Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ethan and Leandro - The Story

Sunday March 3rd 2002

Dear Ethan,

I'm lying in bed at ten as you requested, writing in my journal. It isn't anything like having you here but I'll humor you for now since I'm not ready to sleep. So, what did I do today? Hmmm. You left at noon and I cleaned up the lunch dishes. I took my board out and caught a half dozen good waves outside of Cades Cove with Cruz. He had to head off to work so I came in as well. Stopped at the store on the way home and picked up the necessary snack foods and a couple of movies which I devoured all before ten. It's the perfect temperature for me and I'm leaving all the windows open and sleeping under a blanket, the way God intended us to sleep. Goodnight.

Monday March 4th 2002

Dear Ethan,

It's ten again, and here I am, pen in hand. I opened the store today and made a couple of big sales. The tourists seem to be out in force, you wouldn't believe the number of Hawaiian shirts out there on the pasty white men escaping Canada. About half were carrying the required camera around their necks and the other half were burnt almost beyond recognition and unable to stand anything against their bodies. I actually sold that egg board, the one that's been hanging around the shop for months! This guy was buff and talked a big game but I knew he wasn't quite sure which way was up. When I pulled that out and said it was the last one left, he said he understood why and basically knocked me over to get to the register. Robert will be thrilled it's gone.

Wow, look at me, I'm starting a second paragraph. Not sure why I started a second paragraph because the day got kind of boring after work. Couldn't find anyone to surf with so gave up on that idea and decided to try doing some of the cleaning list. Yeah, I can see that look of disbelief from here. I managed to pick up and straighten a few things but ran out of gas when it came time to really try cleaning. I spent nearly thirty minutes trying to come up with something that I wanted for dinner that wouldn't send you into orbit and finally decided on one of the flavorless frozen dinners that we have for emergency purposes. I couldn't find anything else to do after dinner. Ended up reading a magazine out on the deck as the sun set. And I was still hungry, so I made the mad dash down to the Dairy Hut by the pier and picked up the artery clogging banana split and brought it home. I changed into your sleep shirt, which still smells of your cologne, and sat on the deck and buried my sorrows under heaps of chocolate, strawberry and caramel. When I finished that, I stood at the railing and looked out at the water, imagining that I could see the trail your boat left in the moonlight. Are you looking at the stars tonight? Goodnight.

Tuesday March 5th, 2002

Dear Ethan,

Have you found what you're looking for? Is the weather cooperating so you can see beneath the water? Are you checking your oxygen tanks every time you dive? I find myself stopping at various points throughout the day and wondering what you're doing, and if you're seeing anything but water when you're not under the surface.

I got a call from Robert today. He said he was going to give me one of those banana splits every day for a week for clearing that board out. That's a decent bonus as far as I'm concerned. I got bored early and headed over to the shop to see if they needed any help. Robert was out on a cruise with two families so Rog was watching the store. He's got an awful looking wound from that jellyfish encounter he had. Said it stung like hell until he'd made it back to the beach and got some meat tenderizer on it. Now it's just sore, which he's happier with as he knows how badly it will itch in a few days as it really starts to heal. Remind me to really check the water for those bastards. I know, you think they're beautiful and they are when they're in the tanks at the parks or down at the bottom of the ocean. They just get really ugly when you're surfing.

Mom called and invited me to dinner tomorrow. That's the second invitation and I'm seriously considering it. The house is quiet without you here. I'm still sleeping with the windows wide open. Last night I did have to get up and rummage for a second blanket but I still say that's better than having the windows closed.

Wednesday March 6th, 2002

Running a bit late tonight as I did go visit mom. Dad fixed his famous ribs and mom did her cole slaw and I ate my share and yours. Of course we couldn't have a proper dinner without topping it off with banana pudding. I got the leftovers which I may eat for breakfast tomorrow. You know, it does have banana in it. I'm STILL stuffed.

Maria showed me a picture from her dance at school. She went with Howard, a transplant from Washington DC. I couldn't tell her that he looked like a geek, though she did promise he'd been good to her so far. That was their first date aside from a couple of basketball games that she ditched her friends to sit with him for. Alejo was in the doghouse for his grades again. That kid thinks of nothing but swimming and girls and in that order. Mom did say after he was sent to bed that he'd qualified for the state finals in his age group. Maybe there will be an Olympian named Ramos.

It's after midnight, so I'll say goodnight. Goodnight.

Thursday March 7th, 2002

I worked most of today. Robert had a full day of cruising scheduled so I took the afternoon and evening shifts. Nothing exciting sold, just the usual suntan lotion, t-shirts and snacks.

Look, this nightly journal is stupid. You're not here, this isn't helping.

Friday March 8th, 2002

God I miss you. Your blond hair and those most gorgeous sky blue eyes. I even miss your hands, the right one of which will no doubt do me harm when you get home. Yesterday's journal entry was short because I was feeling guilty. I still am if it makes any difference. I've been incredibly bored and lonely with you gone. Even though when you're here we don't talk 24/7, it's nice to know that I CAN call you at a moment's notice and for whatever reason. Something will happen during the day and I reach for my phone so I can tell you about it before I remember that you're not at the other end. Maybe instead of Alejo going on to be a great swimmer, he can buckle down in school and graduate to invent a way for cell phone towers to float on the ocean surface, or be planted a mile down for times when you're diving all day.

"What happened?" you're probably asking. Something that I promised you wouldn't happen. I checked the forecast and there was a storm moving in for today. I knew that would mean bigger waves at Cades Cove. I got Cruz up early and we headed out to see what it was like as dawn broke. He only had an hour before he had to go to work. We did catch a few waves during that time, then came in when he had to leave. I went back to the car and saw him off and when he was gone? I went back out. Alone. Cruz expected me to leave too, but when he left I was angry. Angry that he had to work. Angry that you haven't been here. That isn't an excuse, but it allowed me to ignore the knots in my stomach as I paddled back out into the water. I stayed less than an hour, finding no joy in being dangerous. I've felt incredibly guilty for two days now and I need you to come home. I love you. I miss you.

Saturday March 9th, 2002

This morning was your last dive. Did you find the octopus you wanted for the aquarium? Did the rest of the counting go as you'd hoped?

I spent this evening on the deck, looking out to sea. The wind was blowing and the clouds were heavy so I couldn't see the sky. I still look up, hoping to see the moon and knowing that you'll be doing the same thing where you are. I left you my kiss, and my wish for a safe journey home.

I worked most of today, coming home at five when Robert got back. I sold another couple of the expensive boards but they're the ones that move. Actually had a $5,000 day with that included. It didn't hurt that Robert's first cruise of the morning was a family of six that wanted him out the entire day. When I got home I cleaned. I don't think you'll find a speck of sand anywhere tonight. I even swept the deck which should further be cleaned by the rains we'll no doubt receive tonight. Debating leaving the windows open but afraid I'll sleep through the first of the rains and the place will be wrecked by the time you get here. I already can't stand the fact that you'll be disappointed in my choices of a few days ago. Adding something else would be a lot harder to handle.

I can already hear you. "Oh, Leandro. We've talked about this. It's dangerous to surf alone and I'm disappointed in your choice to do so." I can see your hand held out for me, and the sadness in your eyes that a spanking is needed to remind me of our rules. I always try to be brave, and to accept the punishment as what I deserve. But it gets hard for me as soon as my hand rests in yours. Harder still as I remove my clothes, laying myself bare across your lap. At this point the knots in my stomach are tightening or loose, making me feel like I've swallowed a jar full of butterflies. The first swat changes my focus from the knots to the first sparks of the fire soon to be blazing across my backside. I always promise myself not to cry, that I can take it like a man. That I deserve it and that I shouldn't give into the pity that I want to feel, finding myself in this position yet again. But no matter how long it's been since the last trip over your knees, I somehow always forget exactly how quickly you can bring me to tears. It's not always the pain that does it, though by the end that is definitely a good deal of the reason. It's more that I feel badly for making you do it, because even though you can be stern and no nonsense about it, I know it can't be easy for you.

When it's finally over and I catch my breath, the hug that I get tells me you're sorry it had to be done no matter whether there's more discussion or punishment yet to come. And even if I'm not out of your bad graces, I know you love me, and that we can talk about what happened at any time. You've shown me what it means to love, and how to communicate anything to you, and know that no matter what I say, it won't change the love we share.

So I'll be down on the dock tomorrow, rain or shine, waiting for your ship to come in. The salty taste of your kiss can't come soon enough. And even if shortly thereafter I do find myself across your knees, wishing I was anywhere but there at the time, I know that the world will be right once again.

~The End~

Copyright Rolf 2010

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