Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Strange to say, I’ve almost enjoyed Emma taking care of me. The first month she had to do everything that used two hands—feed me, wash my hair, even put on my shorts and climbing shoes.
(click here to read the first episode and here for the previous one)
Her goofy scenarios: “Pay attention, Scott. No more Emma. Tonight the big bad nurse is on duty,” distracted me from the pain, which for weeks came and went, and sometimes came back full blast.
That was one thing. The other was her overall affection and considerable beauty which never palled, no matter how warped I felt. If I couldn’t sleep late at night, she sang to me. Lullabies, she called them, but they came close to what I wanted her to record in the studio.
“Maybe my patience will last,” she said. “Wouldn’t that be great?”
Meanwhile, Pedro and Hugo finished the house and Moira gave birth to Conchetta. Emma asked if she could invite the three of them here for dinner.
“Emma, you can invite anyone you want here. Mi casa es tu casa.”
“Anyone?” she’s looking at me over her shoulder, eyebrow raised. “You don’t mean that.”
“What are you talking about?” I’m still resting a lot and sometimes even a little addled. “Invite who you like…oh, I get it: Not Logan.”
In a second, lighter than light, she’s nestled beside me under the mosquito net. “Tell the truth. You like him much more than I do.”
She smiles. “Let’s say we feel the same then.”
Pedro and Moira are proud and happy. Moira’s nursing Conchetta, who looks comically like a baby Pedro, and Emma’s coaxing me to finish a coconut drink and raise my arms above my head.
Moira says,“Too bad you and Conchie didn’t undergo your big transformations about six months apart. ’Cause then you’d be on the same schedule. I’d be telling her to drink up and raise her arms, ‘Soooo big!’”
“Moira,” Pedro says, “Scottie’s not a baby. And a snake bite’s no birthday party.”
“It’s almost dying, though, so there’s some connection.”
Pedro has more to tell her, but I interrupt. “The upside is having Emma baby me.”
Six more weeks and I’m almost back to normal. Conchetta can raise her head and I’m taking Emma’s yoga classes, which equal an intense surfer fitness program. I follow all the “Surfing Training” DVDs so I know: Emma’s taking the whole regimen ten times farther. A few weeks of her vinyasa class every day and my arms and legs have never looked stronger. And lots of balance work. Half her class you’re standing on one leg and lifting the other to touch your nose, which is impossible for everyone except for Emma.
She’s at the yoga pavilion and I’m coming out of the shower when the phone rings. “Yup.”
“I’m outside Trixie’s.”
“Charlie? Since when?”
“Since five minutes ago. Wanted to say hi to Trixie, but she’s too busy at the restaurant. Tourists. So, Colossus, how soon can ya get here?” (Charlie calls me “Colossus” because of the old X-Men comics, which he collects. Don’t mention the movies to him.)
This season of serious waves sneaked up on me.
“Muchacho,” Charlie says through the phone. “Ya doin’ okay?”
“Fine. But why didn’t you call last week or even last night? So we’d know you were coming.”
“Since when do I need to make a reservation, Scott? Don’t I always show up to surf?”
“Yes, you do, Charlie. I’ve been sick and lost track.”
“After fifty breaks, you’ll be fixed. I’m waiting under the awning between Trixie’s and the air strip.”
It takes me a little longer than usual to get there so I explain that I’ve just resumed driving.
“You’re here now; who cares?” Charlie’s wearing a sombrero and blue reflective Revos.
Is he clean? Charlie’s never clean. He’s steady, though. A lively, fun-loving guy, agreeable to practically anything as long as he gets his daily minimum, which he tries to limit to a gram. And if he’s doing more, you’d never know it. I’d never know it.
He slams the truck door, “Man, am I amped; I am ready to pop!” Trixie told him this season’s waves are pumping like she can’t remember.
“So who’s ‘we’ this time?” Charlie asks. “The ‘we’ you wished I’d called ahead for?”
“Come on, Charlie. I know you know it’s Emma.”
“Emma from my band? The hottest little singer you ever stole. That girl loves me like her funky big brother.”
We park by the mango trees, and before he even unloads his shit, he’s asking, “Where’s Pedro?”
“Pedro’s got a baby girl. See the new bungalow to the far right?”
“No shit. He’s still got his sideline, I hope.”
“Call him first, Charlie, in case the baby’s napping.”
Charlie goes in for blow, weed, and tequila. He’s never loopy or dazed, though. At the most, you might say he’s unfettered.
I head over to the yoga pavilion. Emma and I are home in three minutes and Charlie’s already lit.
Emma leaps up and wraps herself around him. He sets her down and tells her she look great, which she certainly does.
“Did Scott tell you about the pitviper?”
“We didn’t get into specifics.” I show Charlie the underside of my wrist, which still looks like a twisted mass of blue-black crud.
(click here for the next episode)
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