Friday, 4 December 2009

Going Out With A Bang

Back in Cusco, Goof hit the roof when we got our bags from the luggage store room at the hostel and found someone had half-inched $40 from a side pocket. This despite myself and Speckled repeatedly telling him not to leave anything valuable in his rucksack. Youngsters have to make their own mistakes, though. So he's having a go at the night porter, and arguing the toss with the owner, while we unpacked and got settled in our old room. A disgruntled Garfield informed us that there was no way he was staying in a den of thieves, and was going to find another hostel. Speckled and myself wanted to stay put, rather than traipse around Cusco looking for somewhere else. He decided to stay put for the time being.

This obviously soured relations with the family running the place, but with no proof as to who took the cash, Garf was on a hiding to nothing. So out we went for my leaving do. Several pints were downed with Rich, the Welsh fella we'd met in Mancora. Chris, the manager of the Hawley Arms in Camden, joined us for a few. He pulled out the bottle of rum which was to lead to allsorts of trouble.

Rich is a psychiatric nurse, and decided to psychoanalyse Garfield, who'd become much the worse for wear. The two of them got into a heated debate, Garf's mild arguing and protestations of not being a violent man degenerating into threats to "take apart" and "bust up" Richard. Speckled, being the mild-mannered type, was content to observe and giggle. After I'd chipped into their argument, and had a few of my own with Garfield (these ranged from the Vietnam War to historical incidents in our own relationship), Richard decided he would analyse the lot of us. He started by saying I am a narcissist. I didn't deny it, and just laughed affirmatively, but saying I wasn't an extreme case. Garfield disagreed, as he did when Richard described him as just needing to be loved, and needing me to do the driving in the group. This opened up a whole can of worms I'm not going to spill on here, but suffice to see me and my best mate took our Old Married Couple routine to a whole new level (Think Den & Angie on a comedown from a particularly heavy crystal meth session. Goof'd have to be Angie, obviously...they have the same haircut. And I'd be Den because he was a right cunt, and so am I.) So unpleasant things were said, dirty washing was washed publicly, and off we went to the next bar.

Somehow we lost Garfield, and myself and Speckled started playing pool with some Peruvians who constantly changed the "local rules" whenever we started gaining the upper hand, as we did most games. On spotting a leathered-looking Garfield outside in the square, we debated going out and getting him; only to decide it was better to let him sleep it off, and avoid him and myself coming to blows.

A few beers later, I remember coming to on a sofa in a club. A Peruvian girl was kissing me, and a grinning Speckled was sprawled all over the opposite sofa with her friend sprawled all over him. I was puzzled as to how we'd got there, but didn't argue when the girls wanted to leave for a hotel. My enthusiasm evaporated when we got outside to find bright daylight awaiting us. A check of my watch revealed an hour before I had to check-in at the airport. I shook hands with Jim, and watched as he sped off in a taxi with the girls, then shook my head and headed back to the room. This was where the fun really began.

I'd wisely packed before I left for the evening, and took the opportunity of a quick nap. Woke up still pissed at 5.45am, cold showered and brushed my teeth. Still absolutely, staggeringly pissed. Shouldered the bag, and headed for the front door of the hostel. Locked. A woman turned up, and I indicated I had to leave. "You pay." I tried to explain that I had no cash, and my friends would cover it, as they were still staying here. "No, you pay." I cursed, and went to awaken Garfield. He had no change of a big note. I explained, in Spanish, that Speckled had said he'd cover it for me...and that I was going to miss my plane. This resulted in folded arms from her, as I looked exasperatedly at Garfield, stood blinking and just as pissed in a pair of baggy white Y-fronts. This wasn't looking good. Time for Drastic Measures. I walked out into the reception area, right up to the front door...and booted it. Several times. Then, again in Spanish, shouted for help and the police (who probably would have arrested me). A frustrated scream added to the Madman Effect, and the woman hurriedly unlocked the front door, eager to get me out. I smiled and bowed graciously as I eased past her with a sarcastic "Gracias...? Now then, that wasn't so hard, was it?" Understandably, she glared at me as if she wanted to kill me. I know I'd have wanted to kill me.

A taxi ride through the quiet streets later, I was trying my best to act sober enough to board...then shutting my eyes in a state of relief as the plane taxied down the runway, bound once again for Lima.


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old8oy said...

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