By Patrick Alcatraz
JAMAICA BEACH, Texas - This is the place to make love well-above ground. Most of the buildings are on stilts, there to perhaps fend off the whippings of a hurricane coming in from the Gulf of Mexico. You can see them up and down this beach-front town. Some are neat, weathered architecture facing the sea, and some are fading victims of the salty winds, decay, and abandonment. There was a time in the mid-1980s when I often hit a cowboy bar here, when my life was writing stuff for The Houston Post out of the Galveston bureau a few miles to the north. My drinking was a shared experience with a young chick named Carole, one of those nubile nymphs of the sort you meet in places near water, like Carmel, Fort Lauderdale, Provincetown, Mass., etc., etc. Carole was 24 at the time.
The time came and went. It's been a few decades now, and memory fades. But we danced inside that shitty bar, danced to songs by Jerry Jeff Walker, Rick Springfield, Dennis DeYoung, Wham, and the band Foreigner. As times go, it was just another winter chapter in a guy's life, full of boozing, laughing, and partying till the cows came home, as they say in Lubbock. We'd go out and then we'd chase something else back at my apartment, or, when the opportunity came, at a stilt home her parents owned on the southern end of this village, over on the road toward San Luis Pass.
She'd just come off a relationship, one I didn't ask about, mainly because I just didn't care. She was a tallish, outgoing cutey and I enjoyed waltzing across Galveston with her. Winter does that to you along the Texas Coast. I left for the East Coast a year later and lost track of Carole. Once, when visiting, she came to see me in Houston when I was staying at my friend Steve's apartment. We made love one more time and I recall it did feel as if something new. Life is funny that way. You can see a woman for a few years, go away, and come back to find that, yeah, there was something unique about her. At afternoon's end, she left and I never saw her again.
Endings can be quirky. Some you control and can write about, some you cannot. The end comes, and no matter how great of a tale you can spin off it, the story ends - just like The Bible...
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