After drinking the coffee, I went to the ocean and washed our pots and cups. The Italian noticed and said nothing. He seemed happy enough.
I went to inside the magic bus. I finished reading The Sun Also Rises. It was an intense read that was short but because of the complexity of the novel, I went through it rather slowly. As I was thinking about the meaning behind the novel, I saw a roadrunner scurrying across the desert and snatching a lizard. Cute, I thought. Beep. Beep.
Afterwards, I went down to the beach. Of course, Heather came out to meet me. She wasn't wearing a bra.
She for whatever reason told me, "You know, I don't want you to judge me. Please don't judge me. But I'm here because I'm addicted to pain killers. Please don't judge me."
"Why would I judge you?"
"Oh, please don't judge you."
I lied, but not completely. I didn't judge her because she was addicted to substances. I judged her because she was pathetic.
She said, "Oh, I have to confess. I don't make any money. Don pays for everything."
"And you like that?"
"But you don't want that to change."
"Oh, please don't judge me. I'm a good girl. I really am."
"What if he leaves you?"
"Oh, honey, let me tell you. He's not the first one."
"You know, I have four kids. You should meet my 18 year old daughter."
"Maybe." Then I said, "Hey, I'm hungry. I'm going to go hunting for some food in the water."
"Oh, poor baby. You're protein starved. I'll take care of that today. Go get some uni (sea urchin) in the water. I'll make you sushi rice."
I knew she was playing to my like of Asian food.
I went to Ron. He suited me up with his dive gear. I walked into the roaring ocean and sought out a reef. I was looking for lobster. But after hours of free diving, I was getting queasy. The ocean was much too rough. Whenever I dove down, the wave would drag me back. Then it would spit me back out. And after all the see-sawing back and forth in the water, I was feeling sick. It wasn't all for a loss though. I grabbed four purple prickly sea urchins. Yet, when the ocean wave threw me against the shore, I lost one of them.
I walked back to camp. I saw Heather wearing one of Georgio's necklace. It was a pendant with an amber stone. He was also making her matching earrings. When he finished, she said, "Oh my God. Oh my God. They're so beautiful! Oh my God! They're perfect."
I saw her put them on. They were a good match for her, surprisingly.
Don said, "I paid for them. But I was already laid."
I said, "Well - there's always tomorrow."
He smiled and she said, "That there is." The comment made him happy.
She said, "Paul! Paul! I gave Georgio a chicken breast with rosemary. I also started cooking sushi rice for you."
"Oh, that's very kind of you. You didn't have to." And I really wish she didn't.
"Of course, Baby. You're protein starved."
"What does that even mean?"
"Oh, you know. You're a boy. You need protein."
"Hey, I gotta show you my daughter."
She went inside and brought out a picture. When she descended down the stairs from her RV, she tripped and fell.
"Oh, I'm a bit drunk," Heather said.
Don said, "Only a bit?"
"Oh, shut the Hell up, Don."
She showed me a picture. I saw a gorgeous girl who was sitting like a mermaid at a park behind the Golden Gate Bridge.
She said, "Her name is Destiny."
Don said, "She's a stripper in Reno."
"Shut up, Don! She is not a stripper."
I was wondering, Is that her real name? So, I asked, "Is she really called Destiny?"
"Yes, that's her name. And she's a good girl. She's only a model. Not a stripper."
I thought, Oh, I do bet she does nudy shots. Poor girl.
"Don just says those things to make me mad," she said. She went on, "I want to be an artist."
And Don said, "You want to be a lot of things. And let me tell you - you can't do anything. So - go get the scissors and cut my hair."
She went inside and almost tripped again. She brought out scissors. He sat on a lawn chair facing the ocean. I saw his pot belly proturding out. She started snipping his hair.
I started cleaning the sea urchin. I cut it open with a knife. I started taking out the orange roe and threshing it out from the grey and brown guts. I dumped the orange roe, the ovaries of sea urchin, in a cup of ocean water. Specks of algae and sand washed away.
She stopped cutting Don's hair. She opened her mouth and said, "Ah. Can you give me one?" I put it in her mouth and she licked my fingers. It was really wet. The phantom memories would replay over and over again for me after this moment.
I took in a breath. I released the air. I dumped my fingers in the salt water too.
She then took some sushi rice in spoon and said, "Say ah." I opened my mouth. She fed me. I felt annoyed. Why I allowed her to do this would be an enigma to me too. I think it was because I felt sorry for her.
I started cooking a simple pasta with rich olive oil, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, fish, carrots, sugar and herbs. It tasted good.
Ron came over afterwards. We all ate together. She made some sushi and tried to feed me again. I told her to put it down on my plate this time.
They asked about my writing. Then Heather went on about how she was one day going to be a great artist. Don talked about how he was trying to make it on the country music circuit, even though he's tone deaf.
Ron said he was really tired, even though it was 9pm. He told me later, "I can't stand another minute with them."
I laughed and we talked about nothing together at his campsite.