“He travels the fastest who travels alone.” – Rudyard Kipling.
Picture it. Costa Rica, 2005.
To reward myself for finally finishing college, I hauled my happy ass to a little village where the jungle meets the coastline. I went alone. I was single and not even thinking about men. Well, maybe thinking about, but not bothering with. I took up residence in a hut, swung in a hammock and read Robinson Crusoe at the ocean’s edge. The beach was all mine. The locals didn’t hang there and there was a popular surfing spot a couple miles up, where the tourists flocked. For two months, I lounged in a private paradise.
Just before sunset, the day before I left, I emerged from the jungle and walked, a quarter mile toward the peen-insula (the penis of land forms), to say goodbye.
I slid into a tide-pool the size of a large hot-tub to soak it all in. Just the ocean, the palm trees and me. Ahhhhhhh. Crap. Someone was coming my way from around the corner. A dude in bright orange swim-trunks.
Move it along, Buddy, I thought, unable to enjoy myself until he’d wandered out of sight.
But he didn’t. Instead, he sat down under MY perfect cluster of palm trees, twenty feet directly behind me.
Dammit, man! You’ve got a whole, empty beach here. There’s nothing special about the view here. Why you got to sit there and mess with my moment? my mind fumed.
Oh . . . wait. Maybe there IS something special about the view, I considered. I’m in it.
I went into alert mode, uneasiness invaded my gut.
I’ve got police-like instincts. I tend to be hyper aware of my surroundings and suspicious, especially when traveling alone. I had become used to constantly spinning in circles, because there was no one to watch my back.
I played it cool. The only offense he had committed was ruining my Zen. I continued to float in my pool, bidding farewell to the fishes and glancing at him, periodically, in my peripheral.
He seemed to be looking past me, out to sea, but I couldn’t shake the feeling.
Unable to relax, my feminism boiled. I wasn’t about to run away because “I’m just a girl.”
Ten minutes passed before I registered movement in the area covered by his caution-flag colored swimwear.
El-Sleazo the Paradise Invader confirmed his identity. He was tugging at his jungle snake under his shorts.
And then it wasn’t under his shorts.
I reached down and picked up a baseball-sized rock. It took all my restraint not to charge and brain him with it. Instead, I gave no indication of what I saw, packed up and walked away with purpose. Angry, violated, I-can’t-believe-that-creep-just-wanked-all-over-my-memory purpose. He did not follow. I could have killed him for trying to put his penis all over my paradise.
I’m not entirely up on Costa Rican culture, but I’m almost certain that spanking it at a stranger on the beach, is NOT a custom.
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