Bent Words

Bent Words

January 25, 2006

*** Continued... ***

John and I woke to the sun shining through the open balcony door. The wind was still whirling at a good 20 MPH but the day's temperature promised to climb into the high 70s. Before long, we were out the door and ready to explore our surroundings in the Mini Van. Er, Race Van -- sorry, John.

We hit Walgreens first, anticipating the death of the batteries in my NEW $600 digital camera, and purchased an annoying wind up, throw away camera (I've exchanged that digital camera and am expecting my new Sony to arrive any day now). Next, a liquor store, where we stocked up on more beer, booze, Red Bull and wine than anyone could possibly drink during a four-day vacation (especially considering that The Boy and I do not even drink wine). Target was tough to find because, unlike Wisconsin, there are not fourteen of them hanging out on the corners of every town. But we prevailed and purchased cheap sandals, swimming trunks (not for me) and what John dubbed as a "Librarian Sweater" for myself.

We ended up at one of the many little Mexican stores in the area with thoughts of grilling and guacamole in our heads. The avocados were placed up high on a shelf that even I, with my Super Human Ladder skills, found difficult to retrieve. When we asked one of the store clerks if there were any ripe avocados, she simply looked at us and shook her head. I wasn't sure if that meant 'no' or 'I have no idea what the HELL you are saying, asshole.' Then she turned to the girl next to her, who was diligently sweeping at our feet as though we had dragged in half a beach with us, and said something in Spanish that I'm sure was meant to be insulting to us Gringos. After all, we were the ones loco enough to assume that the avocados would be somewhere within an NBA players reach...

Then, completely starved and ready to immerse ourselves in early hour cocktails (hey! You're supposed to drink too much before noon on vaCAtion!) and thus we headed into the touristy downtown Lake Worth to find a restaurant with outdoor seating. We ended up at Dave's Bar and Grille where my parents and I had dined on previous trips. It is an inexpensive place to dine because most of the wait staff wander around as though they just smoked a big fat one and because most of them just started their very first jobs after dropping out of middle school the day before. Good food, though!

The skinny brunette who waited on us appeared to be about 15 years old and all of her movements, including the motions of her tongue, were lethargic and unsure.

"Yeeeeeaaaaahhhh, I can't serve alcohol.... but I'll go and, um, get you, like, someone else who can, you know, serve you your drinks," she slurred in between deep pauses, "and um, what was it you wanted again?"

When our beverages finally arrived, John was all about the sweat on his bottle of La Batte...

We could have found a stray $20 bill hanging out in the gutter and we still would not have been as happy as we were the moment our drinks became difficult to handle due to the moisture the exterior sweating. We were in our t-shirts, sitting outside in the sun and thinking about all of you back in Wisconsin getting ready to shovel the five inches of upcoming snow. It was great.

Our next waitress (the one who knew what La Batte was) was a tall, young blond with a Swedish accent who seemed extremely shy about the whole serving experience. I think maybe John scared her. Or perhaps she was still stuck on the old man at the table in front of us who kept complaining about the amount of ice in his water. Or this older couple who kept insisting that the wind was too strong yet would not relocate inside as there "certainly wasn't any sun IN the building, now was there?."

The Swedish Girl brought us our lunch, a hot chicken wrap for me and a steak wrap for John, and neither of us could help but notice the couple on the other end of the sidewalk tables. They weren't alone. A large, colorful parrot with a massive beak occupied their table and occasionally snatched up a few French fries from the man's hand before squawking in delight. We weren't sure if the parrot belonged to the couple or if it was just dropping by Dave's for a quick bit of greasy lunch. Either way, the thing was impressive.

I tried to get a few pictures of the bird but it was so far from our view that I had only a couple of long distance, and mostly cute waitress butt blocked, shots. At the end of our meal, the couple got up to leave and the gentleman placed the parrot on his shoulder. As they passed, I took a picture of this unusual scene and smiled sweetly at the idea of them having a casual lunch with their feathered friend. The man noticed my flash, came up to our table and stated,

"Here. Lets switch."

He gave me the bird, quite literally, and attempted to click a shot of us with my camera. Unfortunately, he had no idea how to work the damned thing and John took over just as my fear of having this gigantic animal peck my eyes out passed. It was great!

The parrot, obviously, didn't peck out my eyes or dig its massive talons into my hand and carry me away. In fact, of all the parrots I've not known, he was quite a polite parrot. I looked at him and said "hi" to which he replied "hi" back. Amazing! I wondered what other impressive bits of conversation the bird possessed and I tried to ask him a few questions like, "how was your lunch?" and "have you ever tried sushi?" but the extent of the bird's vocabulary had already been extinguished.

After lunch, we headed back home and made our way directly over to the unoccupied pool which is about 15 yards away from my Grandparent's condo. It's RIGHT THERE! The water was warm (80 degrees) despite the blowing winds and, although the workout demanded strain upon my shoulder, I was in absolute heaven. Despite the fact that a sign above the pool clearly states, "no diving or horseplay in or around the pool," we commenced with the diving and invited ourselves to some mild horseplay in order to ensure our experience was limited to just us two. No one joined us in the pool but I did see a few shifted curtains in the windows of a couple condos in the area. I resolved to mention the fact that we are young, damn it, in love, exuberant and still at that age where rules are made to be broken; just in case someone complained.

It was a little chilly with the wind and thus John enjoyed a Corona with a lime next to me by the pool and I swam until my wee heart was quite content.

Back at the condo, we showered and dressed and were greeted outside by my Grandparent's old friend Bob. Bob is a rather strange fellow but since he takes care of the condo while it is unoccupied our family, for the most part, likes him. He looks to me like a 75 year old in denial. His hair is dyed brown and he has all the buoyancy of an 18 year old on Speed. He likes to laugh a lot and shifts around somewhat nervously around women. Talking to him gave me a slight neck ache. But Bob provides a lot of care to the place and has always been so kind as to volunteer his skills wherever needed. He's a good guy. A little off, but good.

He came over to say a hello and let us know that the air conditioning repairmen should be over to the condo soon. He stopped by a few times after that -- always in as quickly as he was out.

We drove down to Boynton Beach that night for some good, oceanside food at the Banana Boat. We sat down at the outside bar and could hardly believe that they had the inside restaurant air conditioned since The Two George's restaurant, right next door, was buttoned down with plastic coverings over all the open air spots. We enjoyed a few drinks and commented upon all of the other patrons before ordering dinner. I reminisced about the experiences my parents and I had at the very same spot; explaining to him for the fourth time that it was at the Two George's that I had once fed French fries to the manatees.

John had a Grouper Sandwich which was bigger than his head and he eventually only made it through the large portion that wasn't covered by a bun. I had the Seafood Pasta which included shrimp, crab (heh, typed 'crap' there at first) and scallops. We were unable to make noticeable dents in our meals. All in all, quite good but the real show came when a woman next to us, dressed in what appeared to be only a long shirt, began to fall under the weight of the barrel of alcohol she had just consumed. Two men had to help her to her feet and escorted her swaying body out of the bar. I can only assume that she was driving since she eventually left alone and thus we remained awhile longer as to ensure our chances of not meeting her out on the road.

Once we were back at the condo, John requested that I sit down next to him on the living room couch as I wasn't in the highest of spirits. I began to sob thinking about my Grandparents and finally relinquished all of the sadness that I had kept bottled up from our initial arrival. John was the best in offering up his shoulder, and his ears, for nearly a full hour.

I wrote in the travel log that my aunt and uncle had left for us but before long we were both in bed. We had a big day ahead of us...

*** To Be Continued... ***

Written at 12:24 p.m.