All is Lost

Let’s get out of here.

It’s obviously friends and family night at the one nightclub in town, everyone else already has their people, we’re not going to meet anyone here, let’s go.

We leave.

Next stop is the beach at night. Lightning is visible but we can’t hear thunder as we stumble drunk and bored through this mosquito-bitten, quiet little town in Mexico.

Anyway, we steal a couple plastic chairs from the abandoned, unguarded beach cafes and park them shoreside to watch the water and light show at night.

Kinda want to swim.

Me too, but I didn’t bring anything.

Eh. Could skinny dip. Nobody is around.


Well, anything sounds like a good idea after enough tequila. Soon, we’re letting the high waves absolutely demolish us. Hard enough to stand on land this drunk, forget surging waves, foam, and even barrels.

Look at these waves. Look at this moonlight. I wish I had a surfboard. I’d surf right now.

You’d get murked by a shark.

The Lord’s will be done.


I mean, I hope not. But the thing about life is, you might be on a hero’s journey, and you might be a cautionary tale. It takes a long time before you find out which.


Waves roll with ancient elemental power. I try a few messy backflips in the white water. They go OK.

Ok, I’m good if you are. Let’s get out of here.

Back on the sand, gut-wrenching horror.

The chairs where we left our clothes and things are empty. Armrests and seats glint white in the moonlight and lightning flashes. No more shirts, pants, underwear, wallets, keys, phone, cash, passports, all gone.

They stole our stuff. They stole everything.


We can’t get back inside! We’re trapped out here. We’ll get malaria with all the mosquitoes out here. Even worse, people will thing we’re gay.

Priority one. Squash that rumor.

Dude, look at the waterline. All of the other chairs are knocked over. The ocean took our stuff. Not thieves.

I can’t believe God would do this to us.

I can. He let the Holocaust happen.

Juan goes into full panic. He dives in the ocean. He sprints in a look around the beach. Not a well gridded search pattern, but it’s something. Bad stuff like this doesn’t happen to me, he tells the night.

He pile drives his head in the dirt. He’s cursed with being accident prone but charmed with being indestructible. If you must be one, it’s good to be the other. He sprints in the water and back. Bad stuff like this doesn’t happen to me, he screams at the sky.

Ah, but it does happen to me, which is the source of my acceptance.

I’m eying the same surf shop where I’ve rented boards by day.

Ok. Game plan. We raid the lost and found bin, steal shorts, hoodies, whatever people left. Towels, if that’s all there is.

Get covered up and trek home. Tell the land lady to call a locksmith if she truly doesn’t have a spare key, like she said she doesn’t when we moved in. Roof for the night, worry about the rest tomorrow.

I start plodding towards the surf shop. Wind howls. Waves roar. Sand fleas bite and mosquitoes buzz. It’s a harsh world when you’re nude.

What’s this? In the gloomy moonlight, through the gauzy clouds. Five other white plastic chairs. And …


Dude! It’s all here! Those weren’t our chairs! We drifted more than we thought.

Juan collapses in the sand in gratitude.

Dude, if we had stolen clothes from there we would have left our stuff here all night. Then it would have been gone by morning.

Can you imagine? How close we came to our lives being ruined? It’s a tiny town. People already gossip about us.

For what?

Just being Gringos.


I told you, stuff like this doesn’t happen to me.

Well. Not this time.

Thanks for reading! Get my book Odd Jobs & After Hours in audio, hardcover, or paperback by clicking here. It’s about drifting down the east coast of the USA chasing one sketchy, so-called opportunity after another.