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Ass over Teakettle

In truth, I knew better. I knew that the tide would be coming in when I went out for my afternoon wade on the table-top reef. A table-top covered with tiny razor-sharp growths that resemble inverted clamshells, and a table-top pitted with cistern-like holes with sandy bottoms. While I was lazily watching the surf inundate the miniature cliffs of seaweed at the head of the reef, and then pull away with an even greater force, a large wave took me by surprise. I lost my footing and tumbled into one of the holes. I kept my head above water and my wits about me: I knew better than to seek purchase in the reef before I could be sure that I wouldn't be reaching into any of the plenteous urchin burrows. My flip-flops were instant history. Pretty soon, I was crawling over mossy rocks to the shore. When I stood up, I saw that I was pretty cut up in several places, but the wounds were nothing that a long shower couldn't close. No biggie - but I'd been very foolish. The couple in the cottage next to ours were sitting at a far end of the beach, absorbed in sun and conversation. They never noticed my fall. Nor did anyone else.

It was a turning-point in the vacation; ever since, I've been ready to get on a plane for New York. As it is, our flight leaves San Juan at nine-thirty tonight, but Kathleen's looking for an earlier booking. If she can't make a change, we won't get to bed until two in the morning. But at least we'll be home.


We did go back, for our last supper, to Su Casa, the hotel's restaurant in this charming old building, erected in the late Twenties by an American woman. I was very tempted by a shrimp dish with Thai rice, but in the end I had precisely what I had last Saturday night: filet of beef and Isla flotante. The beef came with a scrumptious compote of sweet smothered red onions - so sweet, in fact, that I'd be tempted to serve it as a dessert (without telling anybody what it was). I actually asked for the recipe (something I never do), and was surprised to get it from the waiter. He claimed that soy sauce was a key ingredient, but that seemed utterly wrong, as there was nothing salty about the dish.

All day long, it seemed, we talked about favorite movies, and we've have been glad to watch one if we'd only had it with us, among the nearly ninety titles that we did bring. Ninety movies is a ridiculous number to take on a week's vacation, I know, but in fact all I did was shove into my satchel an album of DVDs that I've removed from their cases in the interest of taking up less space. These are for the most part movies that you have to be in the mood to see. Seconds, Primer, Zardoz, Kiss Me Deadly. Very little in the way of lighthearted fare, and of course no Jane Austen adaptations.

Now to pack, and while away the day until it's wonderfully tomorrow.


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When was the last time you saw Zardoz, what's it been thirty years since the first release?

We look forward to your return to Yorkville. You will share the recipe with us?

I am a kottke.org micropatron

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