6:35 “Chef no come today, mebbe.” This from my host.
Beneath sharp sun rays, I am running, for exercise, for health, for something to eat. Thousands of years of evolution and here I am hunting for food because early-morning-shift chef, Mr. Terrence, decided to bogart one joint too many last night and couldn’t figure out how to get up when he fell off the floor.
“D’wan jerk?” is a culturally confusing phrase.
American version : Do you want to take this scumbag I’m sitting with?
Chinese version: Would you like a happy ending?
Jamaican version : You want chicken, mon?
It is 7:15 a.m. and nothing would make me happier than an omelet, but in Jamaica, apparently you gotta’ “jerk chicken” first. I’m not sure if that solves the eternal “which came first” debate but it certainly sways the argument. I am bathing in the combined film of sea and sweat. The chicken was nice. The jerk who served it wasn’t.
My cab driver, ”Country,” is back this morning, driving me along the “elegant corridor” to the courts. His ability to complete two sentences in one long breathless syllable makes me envious, although I’m not sure whether he just told me there was a “scooped fox” left on the road or something more aggressive. (Stupid Fucks).
Match time is delayed so I am heading out to the Caribbean for a swim. At near-body temps, cerulean blue waters crash with a will. Beyond the waves, coins of sunlight glint off the water. There are no pirates here. I am waist deep into something sapphire and it’s probable the jellyfish stings won’t last long. On the plus side, they provide a nice accompaniment to my mosquito bites and I’m beginning to look like bubble wrap. To the courts!
The Slovenian I’m coaching wins the first set 6-2. She is battling a horse of a woman from the Czech Republic – the girl is a pleasant combination of Chewbacca and Frankenstein, (nice smile though) – and the power level is astronomical. I’m sweating worse than a high school kid writing a love letter. In the distance, Bob Marley croons and I think everything is gonna be alright. Second set 6-2. She comes off the court with a hug and I feel like I’ve been slapped in the face with a wet shammy.
Main draw tomorrow.