Day 3 - Tuesday 10/27/15.
I am not going get any sleep on this trip. I was woken up last night with a bubble in my stomach so painful that I can still feel it while I write this. I did every kind of twist and pose I know in order to relieve the pressure in one’s gut, but nothing seemed to work. So, while writhing in pain in the middle of the night, I listened to the chorus of poor sleep-breathing. When that wasn’t enough, I focused on the TV where I watched the ship’s movie channel. Playing on a loop all night and into the morning was MAX, the story of a dog with PTSD and the gun running he stops, or something like that. The movie features Lorelei Gilmore with an uncomfortable southern accent and a Toby Keith (?) slow jam during the end credits.
After a boozy breakfast with new and old friends (again, how cool is it that we’re on the same boat as Anna & Nelson), we take port to the humid Roatan. At the base of the ramp is a parrot mascot whom my sister refers to as “Bird” as we pose to take a picture with him. Surprisingly, a thick accent came from underneath the bird’s head in what can only be described as broken English, “Larry. My name is Larry.”
Sunni and I laughed hysterically, still not knowing if this poor soul was telling us the bird’s name or having some existential crisis under the pounds of feathers. “My name is Larry… I’m not a bird!”
Walking up the narrow road less than 25 steps, we're inundated with local tour guides. One such gentleman by the name of Kirby stuck to my Dad like white on rice. He was now, by default, our tour guide for the next few hours. Kirby is a very tall man, and due to this undeniable detail, has acquired the nickname 2 Tall. The laminate around his neck even says, “2 Tall” with his picture on it. I guess this added a little bit of credibility to his claims, but for all we know he made the lanyard himself.
2 Tall takes us up the road to a tiny shack of a restaurant. From the pier of the restaurant we can see the enormity of our boat. He shuffles us to a table, but then sits down with us. Before we know it, he’s drinking with us and holding court, telling stories about the island and his own sordid lineage. He’s so entertaining that it’s hard to be upset. If the price for his show is only a few beers, then we pay it gladly.
After an hour or so of drinking in the sweltering humidity of Roatán, it was time to wrap up our buzzes and head back to the boat. While traversing the narrow road, trying to stay on the sidewalk and avoid the taxies whizzing by, 2 Tall hands me a “gift.” He places what feels like a wadded up napkin in my hand and starts laughing, “I’ve got you brother, I’ve got you.”
I immediately think he’s messing with me; handing me trash like it’s a gift. The dumb kind of shit I would do all the time to friends and coworkers. My sister is a little less naive though and gives me a stink eye look. Piecing together what transpired and the uniqueness of her countenance, I then realize that he just handed me some kind of contraband. I’m not sure what, but I kindly tell him, ‘no thanks, I’m good” and try to give it back. Kirby isn’t having any of it and insists. Were I not a little tipsy I’d likely be freaking out. I’m in a foreign land, with a foreign substance in my pocket. Sure, it’s likely only some grass, but the uncertainty of it all is enough to set off someone prone to anxiety (namely; me). I also am faced with the awkwardness of offending this enormous stranger who we just helped level up in intoxication. I basically couldn’t figure out what to do other than keep laughing until we said our goodbyes to Kirby and entered the gift shop village before the port.
After relaying the story to my father and sister, it’s quickly and unanimously decided that I need to ditch this stuff sooner rather than later. No one on the island could give a rat’s ass, but walking back on that boat to just throw it away is an unnecessary risk. “No officer, I don’t actually do drugs but you see, a nice man handed it to me and I didn’t want to be rude. I was just waiting to get back on the boat to throw it away as to not hurt his feelings.” Locked up abroad for drugs I don’t even care to smoke would be a real shitty prison story. Kirby’s kindness and inclination to share is not lost or unappreciated, but I’m good. Sorry, 2 Tall. I’m going to have to decline and flush the evidence.
Of course I documented it. Who wouldn’t?
The danger and excitement never cease when you’re at sea.
We have our final round of beers at the jewelry store where we help my Dad pick out something special for Mom. He nailed it (with our help).
Tonight’s dinner was at La Cucina, an Italian restaurant where the manager let slip some fine wisdom. He instructed us never to take food recommendations from a man without a belly, for “a man without a belly is like a house without a balcony.” Essentially, both men and homes are better with the extra space.
That’s some of the better rationale for overindulging I’ve heard in a long time. Also, it works its way into my brain as I order the dessert I really didn’t need. It’s cool though; I’m on a boat.
If you found this at all entertaining, don't forget to read the first part here.