By Gonz Blinko
“Somebody called me on the phone,
They said, hey, hey is BC home,
Ya wanna take a walk?
Ya wanna go cop?
Ya Wanna get some Chinese rock.”
n The Ramones
The house boat phone rang and Samhara answered. “Are you here?” She shouted in a way that the caller would certainly here.
“Sure, why not, who is it?” I answered and asked.
“Really?” I asked as I reached for the handset. “What does he want?”
“How should I know, I just answered the phone and called you?”
Speaking into the phone, I said, “Doctor Blinko.”
“Boris Throbaum,” he said, “What’s up with this Doctor thing?” Did you get yourself a PhD?”
“Sure did,” I replied, “I got an email that said that if I sent $30 to a University in Kansas, I would be granted a PhD from any of the top universities in the world.”
“So,” Boris started trying to hold back laughter, “Which university do you have a PhD from?”
“Why did you pick Edinborough?”
“Well, for starters, I have never been to Scotland so no one can claim they saw me there. Next, I don’t know a single person associated with the university so they can’t claim that my work sucked and, finally, I liked the idea of a university with such an ancient tradition.”
“Why didn’t you pick Krakow?”
“I don’t speak Polish and I have visited the place.”
“Makes sense.” Added Boris.
“Ok, with that aside, what can we do for you?”
“I’m in Florida up at BC’s place and wanted to visit you.”
“Sure, it would be fun seeing you.”
“What’s your address,” asked Boris.
“Hang on,” I said and yelled to Samhara, “Where are we?”
Sam responded with three numbers separated by periods and I repeated the sequence to Boris.
“Excuse me?” He asked, “What the fuck do those numbers mean?”
“They are GPS coordinates, we don’t exactly have an address other than those coordinates and the description that we’re in the 10,000 islands region of the western Glades not terribly far from Dismal Key.”
“I have a rental, how do I drive to this place?”
“Well, you drive to EvergladesCity and a friend of ours will run you out on his skiff.”
“I need a boat to get to you.”
“No, a friend of ours, calls himself Chuck, needs a boat to bring you out to us. You don’t need a boat, you need a ride on one.”
– * – * – * –
“Samhara?” I asked.
“Yeah Gonz,” she replied as we sat in the screened in roof deck atop our house boat.
“How long have we been running together?” I probably could remember if I tried but I wanted to hear my lesbian attorney tell the story in her beautiful African? West Indian? Jamaican? Accent. I never learned exactly where she came from and as she never told me, I didn’t want to pry.
“Oh, you remember,” she started, “You got your ass tossed in the lock up in Kingston and I had just started out as an international attorney and somehow I got your case and got your bony white ass out of Jamaica and later they dropped the charges.”
“It would be 1988, it’s our twentieth anniversary.”
“You know,” I started, “In all of that time, neither of us got into a really long term relationship. Neither of us got married either formally or otherwise.”
“And?” She asked.
“Why not, why do we always end up living and running together?”
“Are we in love?”
“Define love,” demanded Samhara.
– * – * – * – * –
A few days later, while I was pitching lures into the mangroves in hopes of scaring up a snook for dinner, I heard Chuck yell to me from his skiff running on his electric trolling motor in water this shallow. “I’ve got one serious asshole for delivery, if you do not sign for him, I’m leaving him on some obscure island to die from starvation and exposure.”
“Hey Chuck,” I yelled and heard Samhara starting to laugh. It had been five days since Boris called and invited himself into our floating abode and I was starting to think he might have thought better of the visit.
Chuck pulled the skiff along side and Samhara started laughing out loud. “What’s so funny?” I asked.
“If you could only see,” choked Samhara through her laughter.
“See what?” I asked starting to get annoyed.
“Boris…” She stammered and fell into useless hysterics.
Chuck piped up, “Your weird and annoying friend is wearing a Hawaiian print short sleeve shirt, silk Tommy Bahama shorts, Sperry Topsiders and a fucking pith helmet. He’s carrying shopping bags from a bunch of designer stores and he screamed at me every time water sprayed onto the skiff.”
I started laughing and Boris, now realizing that he was the center of some kind of freakish joke shouted, “What’s so goddamned funny?”
“You,” said Sam and Chuck almost simultaneously as she helped him with his shopping bags as he stepped onto the house boat.
“I’m tripling my fee if I’ve gotta run him home,” added Chuck, “Of all of your weird, fucked up, twisted bastard friends, this one takes the fucking cake. If you get annoyed with him, I can use him for crab bait.” Chucked motored off slowly and yelled, “Samhara, I love you!”
Sam replied, “Cut off your penis and we’ll talk.”
– * – * – * –
“Where’s my room?” Asked Boris.
“We don’t exactly have rooms. We set up a cot for you on our roof deck.”
“The roof?” Asked Boris.
“Yup,” said Samhara who then asked, “Where did you get all of this designer shit?”
“I stopped in SouthBeach to hang with El Negro and did some shopping to get some Florida style clothes.”
I was wearing an old t-shirt with a huge fish blood stain on it, a pair of old cut offs, flip flops, sunglasses and a hat advertising some fishing tackle company. “From what Sam says you brought with you, you spent a whole lot of money on clothing for a different Florida. Out here, you wear crap that can be stained, ripped, covered with fish guts and, more than anything else, attire that you won’t care if its stained by the Coppertone Sport and Deet we practically bathe in.”
“But what if we go to a restaurant?” Asked our befuddled old friend.
“You can see, take a look around, do you see anything resembling a place that may have a restaurant?”
“What do we eat?”
“I tend to catch a lot of fish and Chuck brings us a grocery run once or twice a week.”
“So, you mean we don’t leave this floating chunk of a trailer park?”
“Listen fuck-tard, this is our winter home and we really love the place,” snapped Samhara.
– * – * – * – * –
I climbed the ladder to the roof deck where the X-Dog was laying in a shady spot. I could hear Boris following me and Samhara asking, “What do you want me to do with all of this shit?” referring, of course to Boris’ new clothing.
“I’ll take care of it in a little while,” answered Boris with the first productive statement he made all day.
I sat near my dog and lit a cigarette. Boris asked, “You guys have any beer?”
“Gin and tonic and lime?”
“What the fuck do you have?”
“Fresh grapefruit juice, some orange and a couple cases of Freska.”
“Vodka to put into the grapefruit juice.”
“No booze at all?” He practically whimpered.
“What, did you guys become Mormons or something?”
“No, we got clean and sober.”
“Why?” Asked a very puzzled Boris.
“Our lives had become unmanageable, we were always in trouble, we were completely unreliable and we would probably be dead if we kept going.”
“No intoxicants at all?”
“We smoke a little chronic a few times per year and Sam has a cocktail here and there but otherwise we enjoy thinking clearly.”
“Shit, I’d have brought booze if I knew it would be like this.”
“Look around, hundreds of species of birds, an amazing estuary for fishing and fish watching, American crocodiles, alligators, – in the cooler months living out here alone with Sam is a life second to none.”
“Damn Gonz, you have gone mental.”
“that’s Doctor Blinko to you.”
-*-* – * – * –
I left Boris on the deck with his thoughts and climbed down to help Samhara prepare a blackened redfish dinner. As I started chopping up tomatoes and onions with a Damascus steel knife, Sam asked quietly, “A life with me is one second to none?”
“I hadn’t thought about it much but when I’m with you, when we’re here in the Glades, when we read and write and talk, well, it is second to nothing else I, we have ever really done.”
“Even without sex,” asked Sam.
“Sure,” I replied.
“Are we in love,” she asked.
“Define love,” I insisted.
“Fuck it,” replied Sam.
– * – * – * – * –
We awoke to Boris yelling something. I climbed out of my bunk and shouted, “What the hell are you doing?”
Starting to actually wake up, I felt a few drops and said, “No shit.”
“What am I supposed to do?” Asked our guest.
“Well, you might start by getting out of the rain,” I answered as sarcastically as possible.
“Come down and we’ll make some coffee in the kitchen.”
Boris skittered down the ladder and said, “At least you guys haven’t given up coffee. It does have caffeine right Gonz?”
“Of course it has caffeine and that’s Doctor Blinko to you.”
Samhara got up, naked as usual and dove off the lower deck for her morning swim.
“What a fucking waste,” stated Boris in a matter of fact manner.
“What do you mean?”
That such a perfect specimen of the female form is a dyke.”
“Fuck you Boris,” I said as I started preparing the coffee.
“What, what did I do?”
“Just fuck you, that’s all, F U C K you.”
****To be continued****