DAY ONE: Flat Stanley lay on her stomach and absorbed the rhythmic sensation of long, slow strokes. Deep, penetrating sensations traveled the length of her back. A second application of lubricating oil made the trip even smoother. When every muscle from shoulder to buttock had been coaxed to a state of surrender, the teasing, sliding hands moved to the top of FS's thighs and began another long, slow descent -- this time, to the bottoms of her feet. One delicious stroke at a time; one leg at a time.
DAY TWO: By 10 am, the sun had burned the mists from the peaks. The waves lapping gently at the beach gave no hint of high tide. A few tourists looked for sand dollars while a yoga class entered savasanna. FS shuffled out to waist deep, wary of sea urchins and crabs, and watched a pelican hit the water like a concrete block, then rise. A pool of minnow-sized fish darted around her, as if FS was surrounded by an invisible wall.
DAY THREE: FS checked out a surf-board kind of toy from the beach shack and tried to get the hang of riding to shore on a wave. After about an hour, she got the hang of mounting and staying upright instead of rolling over in a sideways somersault. The tide rose and before long, FS learned to time the waves well enough to be routinely catapulted to shore. The lifeguards, recognizing the danger this posed to mothers and young children, confiscated the board before FS managed to cause permanant injury to others.
DAY FOUR: FS caught a tour of the bay. It was disappointingly tame until the turnaround point, when the boat anchored and guests were ordered ashore. The good news: Guests were encouraged to go to the top of the boat and jump. Nowhere in the safety-conscious USA would this kind of activity be permitted on a commercial cruise. FS climbed to the top rail, third deck above the water line. It was a long way down. Hey, there were people watching. Plus, younger people, much younger people, were jumping. Teenagers and little kid people were jumping. FS drew upon her amply-endowed stock of pride and jumped. Again, and again, and again.
On shore, squeezed in between the base the mountain and the bay, was a restaurant. Sand floor. No walls. Smelly dog under the counter. No habla Ingles. FS pointed. Cerviche. Tasty. Much later, FS discovered fish cooked in lime juice, not fire. Called cerviche.
DAYS FIVE - THIRTY FIVE: Massage, swim, lunch, drink, nap, swim, read, swim, boat ride, drink, nap, party, sleep, hike, swim, nap, read, massage, sleep, nap, swim, read, read, swim, nap, read, swim, Massage, swim, lunch, drink, nap, swim, read, swim, boat ride, drink, nap, party, sleep, hike, swim, nap, read, massage, sleep, nap, swim, read, read, swim, nap, read, swim.
DAY THIRTY SIX: FS meets hot guy. Mucho gusto hot. Cancels her massage appointment. He says he'll do it for free. FS is on the bed. His hands are poised over her. He trembles slightly. FS breathes into the tension, eagerly awaiting his touch. The tension mounts, his hands come closer. FS feels his pulse in their heat. Her breath catches in her throat.
The alarm goes off. FS throws off her blankets and heads for the shower, hoping that she remembered last night to set the coffee pot to automatic.