The Storm

We began our hurricane prep at a waterfront bar called Fritz’s. Brainstorming for the necessary equipment required a bucket of Pacificos and several margaritas. At one point I misused the opener on the side of the bucket and sprayed beer high into the air and onto some patrons beside us. They looked up expecting the rain to have started. “Lo siento, lo siento” I called, apologizing profusely while James and the waitress laughed at me. She came over to the table, a wonderful bounce in her step, and demonstrated the proper usage.

Dark clouds were skating towards us and it started to sprinkle lightly. The patio crowd thinned and, having mostly finished our problem solving session, we decided it was good timing to vacate to a location with a ceiling.

We set up shop in a small lounge-y spot called KM-0. We ordered up a couple negronis and feeling well primed we cracked out the computer to write yesterday’s post. The wind and the rain had picked up, I won’t repeat the anticipation descriptors, the storm was coming. So were more negronis.

We finished our homework and set our minds to finding some food. Surprisingly, in the square outside our hotel there was a large gathering of people at two outdoor patios. Despite the weather these patios were serving food still and, being the only two spots left open on the strip, they were cleaning up because of it. They were also serving three margaritas for a hundred pesos so we had nine over the course of a decent meal. While finishing numbers eight and nine the storm really started ramping up and the proprietors were scrambling to pack the patio up before the wind starting knocking things down. Heading back to the hotel I waved to last night’s server and Rainbow sitting on a stoop smoking cigarettes in the wind and rain.

Before hitting the stairs up to the room we noticed the cafe adjacent was just shutting things down. We quickly slipped in the door to see if we could purchase some storm beers for the room. In hindsight nabbing some water and foodstuffs would have been completely sensible, but at the time our margarita-induced one track-mindedness narrowed our logic down a tunnel only towards more Pacifico. “¿Cuantos Pacificos?”, the lady behind the counter asked. “¡Todos los Pacificos!” James yelled triumphantly. Holy shit, they gave us fifteen. We felt confidently prepared for the storm now.

Back in the room the windows began to rattle as 100+ mph winds started howling through the street outside. Even with the AC blasting the room was humid and sticky (showering on this trip only offers a brief respite before putting your clothes back on and instantly going back to your permanent state of being a sweaty fucking mess). James and I peeled off our clinging clothes, cranked up the new DFA1979, cracked some beers and slid open the balcony door. Wow. The storm was vicious. The trees were thrashing about wildly, erratically yanked bank and thrown forward with the wind’s force. Transformers were shorting out in all directions, throwing up green-tinted explosions of light. Anything not tied down was being tossed about in the street below, clanking and crashing into shop windows and the sides of buildings and unfortunately parked cars. We feared the worst for El Burro Peligroso, it was too dark to see him from the balcony though.

The rain was fierce and relentless. It began to flood the street below and our balcony. It slapped sharply against our faces but had no hope of washing the shiteating grins from them. At that moment we were truly alive. That feeling supercharged by the energy of the hurricane and by the culminating effects of a full day’s consumption marathon. The intensity of the storm perfectly matched by our oncoming drunkenness. (Our parents should not let us hang out.)

After the DFA album I turned things up a notch with party favorite XXX Hip Hop. Our Mongol Rally anthem, we spent 10k miles with it and basically had the whole double-album memorized. On the way back out to the balcony I grabbed the metal frame of the balcony door and got fucking electrocuted as I stepped back out into the rain. It shot straight up my arm to my shoulder (which still feels a bit wonky). Naturally I got James to touch it while standing in two inches of water on the balcony. “Whooooa! Don’t touch that again!” We were laughing our asses off.

At that moment all the lights in the city went out and we were cast into darkness. The only lights visible were the swirling of red and blue glancing off the buildings as police cars carefully patrolled the cluttered streets. I grabbed the tactical flashlight and set it to strobe mode.

So there we were, two grown men in only their soaked boxers, splash dancing under a strobe light in torrential rains, owning the foot and a half of space between trees whipping us in the face and getting completely electrocuted from behind, screaming obscene gangster rap into the crashing night and yelling at the storm to “Bring it on!” between songs. It was primal. We were invincible. And heavily intoxicated.

Just to prove our invincibility we decided it would be brilliant to go down into the streets and face the hurricane head on. Our new mission was to find a Rainbow in the Dark (RIP Dio).

Misguided juggernauts of debauchery, we stumbled into the washed-out streets. Arms out, the wind lifted and propelled us. Trees were shredded of their branches, some completely overturned into the street. Awnings were in tatters, errant strips of cloth barely hanging on in the maelstrom. Junk everywhere. Debris flew past us through the air under the force of escalated 150 mph winds. Completely devoid of any semblance of sensibility now, we just laughed and pounded our road rockets. The world was our joke. “This is awesome!” It literally was.

We spotted lights on a boat at the end of a long, narrow dock. “Yes! Maybe there’s a party!” (Completely absurd thought.) We headed towards it. The wind pushed us this way and that along the slippery wooden planks, threatening to swipe us into the surging waves on either side. We turned it into a dance and cackled along. An armed guard came out from the boat to see what we were up to. We couldn’t hear each other over the wind and clamor so we pantomimed how crazy awesome the hurricane was. Arms up and head tilted to the driving rain he laughed in agreement. We waved goodbye and zig-zagged our way back to the boardwalk. We were drenched straight through our clothes to our bones. This was probably the cleanest we’d been on the trip. Aside from the leaves stuck to our skin and twigs stuck in my hair I suppose. Sobriety began a slow siege on our good time. Having soaked in our fill of the storm, and no sign of Rainbow, we set a course through the flooded streets back to our hotel room.

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