on the run, it will probably be over soon. I’m going to Macuto this morning to check on public transport options. Maybe they are allowing some buses to go soon.”
“Gaya has to go to Macuto this morning as well to fill out some paperwork with the Cabana Rental Agency,” said Stuart, “maybe you two should go together.”
“Yes, I know,” said Pierre, “she already told me. We are going to catch the 11:00 collectivo at the tienda.”
“She needs our passport numbers too,” said Stuart, “for the rental contracts. But at least we don’t have to go in person. I’d rather go to the beach. What about you Patrick? You want to go to Macuto with Pierre and Gaya or to the beach with me?”
“I would definitely prefer the beach,” I said. “We should bring a cooler full of drinks and food and plan to stay all day.”
On or about this moment, Gaya returned to the garden with my plate of scrambled eggs and toast and I made my way from the hammock to the picnic table. Before I sat down, however, Gaya repeated what Stuart said about her needing my passport number for the rental contract. So I went to my room to get my passport from it’s hiding spot and that’s when I discovered the traveler’s snafu bureaucratic clusterfuck that changed my life. Ohhhhh Shit! How the fuck did that happen?
I opened my passport and looked at the number and then passed a glance at my growing collection of entry, exit and Visa stamps. There it was. Plain as the nose on my face. My Venezuelan tourist visa. Numero de dias (number of days): 15. What? I thought I was supposed to get 60 days. How come I only got 15? I’d already been in Venezuela for a week. And I was trapped on the coast by the state of emergency. I was planning to cross the whole country by bus to the border with Brazil and the Amazon jungle. I wanted to hike and swim and socialize along the way. There were beaches, mountains and waterfalls to visit. But now I only had eight more days. And I couldn’t go anywhere yet. I would have to wait until the emergency was lifted. And then I would have to rush across the whole country to the border. Suddenly, the tiny little nook of paradise I was staying in completely transformed. The newly created ticking clock in the background of my consciousness added a heavy dose of anxiety to the otherwise idyllic little ecosystem.
When I got back to the garden, Pierre, of course, explained that it was no big deal. All I had to do was go into an immigration office somewhere and file paperwork for a tourist visa extension. They grant them all the time. But Gaya warned that the immigration office in Caracas was in a very dangerous neighborhood surrounded by lots of rioting. Pierre said that the riots would be over soon because the socialist leaders had fled the country and repeated that there were immigration offices in all the big cities throughout the country. I could get a visa extension in Merida or Maracaibo or Ciudad Bolivar. But I couldn’t get one anywhere until after the state of emergency was lifted because there was no public transportation. So for that particular day, I might as well go to the beach. And that’s what I decided to do. Pierre and Gaya left for Macuto to run their various errands while Stuart and I cleaned up breakfast and packed up a cooler for the beach. Would the beautiful young ladies from the day before be there to meet us? I was certainly hoping so.
As we walked to the beach along the pathway, I considered telling Stuart about what I witnessed in the early morning. But I wasn’t sure if I really witnessed it or only dreamed about it. The whole scene was clouded in my mind by a fog of unreality. It also wasn’t really any of my business and maybe Stuart didn’t want to know the truth.
“Thanks for not telling Gaya about the young ladies on the beach,” said Stuart as we walked along.
“What young ladies?” I said innocently. “I’m sure Gaya knows that there are some attractive young ladies on the beach. She also knows that there is some possibility that we will encounter them.”
“But she doesn’t know we have a specific plan to meet a few of them in particular today at noon. That’s different than a general possibility. We have a date with teenagers. Gaya would be jealous.”
“You are a free man Stuart,” I said. “You can do what you want.”
“I know,” he said, “but still… I don’t feel quite free. Gaya and I have a special relationship. I don’t know how to explain it. Maybe she wouldn’t be jealous at all. Maybe she would laugh or make fun. But I want her to be jealous. The idea of her jealousy means we are a real couple.”
“But you just met her a week ago,” I said. “And uh, ya know. She is one those beach girls. Been around the block a few times. She’s nice and fun. I really like her. But not exactly long term relationship material.”
“That’s what your wrong about Patrick,” said Stuart. “Gaya is long term relationship material. She is perfect long term relationship material. That’s the problem. Yes, I know there have been many others before me. I’m not the first gringo that she has squeezed for cash. But that doesn’t matter at all. What counts is connection. Gaya makes me feel like a real man. She takes care of me and I take care of her. Our strengths and weaknesses counterbalance. We have symmetry.”
“Are you in love with Gaya? Really?” I questioned.
“I don’t know,” he said, “maybe that’s it. But I think I’m talking about something different. Not love exactly, but sort of; it’s more about attitude and the way that birds and blokes get on. I’ve dated plenty of birds back in England but they are all so independent and demanding. Gaya is like the opposite of that. Gaya gives. She takes care of me and you too and Pierre as well. Because that is her nature. She gives, gives, gives…. She cooks for us all, she shops for us and cleans for us. She doesn’t have to do any of that. She just rented us the cabana. All that other stuff is her doing what comes naturally to her. Her way is to take care of people. And if you are talking about long term relationship material, that quality is the most important quality of all.”
“I was actually wondering about that,” I said. “Are we supposed to pay her extra for the cooking and cleaning or is that included in the rental contract?”
“You can tip her if you want,” said Stuart. “I’m sure she would appreciate it. But no, you and Pierre are not obligated to pay any extra for Gaya’s services. It’s not included in the Cabana rental contract. It is just included because Gaya happens to be living in the Cabana with me.”
“So what you are saying is… Don’t tell Gaya about the young girls on the beach or we might lose our maid and chef service.” I joked.
“No mate,” said Stuart with surprising seriousness. “You misunderstand. Gaya is not my servant. Gaya is the woman of the cabana. There is a very big difference. She is very good in her role. So good, in fact, that I am wondering if she could be the woman of my home back in England?”
“And what about the hot young ladies we are hopefully meeting today?” I asked as we arrived at the beach and set up our blankets and cooler.
“They are not woman like the incredible Gaya. But they are very sexy birds and I’m a single man on holiday. At the very least, it should make for a good story when I get back to the pub in England.”
As we sat down upon the blankets, I could see the girls in the distance. They were walking towards us along the shoreline. Sun glistening upon their young bikini clad bodies. Yes, yes, yes. This was definitely going to be a good story to tell if I ever made it home to the bar…
To be continued…