Everywhere you go in the world, there are mopes walking around with beautiful girls and everyone in the place stops what they’re doing and looks and wonders how those girls wound up with those mopes.
For 48 hours, we were those guys.
Boxhead had rescued them at Sunday Funday, carrying one of them home wearing just his shorts because he’d lost his t-shirt and flip-flops. He waited up with her, feeding her water and making sure she didn’t fall asleep on her back. Something he has neverdone for me. They finally slept, I came home, Boxhead told me all about it, and we went to bed.
Anyway, we travelled with them a day later to Granada. That evening we played drinking games in the hostel with other people and the following day we visited the market in Masaya and Lake Apoyo together.
All of the girls in the market kept asking me what I was looking for
“Everlasting fame and a supine woman”
They were all selling the same stuff, mostly junk. I don’t understand how anybody there makes any money. Once they realised we were waiting for the girls they understood and smiled and nodded. Afterwards we headed to the lake which we could go swimming in. This meant taking off my shirt in front of two of the hottest girls I have ever seen. I don’t feel like more than six pounds, weak, like nothing. Insecurity blossomed inside of me.
This is the way it is. Inside insecurities tear me apart, eat away at my internal organs like acid. The same insecurity that ate me up like it was dinner time when I’d been left alone, absolutely alone at Sunday Funday, and I’d had to leave and walk outside, look in a mirror (urgh, you again) and give myself a little pep talk.
Those same insecurities that panicked us when our friends in San Juan del Sur didn’t respond to our messages so we convinced ourselves that their internet was down, its got to be, no other explanation, because who would want to get away from us, right?! And when they did eventually return from their day trip and respond it made us feel good all over like dope.
But it was all right. We swam and had lunch and played pétanque. In fact, it was a great day. I even got a bit of a tan. We got back to the hostel and the girls went to pack their bags. I read my book for a while.
It was the girls’ last night in Nicaragua, so we were going out. We bought some rum on the way home.
I had a beer to ease into it
“LAST TIME FOR A WHILE”, I announced to no one in particular
My stomach was hurting from all the poison and I hadn’t been eating. I felt terrible. I hadn’t really slept for a week. The girls joined us shortly, and perhaps, perhaps I had fallen asleep and was dreaming of these girls?
We were sat at a table on Calle La Calzada when T the American said
“You know, I have never been in a group as good looking as this”
“How much have you had to drink?”, I said
“Seriously, you guys are like the most handsome guys I have ever met”
“I don’t understand how you can be so shy. You could talk to any girl you like in the States”
“And L has his own look…”
Then he went over to another group where a guy was playing guitar and he took the guitar and they jammed and it sounded great, three Dutch guys, the local black guy with one leg, and T.
…it’s night time in Granada…
“What would you rather,” I asked, “to have to watch your parents have sex every day for the rest of your life, or join in once to make it stop?”
“Sorry. Ok, how about this, which is better-looking, the world’s most beautiful monkey, or the world’s ugliest human being?”
…it’s night time in Granada…
“I’d probably say the monkey”, Boxhead said
“I knew it”, I said
They’d stopped jamming and the Dutch guys left and the one-legged black man hobbled over. T came back over too. Another man with no teeth had taken up the guitar and now he stood next to us singing.
…lalalala la bamba…
Some locals walked by and I think they kicked the black man’s crutch or at least he thought they did because he turned and shouted at them
“Wa waa …FUCK OFF”
They turned and laughed
“Come over here and say that”
“FUCK YOU MAN”
Ooooooo, you’re hard, I thought. What are you going to do, beat on a one-legged drunk?
Then he fell backwards over a small railing and was flat upon his back.
“MOTHERFUCKERRRRR”, he screamed
I laughed, and I didn’t want to laugh but I looked at everybody else and they were laughing too. We helped him up, and he recited some poetry he’d written after that. It was pretty raw, simple and raw.
I realised then that some guys had already told me about him. He is from San Juan del Sur and he wants to return but he can’t because he stabbed Big Wave Dave, apparently.
She sat next to me in the karaoke bar. I was slugged and drowning, nothing to say, a deer in headlights. What the hell’s the matter with me? The charm wasn’t there. I was flat and dull, at a loss for words. Then a horrible thought occurred to me:
What if there was no charm in the first place??
I was fucked.
T and a girl were taking it in turns to sing something. T was running about the place like a bad X Factor contestant. He was doing corny things like crouching down, jumping up and down on the spot, shouting things between verses, doing a stupid little jog back and forth. You know the kind I mean.
…last night a little dancer…
Earlier, L had asked us if we were shy and T had said yes, he used to be, anyway. It didn’t look that way.
Maybe it was the tired, but I doubt it. I was a frozen man again and the reality of it hurt like a knife inside. No thoughts emerged, nothing. We sat there listening to the music. This beauty and me, the loner, the tortured artist, the fool.
…don’t speak, I know what you’re thinking…
We left the bar and went to bed. I hadn’t even taken a chance. There was that feeling that I know all too well, and each time I think, never again, no more sadness, ever, god damn it all. When L had asked us about shyness, T had said
“You just do it, man, just do it.”
“That’s easier said than done”, I said
In the morning we woke early and went for breakfast together, the four of us, then they left for the airport. We said goodbye.
I was alone at the table, waiting, two drinks in front of me. I watched all the people walk past, an endless cast of no-name extras. I bet they all think I’m waiting on a girl, I thought.
Boxhead shuffled back over and sat down in front of me.