IMPORTANT NOTES FROM JUSTIN:
An Early Morning Bus to Puerto Viejo
Six in the morning is far too early for me to be awake and sitting on a bus. I don't care if I'm going to the Caribbean coast or the moon or to the post–celebration after the Fourth Annual Central American Naked Coed Groping Semifinals. It's just too early.
Especially after last night. I was up way too late. But, at the moment it felt like not late enough.
I met a girl in the living room of the hostel. I was typing and I noticed her looking intently at my face. "Do I know you?", she asked. I studied her face briefly. Pillowy lips, a mole near her mouth, giant blue eyes, blonde hair cut to different lengths falling to her shoulders, framing the scene. It took some restraint to not answer, "I wish you did."
Instead I asked her name and gave her mine in return. Her's was Sky. I asked if she had an E or a Y. She said no. Just Sky.
She'd already eaten but I asked her to dinner anyway. The six of us took a van taxi to a restaurant that served flavorful, piquant food—various fried cheeses, grilled fish, a Tico version of fajitas. We ate together talked and laughed like friends—even the newest of friends—do around a table thousands of miles from home.
Sky had quite the dazzling resumé. Two electrical engineering degrees. She does half Iron Man triathlons. She has an energy healing practice. She's a professsional life coach.
After the meal adjourned we trekked to a nearby casino. The boys gambled to keep their drinks full. Sky and I escaped upstairs to the bar to sit and talk—continuing where we'd begun at dinner.
She was fascinating and her mind excited me in a way that I had not felt in a long while. Mostly we reveled in our ability to communicate with one another on the soft technologies of human spirit and interaction using metaphors from our engineering backgrounds. We talked about vectors, how the human spirit oscillates at different frequencies. Terms like capture region and propagate and equilibrium danced between us. But, we spoke of love and the energy that brings life to life.
Talking with her felt like being on a roller coaster ride with my eyes closed. Everything was exciting and new and I had no idea where things would go next or whether I'd be upside down or around some new turn.
Her strength and her mind and her longing to make the world better and to inspire others to great new heights ignited an attraction in me. Each of her words fanned the flame a little. The more she spoke the hotter she seemed and the more I burned. It was involuntary and unnerving and distracting. (I was trying to have a conversation.) That's what made it so hot.
At one point I asked if she'd heard the story of the Giving Tree. Shel Silverstien's story serves as a simple, elegant description the martyr model of love—the premise being that you only are being loving if you give until you die and give nothing to yourself. She'd never heard it. I raised my eyes to meet hers and start telling this story. But, the problem was that my eyes met hers. I was paralyzed an unable to speak or look away. I really tried, too. I didn't want to look like a bumbling fool tripping over my words or unable to even start a sentence.
I couldn't help it, though. I was stunned. "What is it?" I didn't want to say. Luckily I couldn't, since my mouth had gone useless. I took a few breaths and finally managed to explain with simple terms, "Your. Big. Beautiful. Blue. Eyes. How could I speak?"
In the end I did tell the story. And the night was more of the same, which was to say interesting, thought–provoking, and captivating. And, there was this layer of hot that seemed to run beneath it all, at least for me. The conversation turned me on—turned on my mind, triggering the rest of me to just want to squeeze the daylights out of this girl and kiss her puffy lips. (Quite a different feeling from what I am used to feeling—quite a bit less overtly sexual, deeply cerebral, and not very silly at all.)
We changed venues to an America hotel next to our hostel. More hours passed. We lounged in their lobby. Words bounced back and forth. My body felt tired, but I didn't want the night to end.
My wake up call was at 5:30, though, so the end was near.
I motioned with my eyes and tilted my head towards the door and she got the message. We walked out into the moist, warm darkness.
I went to kiss her as we walked home, but she wasn't having any of it. She asked me what I was doing—as if it wasn't clear—and then said no. Strange. There'd been flirting and dawdling of fingers on skin. And, as I admitted, the conversation had been some of the hottest foreplay I'd had in who–knows–how long. A kiss would've been the perfect dessert, a sweet taste left in my mouth and on my lips.
But, no. Was I misreading? Was there something else going on I hadn't noticed? I felt a little confused and a sliver misled—but not enough for it to matter. I shrugged and we went inside.
Like a wave propagating in air, the amplitude of the night's energy too had to eventually fall to zero as gravity and other forces slowed its travel. Things came to an end. I said good night but didn't want to. I thanked her for the conversation and we embraced. Her strong arms pulled me to her, my arms around her, my hands desperately aware of the hills of muscles flanking either side of her spine. Her stomach moved against mine with each breath. I savored each tiny movement and sensation. And I melted.
I melted into my sandy, dirty bunk bed in a room with seven other people. I melted under a blanket touched by travelers too many to even bother thinking about. I melted out of my clothes and into the nakedness of the night. And I lay alone, drifting half in and out of sleep, half–dreaming of the night's dance of minds, of the blessing of being inspired by this person, of the capacity of the human machine. And, the other half of me half–dreamed of a waterfall of blonde hair, the feeling of breathing against my stomach, the paralysis of eyes, and dessert.
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