Deep sleep. Lydia and I are on a sailboat in the middle of the sea. The sky is opal and the water is turquoise mixed with aquamarine. We are sailing but it is not clear which direction we are headed. There is no land in sight. There are no clouds. The sun is directly overhead. We need to get home, back to land. We havenít a clue. The wind picks up, coming over our left shoulders. Weíre moving rapidly again. The boat is rocking in the water; we lean over the side to counteract the tilt of the boat because of the wind.
A fog moves in. It begins to envelop us. The wind dies down. The boat is drifting. We seem to be slowly going in circles. Lydia asks, which way is the shore? I tell her not to worry, weíll figure it out soon. A foghorn sounds, close-by. A huge ship looms at the edge of the fog. Itís nearly on top of us. We duck down in our boat; the ship passes by, almost swamping us in the wake. I decide that the ship must be coming from shore; so I set a course following away from the ship, in its wake. There is enough wind that we begin to make some headway.
I can hear voices, metallic, scratchy sounding... speaking in short, choppy sentences. They sound very close, not speaking english, but as I listen more carefully, spanish. I can hear the words distinctly, but I donít understand what they are saying. Lydia is shaking me by the shoulder. "Daddy, what is going on?" I am awake. Lydia is standing next to the bed. "Whatís going on, outside?", she asks again. I can hear the voices outside clearly. Itís a police or fire radio transmission that I have been hearing. I still donít understand the spanish, but thereís no question about what weíre hearing. Lydia says that she saw lights flashing outside.
I climb out of bed, and we go out onto the veranda and look down into the parking lot, next to Olgaís resturant. There are two police jeeps in the lot, one still has the blue light flashing and itís the source of the radio transmissions. I look closely, but no one is in the resturant. We move to the back of the veranda and I can see activity in the little cabin across the yard. This has something to do with the new neighbors. We watch for a few minutes, then the police come out of the cabin and wander around the yard, pointing their flashlights at the cabin, into the bushes, and in and around the neighborís car. I check my watch. Itís 12:13 am.
Pretty soon most of the policemen are walking back to their jeeps. Two stay behind, and the neighbors come out from the cabin and get into their car. The policemen all get into their jeeps. The jeep with the flashing lights drives away first, then the other jeep, and the neighborís car follows after. As I watch, the first jeep heads off towards the shore road, the second jeep drives into the center of Esperanza with the car following. No one seems in a particular hurry. "What was that all about?", Lydia asks. "I donít know.", I tell her. "Letís go back to bed." Lillian has slept through the whole thing.
In the morning, over coffee, I tell Lillian about what happened, and we speculate on what was going on. The first thing I wonder about is how the police were summoned. We didnít hear a lot of noise from the house, loud music and all, like last night. There was no sign of Olga downstairs. Our place, and especially the cabin, are very isolated from any street. There is no telephone in the cabin. If the neighbors were making trouble, who complained? If they were sick, or having trouble, how did they reach the police? What happened?
As soon as I hear Olga, downstairs, in the resturant, I go down to see her and ask what she knows about last night. Sheís sitting at her table, having a cigarette, as usual; I ask. She says that early this morning, one of the girls came to her, to pay her for their stay in the cabin, and to tell her about the police coming last night. Olga says that she had her air-conditioner on, and her vents closed, so she didnít hear or see anything. I tell her what Lydia and I saw. She says that it confirms her suspicions. From what the girl told her, Olga has decided that the girls from the cabin had gone down to the esplanade along the seaside late last night and met a couple of men. Olga says, winking a demonstration, "you know how Puertorican men are... if you give them the least hint, theyíre ready to go with you".
"Those girls made a few hints at a couple of men, who then followed them back to the cabin, and tried to force their way in." "How did the girls manage to call the police?", I ask her. "They had a cellular phone.", Olga says. That makes sense. "We havenít had police here in twenty years.", says Olga. "Those girls should have known better! I just wish I had heard what was going on. I would have come out and told the police just what had happened."
We order two eggs, toast, ham, juice and coffee for breakfast. Todayís another day at the beach.
Next: One More Day