Hook Boy

November 18, 2008 at 9:47 am Leave a comment


What do you do if you’re a group of women with time on your hands, and an empty beach? You drink, graze over and over again on Trader Joe’s quasi-upscale snack foods, do yoga/slo-robics and walk the requisite five miles a day. It’s boot camp for Y-chromosomes.

So with pesto/sun dried tomato/goat cheese spread and pita chips churning in my “much flatter than it was 40 pounds ago but still spouting a pouch because of that splay me open hip to hip but I don’t regret leaving behind the fist-sized clots” hysterectomy stomach I clomp out with Dela and ponder the big choice. Right or left? It was left this time, because it was right last time.

We walked about a mile, talking about the kind of things that two Type-A Jews-one neurotic and one oblivious to neurosis-talk about. Business. People we know. Relatives. Spouses, Other women. Suddenly I turn around because I feel the vibe. The one you feel when someone is following you. Yep, a chubby Mexican kid about 10 years old is right there with a pole longer than he is topped with the kind of hook they use to toss some loser offstage. My husband will tell me later this is a gaff. Interesting, but not something you need to know when someone is following you. We walked away from the beach. So did Hook Boy. We moved toward the beach, Hook Boy did, too.

I’m going to kill him, I say, don’t get so paranoid, Dela replies. I’m not afraid of a kid-but that hook is a little intimidating. Yeah.

Intimidating as hell when you’re not carrying weapons. Why didn’t I bring my mace? Why can’t you have guns in Mexico? I’ll find a big rock and hit him with it. OK. I’ll hit him in the head and leave him for dead. No, don’t-just hit him in the leg. We don’t need to have to leave a dead Mexican kid on the beach. I’ll say it was self-defense-I told him to vamamose-andele-adios but he didn’t respond. That was creepy. He’s still following us. Don’t keep looking back; he’ll know he’s scaring us. I‘ll stare at him with fire in my eyes so he’ll get scared. I have to pee. Not now, let’s turn back. Can’t you hold it? No. Don’t go up by that vacant house, he’ll corner us and rip us up with that hook. I HAVE to pee. Ok, I have to go with you or he’ll kill you and I’ll feel guilty. Stop it, you’re way too paranoid. But it is weird that he’s following us-and then there’s that hook thing. Can you go in the ocean? No, not with him looking at us. Ok, I’ll follow you up to the dunes by that house and just go enough so you can hold it. I don’t know if I can do that. He’s coming up here! I’ll kill him-I will! Stop it-just let me pee. I want to go back. No!  I want to do five miles! Sorry your exercise was interrupted by Hook Boy-just eat less today. Look, he’s walking up to the deck of that house. Ok, let’s go! I HAVE TO PEE! Ok, pee but if we get killed or maimed it’s your bladders’ fault. OK, I’m done. Look, he’s not following us anymore. I still want to go back. It IS weird….Ok he not following us anymore-but he could start up again. He’s going the opposite way. Let’s get out of here. It unsettling. Unsettling? Hook Boy could have f-ing killed us!

We walked home without incident as Hook Boy faded in the distance, his short, chubby silhouette contrasting with the shadows of the long, thin thing that could have been the instrument of our death. Or maiming. When we got back, we polished off the rest of the pesto/sun dried tomato/goat cheese spread and pita chips.

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Roberta Gale

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