Archive | October, 2011

Day 13 Costa Rica Retroactive Diary pt. 1

29 Oct

Washed up and Somewhat Slightly Dazed

Crawled into Montezuma, or should it be called gringo central? I caught the first ferry out of Punta Arenas at 5:45 AM. Had a cab pick me up at my hotel (somehow I managed not to get stabbed although I did wonder if I’d make it out alive when I found there was a locked gate that kept me from entering the exit stairwell.

I ran the entire length of the dock to get to the ferry. I had 5 minutes to spare but I was not taking any chances. I did not want to spend another freaking minute in that city. We took off in the moonlight, the coast of Punta Arenas growing smaller by the distance.

The ferry ride was beautiful. A nice hour and 45  minute cruise where I had to keep reminding myself not to think about how precarious our situation really was, being out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where anything could happen. Sometimes I’d try to let myself think of ways I’d survive if something cataclysmic were to happen, such as shipwreck, running out of gas, mutiny etc.

Would I float on a makeshift raft or  like Elian Gonzalez? Would I kill and eat some of the passengers for food? Would I drink my piss to keep myself hydrated until that  airlift came to rescue me and put me on the news for the U.S. and BBC to see?

Of course none of that came about. We watched the sun come up and we docked in a town about 45 minutes from Montezuma. I didn’t sleep much and was still pretty wound up. I didn’t want to wait for a bus and some Tico man (he looked a bit shifty) offered me and this couple a ride to Montezuma for 20 US dollars. I took the ride because I just didn’t want to wait.

We drove, I didn’t want to talk much (especially in Spanish) to the fellow but he insisted on making small talk. Mostly I stared out the window at the landscape. It was stunning to see how different it was in this region. Costa Rica certainly had some diverse topography.

We pull up to Montezuma, right down the street from my hostel, Luz en El Cielo, and the man (Carlos) says 35 dollars. I repeat his original price, he then says that he thought I was going to St. Theresa. I know for a fact that he heard me say Montezuma, but I know that with the foul mood I’m in that if I haggle with him I’ll end up slicing the buttons off his shirt with my knife. So I let it go and pay the man more than he deserves. This would come back to make things difficult for me later on but of course I don’t know (or care ) about this at the moment. I just want to find my hostel and sleep.

Yet sleep was not in the cards for me on this Sunday morning. I walk to hostel. Which looks more like a bungalow. Its a lodge in the middle of the fucking rainforest. Monkeys hanging on the ledges, crawling up to the dining table and taking food off of it. And as wild as it is, the beach (and the middle of town)only .5 km away.

The guy behind the desk looks hung over and says as much to his work partner, a stoner from Belgium named Francois. He is a rolling a doobie and listening to Bob Marley on the ipod. Pretty much how you would imagine it huh? And my  room is occupied and won’t be ready until after breakfast because my reservation got lost. FUCKING STONERS.

I am beginning to crack at the edges at this point and it isn’t until I am made a breakfast of Pinto Gallo and coffee that I relax a bit.  Francois puts my belongings away in a closet, and people slowly start waking up around the place. Apparently everyone parties like crazy, the hostel employees sleep with the guests, and the bud is crappy in this region. Nevermind that as Francois gives me a toke of his spliff and I start meeting some of the kids. I’m the oldest person at the table, a bunch of the kids have come in groups, one particularly from Minnesota, the other group from Los Angeles.

My prejudices are aroused but I say nothing (and my shades hide my disgruntled facial expressions and judgemental eyeballs). I just need to rest. But they say my room won’t be ready until the afternoon. Never mind. I meet two guys from Chico State who invite me on a hike with them. They are clearly cooller than the rest of the group, earthier, more chill and genuine.

These cats from Chico state remind me a lot of some friends from Austin. Had a great hike out to the waterfalls.  They showed me a cheap meal to buy at the bodega involving bean dip, bread, sardines and avocado. We chilled out, smoked a bit, hit up the swimming hole by the falls, and observed the massive population of white- faced howlers in the area. A gorgeous part of the world. Still couldn’t believe my eyes.

My initial response to this town is that it’ll be too many young white party kids here and that I won’t have much fun. The chill week that I spent on Mt. Chirripo had me in a different, almost serious state of mind. Things were a bit more loose down here at the beach. It was like I was 22 years old again, taking a walk through west campus near UT-Austin. I considered leaving the day after my birthday, possibly even returning up to San Isidro.

I knew that I had to go surfing at least once (possibly take lessons) and see some of these waterfalls.  I also knew the places where I’d want to go eat, thanks to the trusty old Lonely Planet traveler’s book.

I still had a few poems I needed to work on but for the most part I chilled. I got to watch some football at a local bar with a couple of ex-patriots and a couple of kids from California. This one guy, Mike from Humboldt County, kept walking off between commercials and coming back smelling like some good dope. Here was a guy I needed to get to know. We watched the Jets game and shot the shit and I drank a great deal. Dinner time approaches and I realize that its time to go looking for one of the places I circled in my guide book.

One strike Away

29 Oct

Heartbroken doesn’t begin to describe the feeling…..one strike away…..twice….sooooooooooo fucking close…..had my apartment covered in plastic had the champagne (of beers) on ice….I was ready to re-enact every post championship locker room celebration as soon as the final out was gathered…….I was ready for my hometown team to join the club…..I was going to find out what it felt like……..but it was a different club the Rangers were joining..it was a different feeling I was about to experience……I’m watching the 30 for 30 documentary called “Catching Hell” about Bill Buckner and Steve Bartman…..and my empathy for Cubs fans runs deeper than before two nights ago……(fuck the Red Sox they’ve got their title–though I do understand what ’86 must have felt like) I watched the Marlins-Cubs game in ’03 with my buddy Kent at my favorite dive bar in Denton….it was surreal to witness something like that(especially in their own stadium–the air went out of that place)………to see it happen to your own team….UNREAL….I was too numb to understand it….until the Rangers lost game 7…..sorry Big Mama (she loved the Rangers–we watched so many games together when I was a child)…no title for our boys just yet……and to make it worse…no hoops to look forward to with this blasted NBA lockout…….that depressed feeling I usually get at the end of the baseball season has been compounded…..so fucking close………..and yes its just a game, and no it should not matter that much and 33 year old men shouldn’t cry about the outcome of such trivial events……but that is where I’m at.I suppose if there is a positive to all this its that the sudden emerging of the Rangers has reignited my passions for the great and beautiful game of baseball…I’d been so apathetic for years…..probably since 2003…..I still believe the Rangers will be back…..and that they will win it….just like I believed last year….and you know what? I was one strike away from being right.

Birthday Poem

15 Oct

We walked towards the goodbye we knew was coming.
She deftly inserted her tongue into my mouth
I tasted the cool sweetness of wine on her lips
cold vapors escaping with heavy breathing.
I entrenched my hand in her back pocket
her mouth widened
while I softly squeezed,
trying to stay in rhythm with her
caught up in my awareness of her movements
the innocence escalating into arousal
not wanting it to end
but not wanting it to go further either
it could be a long time
or never again.
my cell phone vibrating happily inside my jacket pocket.

~Edward Austin Robertson

Day 12 Costa Rica Retroactive Diary

8 Oct

Hawkeye makes a mean stir-fry

The night before was pretty magical.  Cooking dinner with my bunkmate Austin, singing Talking Heads. We’d bought lots of vegetables and had to use them all before we left  for the next day. There was talk of hitching into San Isidro. The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. I went to bed excited at the thought of doing it. This was pure hitchiking, something I’d only done once in the States during the worst snowstorm in Oklahoma history. Before I fell asleep I did the math and realized it was a full 3 weeks since my last orgasm and hadn’t had one the whole year of 2011.  WOW……..

Ended up hiking 5km with Austin. Had a few conversations and we were sitting down for water when a van full of Tico boys (futbol players) and their coaches picked us up. They couldn’t have been older than 11 years old. They were so cute. It was like out of a movie. So much energy and all I could do was smile. I felt silly trying to talk to them in my pedestrian Spanish. We kind of made it work. Sometimes I said yes to things I didn’t quite understand.

“Bobby!!!! Bobby!!! quien es su jugadore favorito? ” We talked about PS-2 games. Messi vs. Ronaldo. It was classic. It was sunny. It was beautiful. It was Costa Rica. Waited for the bus in San Isidro, exchanged some currency and waited. Travel days are always the worst.***********************

“Don’t mistake activity for achievement.”  ~John Wooden

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How the fuck did I end up here?  Because I thought it’d be exciting to hitchike?

Cuz i thought I might get close to Pavla the Eastern European beauty? 5 km in the hot ass Costan Rican sun cost me a bus time and a chance to watch the Ravens-Steelers. (Steelers won and of course it was a classic)

Was it worth it? I guess. I wanted adventure and that is what I got, that and a little bad advice. Fucking A. Sleeping in a flop house. This place is a real shit hole and MORE expensive than the hostel in Chirripo. Maybe I should’ve gone to Domenical and tackled the trip the next day. Then I might have gotten to watch the Steelers play. Nothing is free right?

All the activity I had today and I’m still hours away from Montezuma. A boat and bus ride still seperate me from my final destination at this point. Have to wait until 5:00 Am before the first ferry departs. I might not even sleep. I may just lie awake with my knife out, in case the guy who runs this joint tries to murder me with his son. What a dump. When they walked me down the dark hall I quietly flipped out my blade and waited for the time to make my move–half expecting them to open a door where some tough Tican goons awaited me to get my cash.

Both father and son wore wife beaters and there was no a/c. The lobby (which resembled something closer to an apartment living room) housed some old man with a breathing machine watching television.

I knew they were just waiting for me to fall asleep and then WHAM. I wasn’t going to go easily though. I kept my clothes on, tried my best to lay on the flimsy sheet they gave me and left the light on..

If San Jose was Costa Rica’s version of Houston, then Punta Arenas was their version of Texas City (I’d say Miami but I’ve never been there) . I thought of the other possibilities I could’ve explored. I couldn’ve stayed at the casino in Alajuela and splurged…this town though reeked of old world criminal. pick pockets and stabbings.  Poor planning. I thought of my concubine back home. thought of the Steelers and Pats game next weekend, and Green Bay defeating Atlanta. This dump made my shitty apartment look like the Holiday Inn. Finally my eyes couldn’t take in any more light and the last thing I heard was my blade slipping from my hand and falling to the floor. If they wanted to ambush me then this would be their best chance. I just hoped I wouldn’t be able to feel it if they knifed me in my sleep.

famous last words

Costa Rica Retroactive Diary Day 11

8 Oct

Shipping off tomorrow, gotta make sure to book my hotel for the 23rd….get my laundry done and pay off the innkeepers (US dollars or colones). Know its gonna be hard to say goodbye to all the sweet  peeps up here. “Hawkeye”, golly and Pavla, Steven. Some new kids came in from Evergreen State–this couple. The girl reminds me of a chick from college I ran around with a bit..the dude– reminds me of my buddy Craig.

had some weird dreams the night before, about sex with an ex-lover. not sure what it means…..its been a while since I’ve beaten off at this point. Almost 2 solid weeks, certainly a B-mick record…..guess I can abstain from flogging the dummy…

also dreamt I was late for my exit bus and had to stay an extra day. Trying to figure out how to find a place to watch the Ravens-Steelers game–sure to be a classic…..they are pretty sure that hiker died up there….cold frightened and alone..what a way to go…….

went out to waterfall and swam..baptized myself in the chilled and icy water. Dunked my head under 3 times.  Gonna take it easy on myself. Gonna be okay with myself and who I am. I’m still a dirtbag. No more weddings until my affairs with married women are over. Be okay with the feelings of hypocrisy because I have to be.

Goodbye Pavla, perhaps we'll meet again.

B-Boys Fix

8 Oct

In honor of the Jewish New Year I posted this:

“How to impose a dictatorial regime”

1 Oct

1. Concentrate the populace in megalopolitan masses so that they can be kept under close surveillance and where they can be bombed, burned,gasses or machine gunned with a minimum of expense and waste.

2. Mechanize agriculture to the highest degree of refinement, thus forcing most of the scattered farm and ranching population into the cities. Such a policy is desirable because farmers, woodsmen, cowboys, Indians, fisherman and other self-sufficient types are difficult to manage unless displaced from their natural environment.

3. Restrict the possession of firearms to the police and the regular military organizations.

4. Encourage or at least fail to discourage population growth. Large masses of people are more easily manipulated and dominated than scattered individuals.

5. Continue military conscription. Nothing excels military training for creating in young men an attitude of prompt, cheerful obedience to officially constituted authority.

6. Divert attention from deep conflicts within the society by engaging in foreign wars;make support of these wars a test of loyalty, thereby exposing and isolating potential opposition to the new order.

7. Overlay the nation with a reticulated network of communications, airlines and interstate autobahns.

8. Raze the wilderness.Dam the rivers, flood the canyons, drain the swamps, log the forests, strip mine the hills, bulldoze the mountains, irrigate the deserts and improve the national parks into national parking lots.

 

~Edward Abbey from “Desert Solitaire” c. 1968