I. Earned Sleep

This is a fictional story that I am currently writing. I will publish it piece by piece, roughly chapter by chapter. Though, I think this will be more of a short story than a novel with chapters. I have no title for it yet. Obviously, this is a work in progress. Anyways, I hope you enjoy it.

I. Earned Sleep

Earned sleep is experienced when an individual has been tried, has passed these trials and is feeling exhausted and content with the actions that have allowed for such a rest.  This is not the sleep that Kevin was enjoying on that morning, or night, or whenever it was.  Neither of them knew because neither of them had a watch, or a cell phone, or any other sort of digital device to tell them what time it was.  They had seen no clock on the bus  and by the time they had been picked up hitching they were both too drunk to think to look at the clock.  Kevin’s only gauge of time now was in how cold and dark the air was.  He could not see his breath, but he blamed that on the darkness rather than the lack of cold in the air.  The stars were almost fully screened beneath what Kevin assumed to be mostly pollution.  He heard cars passing by above, some shook the bridge more than others.  He wondered how many of them were police cars on their way to throw these two American college students into a Mexican prison.  Or maybe they were banditos coming to rob the foolish gringos.  If they showed up at the same time, maybe the cops and the banditos would have to fight each other for the spoils of whatever belongings Kevin and Dave might have.  Strangely, the thought of getting robbed comforted Kevin.  Not the thought of having a knife or a gun in his face, but the thought of the robber’s face as he went through their bags and realized what he had stolen.  Between the two of them, Dave and Kevin had four pairs of shorts, three T-shirts, two and a half pairs of sandals, a fishing line attached to a block of wood, a pot, a pan, a backpacking stove, enough rice to survive for the next two days, four bottles of cheap tequila, a pathetic excuse for a bag of weed, a piece of moist cardboard containing two partially soaked rolling papers, a sleeve of matches and two passports.  That was all.  So Kevin felt comforted knowing that they could set up camp wherever they wanted, no one will want to steal from them because they had nothing to steal.  And it was thinking of the robber’s face that comforted Kevin’s eyes shut.

No, this was not earned sleep.  Kevin and Dave had been tried, had failed these trials and as a result Kevin was feeling discontent in his rest.  It is not that lying on a beach is uncomfortable.  In fact the opposite is true, especially on a beach such as this one.  It held the type of sand that rolls through the toes with ease but still seemed to be thick just with its sheer volume.  The problem was that they were sleeping on a beach directly beneath a highway.  The more direct concern was that sleeping on beaches in Mexico is illegal, especially when those sleeping appear to have money.  The Cabo San Lucas Police Department seemed eager to bust young and rebellious American youths such as Kevin and Dave.  While Dave breathed directly into the sand with long and deep air, Kevin had realized how obvious their situation would be as soon as an officer even attempted at a conversation.  Kevin’s mind worked over how the conversation would transpire.

Something in Spanish”, the officer would say.

“Hola” Kevin would respond with a deliberate effort to not enunciate the harsh “h” sound.

“?Spanish being spoken very quickly? ?Something about a van?”

A long void would fill this point in the conversation until, finally, the only word that fell from Kevin’s mouth would be, “Hola”.

The officer would be forced into seeing that these were two American boys who had obviously wandered off with a roll of mommy and daddy’s stack.

A deeper, less friendly sounding tone of Spanish” he would say as he reaches toward Kevin.

“?Hola?”

But it was not a police officer who awoke Kevin that morning.  When the police wake a criminal, it is with a probe or a swat, not with a lick and a sniff.  Still, Kevin was certain that it was the K-9 unit that had tracked them across the Baja peninsula and had finally brought them to justice on this beach somewhere between Todos Santos and Cabo San Lucas.

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