July 23rd, 2011 9:03am—From Playa Venao to Panama City

I've never understood the impulse some males have to quasi-choke a female while in the midst of naked intimate time. I don't particularly appreciate being choked. I like breathing.
I had noticed a 6'4" man strutting around Playa Venao with shoulder-length, wavy blonde hair, straight, white teeth and blue eyes. He looked like he worked out. He surpassed my estimation of a Grecian god. If I hadn't jumped into the ocean every four minutes to cool off, I imagine I would have noticed my underwear get wet upon eye contact with him. He knew his superior physical specimen status. I could tell by the way he walked. And how he looked at girls. I did what any smart girl would do: I ignored him. I did check him out all day, though. That night, he sat next to me by the bonfire in front of our tent. It was a good thing that I had ignored him. We couldn't have spoken anyway. He was German but grew up in Argentina. I certainly didn't know any German. After months in Central America, my language capacity exhausted itself at half sentences of Spanish. He did know a few English words and phrases: "butt fucking," "fuck," and "my house." I'd ask him a question and he'd respond with some variation of these words. He was a sweet-talker. I gave in to the inevitable: I left with him. He wasn't pleased when I refused him anal sex. He feigned ignorance and still tried to stick it in my butt. I knew he understood the word no. It's the same in Spanish. 
The next morning, I walked back along the beach in the general direction of the tent. I passed gypsies displaying boards of jewelry, vendors selling shirts and hats, and people handing out advertisements for different parties. For the first time, there were crowds. I didn't know how far into the competition we were, or how many days we'd been camping on the beach. I didn't even have a concept of time. I just knew that every time I saw someone sporting apparel from the U.S., I'd chant, "Team USA. Team USA. Team USA!" 
I had just decided that German was alright regardless of the choking and anal penetration attempts when I saw two of the Bocas girls playing beach volleyball. The Aussie and Austrian girls were dressed accordingly in bathing suit tops and midget shorts. The rest of the Bocas crew was in Playa Venao. 
It wasn't difficult to locate everyone. There were a total of three bar/restaurants on the beach. They were at the second one. Gonzales had passed out on one of the white couches while everyone else sat around drinking beer and catching up.
"Gonzales...OUT!" I yelled as a welcome to the Kiwi, Aussie, and Brits. We shared hugs all around. For days, I had been using the ocean in place of a shower, but I had brushed my teeth the day before, so I felt confident that my friends wouldn't notice any stench. 
I was just sad that the Canadian girls weren't with them. I missed watching them share one cigarette between the two of them. They were under the impression that by sharing, they were actually smoking less. Instead, they just smoked twice as much. I missed staring at the honed muscles of the marathon runner. Not that I have any lesbian tendencies. I just fully appreciate when women have something that I don't, like marathon muscles, or breasts. 
There had been some drama in Panama City when seeing the Canadian girls off. The Kiwi had previously hooked up with one of the other girls in the group. He told her one night in Panama City that he was going to go with a Kiwi backpacker that he had hit it off with. He thought he was being a gentleman. In defense of the girl, the Aussie threw a bucket of water on the Kiwi while he was sleeping in the hostel. The Kiwi put his fist through a door. He got kicked out of the hostel. Something like that. Regardless, the vibe wasn't entirely harmonious when we all met up. 
The Austrian and Aussie regularly disappeared to cavort with the surfers. Lynn, Gonzales and I regularly hitched rides to Pedasi, the town where everyone else from Bocas was staying. 
One day, we hitchhiked and joined some gypsies in the back of a truck for the ride to Playa Venao. They were selling handmade jewelry. The guy had dark dreadlocks down his back and the woman was covered in tattoos. When it started pouring down rain, they busted out plastic sheets that we held above our heads to keep from getting soaked. They shared with us. Years ago, I was skeptical about anyone with dreadlocks. As it turns out, people with dreadlocks are awesome. 
The man who was driving pulled under a store's roof. The walls of the building were painted lime green. We listened to the rain pinging off of the corrugated iron roof and watched the water collect in swirling masses on the road. 
One night, we sat in one of the rooms in Pedasi passing around a joint and laughing when the Aussie and Austrian girls fell through the door. They were soaking wet.
"What in bloody hell happened to you lot?" one of the British guys asked.
They boomeranged off every possible object in the room. 
"We were with hot surfers!" The Austrian announced. "We went in a pool, and I don't know where my bottoms went. They're gone. We were drinking and dancing and my bottoms are gone and we were drinking and dancing. People were having sex!" 
"Standard," the Aussie bellowed.
"Sex and surfers and drinking and no bottoms. No bottoms."
"Standard," repeated the Aussie.
Through this incredibly detailed approach to questioning, we didn't learn anything else. But we laughed and giggled in the haze of being high. The Austrian showered with her shorts and bathing suit top on and the Aussie repeated, "Standard" after every statement of the evening's antics.
We passed the days drinking on the beach with the surfers in the background. When we'd run out of booze, Lynn, Gonzales and I would buy red wine at the one convenient store on the beach. After trying to open the bottle with our teeth, Gonzales's Mexican blanket, and a knife, we finally gave in and bought a proper bottle opener from the store. 
By the end of the week, everything that I owned reeked of the ocean and booze and cigarettes. I had a length of purple cloth that I got in India in 2009 which I wrapped around my body to wear as a dress. I was delusional. It didn't look like a dress, it looked like a cloth. It kept falling down. I continually flashed people. I traveled from Playa Venao to Pedasi to Panama City in that purple Indian cloth. The next day I realized that in the sun, the cloth was see-through. The sun had been shining for the past two days. 

No comments: