Richard is trying to figure out the profound meaning of having the ocean closer to his bed than the bathroom. He’s taking it deep talking about “the soul of man’s desire” and I think that phrase only came out because he’s gone through two limes now on Coronas alone.
“We want conveniences,” he tells me, slapping a mosquito, “just a carefully packaged substitute for what’s real. Modern amenities are such bullshit.” With that, I make it a point to accept any argument that ends with fill-in-the-blank is such bullshit. Well argued, Richard.
He goes on talking “back to nature” and “back to ourselves.” I feel my bare feet on the wind-battered wood looking down to see the sand still wedged between my toes. My skin feels like raw hide and I don’t remember the last time I saw a mirror. Richard sees me looking off and says, “I mean, you get it man, right?” Slap.
I give him a “yeah yeah” or maybe a “the simple life” and I think I threw in a half-mumbled “but Richard, amenities don’t kill people, people kill people.”
We’re sitting at Mateo’s bar and Mateo is flicking wine glasses dry next to the tiki torches. He’s wearing plastic shoes and still has his sunglasses resting atop his head despite the fact it’s nearing one in the morning.
I start ripping the label off my Tecate and Richard sees I’m more in the stars above the roofless bar and less with him. “Hey Mateo,” Richard says. “Whaddya think? Are we digging our souls an early grave?”
“Interesting,” Mateo says, “that given the choice between finding truth and talking about finding truth, most of us prefer the conversation.”
I balled up the Tecate label and wished the long walk home was just a little bit longer.