- Come on man, just for a bit
- Not today. I'm tired and I'm working early tomorrow
-I need you man please! Do it for me, for your bro!!!
- .... aaaahhhh.... ok ok, but just for a bit
Krrr, krrr, krrr. The sound of dead leaves being raked from the concrete. 7am. The generous morning smiles of the staff. The smell of coffee in the kitchen. The slow walk under the almond trees. Krrr, krrr, krrr. The bright light, the sound of waves, the rock smiling to the ocean, the first coffee sip... Good morning El Tunco.
It felt good to be back in La Guitarra. Friends and laughter erased the painful experience of the Honduras border. The only upside of that horrible trip was Karleen, a solo traveller I had met briefly in Las Flores. She had just arrived to El Tunco.
Karleen was German and around my age. She had studied psychology and worked as an HR consultant for a large firm in Munich. After a few years of modern slavery, she quit her job, packed her bag and booked a one-way ticket to South America. Brave girl.
Karleen had blond hair, emerald eyes and freckles that shone back at the sun. She had a perfect body and a gorgeous, but picky smile. Zen and thoughtful, she carried an aura of quiet confidence. Karleen was my type of woman.
I liked her in Las Flores and wanted to dig deeper into her personality, and.... I had it all planned. Cool activities to spend time together in the afternoon, in the evening, in the night. I knew this game well. I loved this game.
Having my own bungallow gave me an instant rock star status. I invited Karleen to go surfing. She joined me in la Guitarra and we went together to Sunzal, the local reef break. During that long paddle, she talked and I listened. I knew Sunzal like the back of my hand and the waves were great that day. I surfed. She wiped out. I was humble, encouraging and scoring. Raz 1, Karleen 0.
I had mentioned that I'd been experimenting with a vegetarian taco recipe since Mexico. It was healthy, light and tasty. I was having that for diner and told her she could join me if she fancied. If so, she had to bring the wine. She did. The tacos were delicious. Conversation flowed and the wine made her smile less picky. Things were going well.
Karleen met up with her friend Jackie later in the evening. They wanted to go dancing. It was Monday night and the town was dead quiet. I begged Negro to be my wingman so I could have time with Karleen, while he kept Jackie company. He was about to go to bed but I really, really insisted. Thank you, I owe you one.
We were four people at Beach life, the only club in town. The music was shit, as always. I got us beers to loosen up and went with it, pretending to have a good time despite the horrible reggaeton. Karleen moved like a jellyfish. I grabbed her waist and gently pulled her closer to me. Our bodies got to know each other. Her skin was soft and warm. I got lost in her eyes. Raz 1, Karleen 1.
Negro had a surf class planned at 7 am with Jackie so we called it a night. The next afternoon, I invited Karleen to hang out with me in la Guitarra. We shared our stories, upbringings and past relationships. The challenges of a solo traveller are strangely common, regardless of cultural differences. Even more if the travellers have the same age. We talked for hours, genuinely opening up with every new topic. I saw her in a different light, authentic and vulnerable. I wanted to hold and protect her. Then she left.
A few hours later, she texted me. Her and Jackie were warming up the night with a bottle of rum and wanted me to join them. I was chilling with Sandra Tranquilo in the hammocks, trading puffs, laughter and good vibes, in a complete different mood. I told her we were too comfortable to move anywhere. They eventually crashed our party.
Karleen showed up drunk, loud and craving attention. She tried to drag me out of my hammock... for Beach life! I glanced at Sandra and she gave me that look. That honest disapproving look your friends give you when you're about to make a bad decision.
The person I had in front of me was obnoxious and unattractive. A loud blondie escaping her problems by getting wasted and whoring for attention. The complete opposite of pre-rum Karleen. I wanted her yes, but not like that. That was cheap game. I wanted her present, connected, sober. I pulled her aside, whispered in her ear. Then I let her go.
It put my mind in distress. Remember Sayulita, no sex is better than bad sex. Sandra comforted me. "You made the right call" she said. Yet, it was hard to digest. I didn't know myself anymore. So much work and efforts... wasted! I guess I was longing for something different, a deeper connection. Drunk Karleen was not going to give me that.
What happened? What did I become? A gentleman? An idiot? A fag? For better or worse, I was coming of age.