Old Friends

Aug 1, 2011 by Johnny Calamari

Reading “Lonesome Lui” this past month, brought back fond memories.  He has an ability to take everyday occurrences and turn them into real ‘adventures’.

The first time I met Lui was on one of his late morning constitutions in search of new friends, a fine glass of wine, and the time and place to enjoy both.  His constant companion, Lucifer or Flea Bag (depending on his current behavior) was close at hand.  This particular morning, Lucifer had encountered a fine batch of fish heads baking in the sun and could not pass up the opportunity to bask and roll in the aromatic treasure.  Of course, this was after a nice swim in the sea so that the texture and aroma hung on his fur along with the wet sand.

Somehow, Lucifer knew that Janet and I are totally enamored with dogs…especially big hunting dogs like him.  Upon seeing Lucifer, we both smiled and slapped our thighs, inviting him to join us.  He welcomed the opportunity to share the new aroma he had acquired.  He ran up and put his big paws up about shoulder high on both of us and then playfully rubbed against our legs.  Finally, he shook while standing between us spraying a nice coat of slimy, fishy-smelling wet sand all over us.  It all happened so quickly, we did not become aware of the rank odor until after he had coated us with his full body shake.  Just as quickly as the first strike, Lucifer ran into the sea for another swim and came back clean as a whistle.

Janet and I looked at each other with astonishment.  We had both showered 15 minutes before our beach walk.  When Janet told me that I smelled bad…we both stood there and laughed out loud.  As we stood there laughing like two escapees from a local sanitarium, an elderly (but quite handsome) gentleman approached us.  After introductions were exchanged, Lui inquired what we were laughing about.  We told him it was a long story and Lui said those were his favorite.  He invited us to join him for a meal at the nearby Playa Bonita.

It became obvious to us that Lui was well known on this part of the beach.  We were welcomed like royalty, until the masero got wind of Janet and I.  It was quickly suggested that the best tables in the house were on the patio outside – at the far end of the patio.  Once we were properly seated, a bottle of wine appeared and the conversation flowed freely.  We had a great lunch and exchanged several stories.  Before I knew it, two hours had passed.  Lui never asked about our strange odor.

Just as we were about to part, Fleabag came running up to our table.  Lui smiled and asked him where he had been while giving him a warm greeting.  Afterwards, he introduced us to Fleabag and we told him how much we enjoyed dogs…especially Golden Retrievers.  In an effort to cause no friction with a new found friend, we acted as if this was our first encounter with Fleabag.   Of course, Fleabag kept our secret, even though he did show a strong preference to our aroma.

In the course of our conversation, we discovered that we had some common ground: we both had condos in the same complex; he spoke Español and we were learning; we all loved to fish; he is an accomplished writer and I have aspirations; we all love Mexico and the people who live here; and Janet and Lui share the same birthday (different years, however).  Needless to say, we became instant friends.

The four of us walked home and promised to spend some more time together.  Just when Lui was nearly out of earshot, he yelled to us, ‘please don’t ever invite my dog to jump on your chest again, it’s bad behavior.  And, please go take a long shower!’  We still smile over that.

By the way, Fleabag was he only dog I knew who had two pen names (Fleabag and Lucifer).  Patrick was a great dog!
Que tengas un buen dia!

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