I’m in Half Moon. Madness here. Checked in earlier this week under my favorite alias, Kyle Tagalong. The trainer for one of my films is the only person who knows this one. I ruined my pre-production diet by spontaneously buying a box of Tagalongs from some girl scouts at a strip mall parking lot.
I’m writing you with details of my trip, like you asked. I’m at my desk, foot up on the windowsill, catching sun. I stubbed my toe earlier. The small amount of pain it caused was real. Facility policy—no pills. My skin is breathing again.
Triplets run the inn. Peter, Pierre, Pedro. I stealthily take the Peters’ pictures, even though they probably don’t mind. But that’s not the point. I'm not sure I got their nametags in the photos. My project is to make a study of them, examine the pictures to see what makes them different from one another. This merely reveals physical differences, and I'll fabricate motivations for them based on their actions.
It’s one of those mornings when there’s no bleary transition between sleeping and being awake. I woke and instantly I felt my blood run. My earlier meditation practice was interrupted by a frenzy of gulls. A woman you would have laughed at for sure fed the gulls near my room. Pierre broke up the fury and scolded the lady. I shouted at her there was too many of them to fit in a handbag with breathing holes.
I’ve decided Pierre is an asshole. I snapped a picture of him—with nametag. What an action photo. I can’t make a fool of this guy. Premature gray hair—like a mirror in the morning. This is his distinguishing trait.
Each day so far, I’ve enjoyed my view from the cliff and flaring spots of sun out on the waves do not bother me. The food here is earthy, unbleached and wild. After my puree of mushroom soup with some buckwheat something, I tracked down Pedro for a picture.
He busted me. I tried to casually aim the camera at the nautical shit on the wall. I told him I was stalking him. He shook my hand and said it was an honor. Then he wanted a picture with me. Later, I signed it for him. When he smiled, I noticed his teeth were all jumbled in his mouth. I looked at the picture. There, too—teeth=distinguishing trait.
Oh, the smell I pick up as I walk to the shore! It haunts the rocks. Plumeria scent. Remember when I would ask you to put on some of that sweet oil? I couldn’t believe you had me using the word “plumeria.” It soaked into my beard when I lay on your soft middle. I stuck my nose in your navel and sniffed hard.
I saw Peter today. He was talking loudly on his cell phone, and when he saw me, he hung up and came over to kiss my ass. Satisfactory, I told him. He shook my hand, as his brother did, and on his forearm I noticed a large tattoo of a compass. The black ink was faded, bleeding out of shape into a bluish hue. He saw me looking at it and asked me if I liked it. Funny, I thought he would tell me a story. I took a picture of the tattoo.
I’ve been thinking about this. I no longer regret anything, except our last time together. We both thought it was a good idea, didn’t we? We were feeling just brave enough to drive there, get out of the car and disrobe. It was a first for me, crashing a nudist colony. It was fine, the desert breezes hitting skin usually covered. No one recognized me. Some older gentlemen playing a slow, saggy game of water polo splashed water onto you and you couldn’t be naked a second longer.
You were so angry with me during the car ride home. You wouldn’t let me take one of your white plumpish hands—nails painted orangey red. Your 1950s hands. When you wore your little dress with the blue flowers (royal velvets?) on it, I felt like a regular Dean Martin. Heck, if I named all the things about you that drove me crazy, I wouldn’t be able to stop.
Walking back to my room today, Pierre (the triplet with the hair I envy) was drinking a Dr. Pepper. The Peters have been my constant fascination here. But today, I noticed the wind and nothing else. In my room, there are birds in the wallpaper, frozen in flight or waiting on a branch attached to nothing.
I came across a fish flopping in the thin glassy wave-ends and gently released it back into the ocean. It had been a long time since I held a fish. It’s as if all of the life is down there, down the cliff in the ocean below. The air tastes like sugar has dissolved in it. The horizon, the waves, the rocky shore—they all float toward me until I have to close my eyes in order to see them.
Have you ever noticed when you haven’t seen someone in a while, you look back and begin to feel like you didn’t know them that well? People don’t seem like real people after they disappear. It’s normal. But if you care, know this: I’m careful with myself now.
I pay attention to where I step. I play this game with myself where I walk on the smaller rocks down on the beach. My balance is better than I thought. My feet hardly ever hit the sand. Some children watch as they play along the beach and they know exactly what I’m doing. But most of the time, I’m alone.
I’ve been thinking more and more about moving back to the east coast, committing. Maybe you’ll still be in Florida.
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