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Jesus on a Steering Wheel
The Hotel of Sketchy Women by Sea Daddy

Wear a good hat in a US city and some asshole would grab it. Africans are much more civilized. This bit is actually a continuation of the Africa tale I sent you, and represents the first bit of my chapter two. I'll be dribbling out some other stuff, but this is seeming like it might stay. Don't let that lead-in out!

All this shit is big fun...

I was wearing a good but simple hat with a brim, a bit worn by a lot of miles. People think they're advanced and free, but they react to a hat instinctively, without thought. Think of any serious uniform. Since I began to travel in a proper hat, I have had hardly a pat down by any authority figure. Even among the ordinary people there was a bit less pushback. I had visited this town before, knew what was coming and had dressed for it.

The instant the hotel had gotten the reservations, the word had gone out that a large offshore crew was going to be in town. Every enterprising and devious, or just needy female around had buffed herself up, borrowed or bought some French clothing and headed for town. We were out numbered by at least a third. As we blundered out of the vans with our carryons and up into the hotel, each one was accompanied by three, clinging and being irresistible. I halted my small squad inside and caught their eyes, all together. I reached into my shirt and pulled out a sailor's cross on a thong, what we Protestant kids called Jesus on a steering wheel, and swung it before their eyes like a Mesmer. "Don't bother with me, girls" I said, dropping the cross back down my collar and reaching into my pants. I gave them each a $5 bill saying "you go!", picked up my keys and walked off alone to find my room.

I knew it was only a temporary fix, so I jammed the windows and door solid. Always carry a few wood wedges in sketchy places. That done, I turned up the A/C and showered. I fell on into sleep to the generator's drone, giggling in the hall and the slamming of doors. It was like being off shore.

The hotel's face was two hundred or so feet wide with deep porches to either side of an arched opening, entered via a tapering stairway. It was rather grand in a faded way, and was probably the best in town 20 years ago. Entering, reception was straight ahead, with shops and a bar off to starboard and the restaurant to port. A passageway beside reception led on through and past a few things, finally opening into a large central grassy space crisscrossed with walkways.

A three story more modern wing containing most of the rooms walled the left side of the space, and that is where I had slept. A 12 foot wall ran across the back with a central service gate, and then ran back up and joined the main building. There was a suspicious looking pool area back on the left, and a thatched stucco open kitchen off to the right under palm trees. There were a few tables and chairs and I sat at one, sipping coffee and the best orange juice I'd ever had. My breakfast was sizzling nearby and smelling good.

Here they came, two from the night before and one tiny one who shrieked my name and landed on my neck like a lamprey eel, humming obscenities in my ear. There was drunken history from the year before, leading to nine months of AIDS testing and heartfelt dread. Sort of like pregnancy in some ways I'd imagine. Yeah, I couldn't wait to start all that up again!

My breakfast arrived and I peeled her off my neck, addressing my food: hot sauce for the eggs, then dicing them down into the rice. She sat in a chair and stared. I have found God, I said, and pulled out one of my Father's pocket bibles that I carried for luck. I read, raising an index finger, slightly crooked as my Father had, from psalms 137: “Oh daughter of Babylon who art to be destroyed, happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be who dashest thy little ones against the stones.”

I ate my eggs and rice and she stared for a bit, then quietly rose and left with the other two.

I don't know if she understood three words I said, but all of them understood me. Africa has seen god knows how many white raving missionaries and fools, and here comes another one! Don't ever tell me that religion doesn't have its uses, even if it's only baffling determined whores.

Sea Daddy

When Your Job Sucks

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