It’s beginning to look a lot like ‘Selby’…

(Forgive me my judgemental moment of unrestrained snobbery. I’m striving for progress, after all, not perfection.)

It is, apparently, going to be a long two weeks. My new guests appear to be wretched, vile, vulgar, products of the sort of America spawned in a backwoods Tennessee trailer park but, having come into money (through luck or vice), now seem bent on proving to the world irrefutably that class cannot be purchased. Sort of like ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ except without the sanitising filter demanded by 1960s audience sensibilities. And that’s just the opinion I’ve formed without having laid an eye on any of them.

While I was out at Casa Mar visiting friends, one of my associates delivered my new guests, a portion of a group that had booked several local facilities. I didn’t know this when I got back and I went up to turn on the lights in anticipation of their pending arrival. There was no sign of guests but a couple of minor objects had been moved. A quick call to Colin brought me up to speed – they simply had not yet deposited any luggage. While I was making my dinner, however, I heard voices arrive, which I deduced to be the father (I’ll call him “Jed”) and his son, but I was frying onions at the time and did not look out. I suppose I could have, but the tone of Jed’s voice prompted apprehension, and I persisted in my task, an ear cocked acutely. Jed showed the young man around and explained, in a peculiarly slow voice, the colours of the keys and the importance of locking the gate. For the father was staying somewhere else.

It was these momentary incidents of slow, careful enunciation that caught my attention. He spoke to the kid as if he were addressing a particularly obtuse child, perhaps one with a personality disorder, an emotional impairment of the sort that saw him in the past get into trouble with police, get expelled from school, and maybe spend some time in a reform school, perhaps from which he was recently released. The kind of kid who, with perhaps some caring and supportive parenting from a strong father figure, might cope just fine in reasonably civil society. Without such parenting, however, he might end up rotting away in a corrugated shack on the outskirts of Detroit (where he would undoubtedly register as a Republican), or be shot to death by police during an alcohol- and drug-fuelled domestic dispute. But first, he would have a nice tropical vacation, and here he was, lodged immediately above my bedroom without any apparent chaperone of note.

After the father had spent two minutes explaining things, both disappeared again, back to a waiting van (perhaps a family drinking binge had been scheduled for the evening). As they left, I heard the kid yelling back to the van something akin to “Woo hoo! I love my house!” with a distinctly Beavis and Butthead inflection. In my head it echoed until it changed into “Woo hoo! Colinsito’s going to pay for this!”.

A very short time later, three more voices were heard in the yard. Two were male, one female, and I heard them calling upstairs trying to get someone’s attention, presumably the previously mentioned delinquent. “Hey, Jethro! You there?” No answer. Next, I heard a clanging noise, and a guy’s voice say “Hey, don’t hurt yourself”. The woman, apparently under the impression that the kid was either ignoring her, passed out or had fallen and couldn’t get up, actually climbed the security bars and scaled the wall. I heard her feet hit the floor above and then stomp to the bedroom door, upon which she pounded while yelling some more. Getting no response to further calls, she climbed back down and the trio departed. (Side note: if this noxious little skank can get upstairs so easily, how safe is the place from the local ladrones accustomed to scaling palm trees?) It perhaps would have been advisable to go out and confront the group, but I refrained. I have encountered such things in previous incarnations of being a desk clerk and a security guard, and, except for the benefit of a physical description, even the most innocuous confrontations are generally unproductive when the perpetrators do not have any natural sense of being in the wrong. I remained in my room, listening closely, gathering intelligence, you might say. Better to know more about the enemy than they know of you, in early stages. Either that or I’m just a coward.

Things were quiet after that, until I was awakened at 3:00am, when a group of unknown number returned noisily, let themselves in with their key, talking loudly, stomping, slamming doors and dropping heavy objects on the floor, oblivious to the presence of a sleeping (and potentially hostile) caretaker. (Though the father had told the kid of my presence, alas, he did not say it slowly).

I haven’t heard the “word” fuckin so frequently, in so short a space of time, since I cycled through Squamish. It may have been just the woman and man, but it could have been as many as four or five. The television went on and the sounds continued at varying levels of audibility until at least five o’clock. Between this and the usual Saturday night street noise of inebriated locals and packs of barking dogs convening before the house, I managed snippets of sleep until I finally got up at 6:00.

Likely because Ticos work six days a week, they like to party on Saturday night, which I do not begrudge them. Actually, I often appreciate it as it means they all sleep in on Sunday morning, making the neighbourhood almost quiet. In anticipation of this serenity I got up and made my tea. Before the water was even boiled, however, Jethro and Elly-Mae decided it would be a good time to have a fight. Most of it was Elly complaining angrily that Jethro had spent much of the night openly ogling the cleavage of a waitress. According to her, Jethro is an alcoholic who gets drunk and wasted and can’t even remember what he did. Jethro, of course, responded with complete denial (“that’s fuckin’ bullshit!”) and generally tried to avoid even talking about it in a passive-aggressive style, which made Elly louder still. At times they were getting into a good bit of yelling, and despite being disappointed that I was losing my peaceful Sunday morning, I was avidly taking notes, partly as I thought it might make good content for the basis of a short story, and partly because good notes are handy should I be asked to testify at a double homicide inquiry.

Eventually, things died down. It is my assumption that they eventually passed out.

Only twelve more nights!

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