On Sunday (Mother's Day in the U.S.) the biggest Mother of all mothers - Mother Nature - switched on the summer heat. Fortunately it was a dry desert heat and not humid sea heat so it was kind of nice, especially sitting at the water's edge in the sand chair, the water lapping at my feet, a cold Negra Modelo in hand. No book, no camera - I just sat and watched the terns, pelicans and gulls dive for fish. The wings of the Ibises absolutely glimmered as they soared by.
A man with a chocolate-colored pit bull/boxer mix walked by. When the dog strained at the leash to come see me the man said in English that the dog only wanted to say "hi" and I commented on how beautiful it was. Then the man's wife/girlfriend joined him with another dog and I watched them play ball in the water.
Mother's Day. It was hot. I had no work to do. So I decided it was time for a gin and tonic. I left shells and the worm tubes I'd been collecting for a friend on the chair as a sign that the chair was occupied. I was gone five minutes at the most. Before I even noticed that the chair was missing the man with the dog yelled that someone had taken my chair. My first thought was why didn't you sic your dogs on him? I asked where the thief had gone and he said "On the other side of the wall."
I headed to the road that runs along the back side of the trailer park, the road behind my trailer. I'd heard from Flo that someone was squatting in the lot behind the white party house (she goes there daily to water two puppies). I saw where the chain link fence was down and stepped through, careful not to spill my g&t. It really stunk back there of shit - hopefully from the puppies and not the human. I walked around trash and plastic sandals and empty bottles of booze. There was an unfinished bodega - four walls but no windows or doors. As I got closer a man's head appeared in one of the windows.
When I'm pissed my Spanish improves. "Tienes mi silla?" To my surprise the man came out of the bodega and said "Si. Disculpe!" He said he was sorry, he was sorry, yes, he had my chair. He would go get it - it was on the roof. It was on the roof? Wouldn't you think that a homeless guy living in an unfinished storage room would be sitting on a newly-stolen chair? No. It was on the roof. What did he have up there? A sundeck? A beach umbrella? A tiki bar? He scrambled up on the roof and brought down my chair.
When I had the chair back I asked him if he was the thief who had stolen my beads and things and he said no, that he had a job in Punta Chueca diving for scallops. I said good because I didn't want to have to call the police.
When I came around the seawall with my chair, the couple with the dogs gave me big thumbs ups.
Sitting in my sand chair with my now lukewarm g&t I remembered that I'd bought that chair in Calle Doce for just a few pesos. Then I remembered I'd bought that chair because my other one had been stolen.
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