After 37 beers and a carton of Strikes, down there below those swirling, curling lights of the Piccadilly-like carnival on the inlaid pier, I gotten a sudden hankering for a bit of the ol’ south of the border chow — but there I was stuck in a sea of neon beach shops and surfer boutiques — head throbbing like mad and steaming ’cause I had to wait for the maintenance man to come fix my tub in my sixth floor room of the South Seas Lodge — that ghetto, oceanfront property with the metal doors with rusting scratchings of so-and-so loves so-and-so — and my room number was written on the door with a black marker, others were simply slips of paper with the room number scribbled upon it and then neatly stuck to the door with masking tape — high quality joint, yeah, but the view from the room was worth the 49.99 — those slamming waves crashing into the beach right below my balcony — after 37 beers and a carton of Strikes, it all looked pretty good through my grinning fog.
But there I was at dusk, wobbling down the steaming street that stretched on for miles in either direction, hotels, motels and bungalows all lined up, bumping each other shoulder to shoulder and I thought about how we have come to commercialize even nature, and how three-hundred years ago or so, those waves were still out there slapping at the shore, still rolling like white thunder, rolling and dropping their white and foamy fists against the land, pounding it hard like a drunk spring break boy does to some weekend Snow Off White, probably in the very same bed in which I slept upon, the one with the parrots and toucan’s brightly decorating the bedspread alongside the stains of lust and claw marks of a troubled head.
And I was stumbling along, the streets filled with people in skimpy clothes laughing and falling all over each other; the young, the old, everyone connected in their far-from-home fears and I felt like the only solitary being rushing along the waves of this pulse and so ducked into a beach shop for some sandals and found some ones made in China and they hurt my feet because they were too small, so I kicked them off when I walked the beach and watched them roll back out to sea, back home to China where a 9 is probably more like a 4 to us — because they are made by the small children — and I had asked the clerkie where a good place to eat was and he recommended a Mexican place that he liked to frequent, I said thanks and wandered out the door trying to remember the directions he gave me at the same time trying to not get run over by a car… but then again, I could be on Mars.
I saw it after stopping to piss in some gas station, and there it was, across the busiest street in the place and I thought I’d never get across, but I darted when the headlights died down and made it to the joint. I was the only one solo, of course, but I got a nice heaping of chips and salsa, ordered a couple of beers, and watched some Survivor, Fear Factor rip-off where Kens and Barbies were playing stupid games and it really meant the world to them, like it REALLY was important, not just another heap of trash entertainment to babysit our collective lazy and enslaved American minds.
I ordered the No. 11; a taco, burrito, and enchilada, but when the waiter brought it out, it was like I was eating Manicotti, or Rigatoni with some spicy beef inside. The sauce was tomatoey, not like the red sauce or the green sauce I got back in the Land of Enchanto, no, as if I stepped into an upscale Taco Bell in Florence, Italy. But I was hungry and I ate it and it was decent and I slammed my beer and stuffed my face and I was fat and full when I paid my bill — wandered out back onto the street, hypnotized by the guiding lights of cars and booming shops selling surfboards and kief, and there it was in all its glory, a Krispy Kreme donut shop, and even as full as I was I went inside that heaven of baked goods and ordered up a six pack of gut-clogging sin — so I was making my way back to the South Seas Lodge, made my way past the carnival, the Ferris wheel was so high and lit up like an acid trip, I saw the people just dangling there in the night like branches of a Christmas tree, they were all weighed down with the heavy lights of the amusement park. I stood and waited for someone to jump – like the unloved Thanksgiving at Wendy’s.
I walked along slow now, weighed down with the Italian Mexican food in my gut and a box of Krispy Kreme donuts. I made it across the main thoroughfare, the traffic was dying down a bit, it was getting late — found a little boardwalk that led to the beach, the tide was a bit higher now and the waves seemed to be grabbing at my ankles a bit more forcefully now, and when my heavy limbs made it to the sand, I almost collapsed, the beach was sparse with people, when at the height of day it was crawling with all sorts — I stumbled along, my eyes now stinging from all the spotlights beaming down on me from the right, the waves kept crashing to my left, and it was getting hard to walk in the sand, but in time I made it back to the South Seas Lodge, took the elevator to the sixth floor, it groaned as it slowly carved its way through the shaft, the stairs were in disrepair, and I thought if there was a fire, I’d surely burn or die from the jump — but it didn’t burn and I made it back to my room, threw my stuff down on the bed and went straight to the balcony to watch the waves, all lit up from the hotel floodlights, crash into the shore, so perpetual, unlike the heart that someday soon shall cease to trouble her.