Laguna Blanca

This is a story based on the reality of where I live and the activities that go on in my neighborhood, but the people in it are, of course, fictitious and none of the events here, other than my dog jumping to catch things and behaving the way described, have ever been witnessed by me.


1. Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay

It's always like that.  Isn't it?  The wildest stories always seem to start with someone minding their own business, not bothering anyone.  That's how this one started, too.

I don't really live on a street.  I live on a shoreline.  There's a long driveway between a park and some vacant lots that leads from the unpaved street to a boat landing beside my house.  We don't usually go as far as the boat landing since the lot behind our house is vacant, has no buildings and is owned by the wonderful guy who got permission from the town mayor to put a boat landing so close in front of our entrance that we can't even turn the car or truck hard enough to get in that way anymore.  So what we do instead is drive through his vacant lot and pull right up to our back door to unload groceries or whatever we need to do.  

I know it probably looks like I don't like him, but I do.  He's just not the nicest guy in the world and he takes advantage of our neighborliness too much.   If he wasn't already one of the richest guys in town I guess it wouldn't bother me so much the way he treats people.  Then again, my wife always says that no matter how down and out you are you're never too poor to pay respect or kindness to people.

Anyway, let's not get ahead of the story.  Where was I?  Oh yeah.  I live on a shoreline, about a quarter mile from the main town pier.  Sounds like prime real estate right?  Well it's not.  You see the town I live in is the county seat of the poorest district in one of the poorest countries in the world.  If people here were better educated or more savvy, they might realize what natural beauty is worth for tourism and such, but they're not.  They're mostly poor indigenous natives in a place where the main forms of sustenance have long ago been decimated.  They litter the streets and the park beside my house with garbage they never intend to clean up.  Those who have lots on the creek that handles local rain runoff use that creek as a place to throw their garbage when they do decide to clean their yards or houses.  All that garbage gets washed out into the lagoon and the morning tides and afternoon wind bring it all back up to the shores, and some of it comes to my house daily.

So one day, after I had worked for an hour or two cleaning the trash from my beach, I was sitting on the dock that extends from my house out over the water.  It was a hot day and I had worked up a sweat.  I was enjoying an ice cold Coke and allowing the breeze from the lagoon to dry the sweat from my brow and my t-shirt.  My best friend and companion, Lil' Miss, a smallish, 2 year old German Shepherd Dog, lay at my feet occasionally growling at gulls that would glide close enough to pose some imagined threat.  I didn't plan on doing much else today, but in my honest opinion, there wasn't anything that better deserved doing than what I was currently undertaking, anyway.  My wife was off at the group home where she volunteers and the kids were all off at school or work.  It was just me and Lil' Miss doing what we do best. Holding the dock in place with our weight.

I felt my cell phone vibrate against my leg in my pocket, which told me that it was going to play the song "American Woman" by The Guess Who in a second or two.  I used to love that song, but now that it had been my ringtone for over six months I was beginning to hate it with a passion.  (Personally I don't recommend setting one of your favorite songs as your ringtone unless you like getting phone calls.  Otherwise you'll turn a favorite into a not-so-favorite before long.)  

I decided to ignore the call without even looking to see who was calling.  Lil' Miss sniffed at my thigh where the cell phone vibrated again and she snorted a little bark at it under her breath as Burton Cummings' voice escaped from my pocket accompanied by one of the most famous blues riffs ever.  She glanced up at me like there was something severely wrong with me and laid down with a huff to resume her self appointed mission of guarding against encroaching seagulls.  I looked at her and laughed, then patted her head, eyeing the guilty pocket as I leaned back in my chair with a sigh.

"It's not so bad, girl.  At least I don't have to answer it, right?"  I said to her as I scanned the horizon and noted a launch heading in about a mile from shore.  She didn't answer.  She never does.



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