Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rico from Gate 5 in Sausalito---Part Three.

I barely could see my boat. Howling wind and driving rain churned the water into surging waves that bucked, pitched and rocked every boat in Gate 5. I was going to skull out and board my boat, but before doing that, Rico and I had talked. I had a World War 1 German Army rifle. Rico and I agreed on a signal. If I needed help, I would fire two shots to alert Rico. He said he would then come out to do a rescue.
I reached my cabin cruiser, the waves pitching my dinghy and cabin cruiser so much I had to wait until the right time; then I leaped aboard the boat and tied off my dinghy.

I felt the boat moving strangely and clambered to the deck and pulled on the anchor line until I see the rope torn in two. My weight had been enough to add sufficient strain to tear apart the rope. My cabin cruiser now with no anchor was being swept towards Tiburon in this major storm at night, and I went for my rifle.

I fired two shots into the sky. I remember my cabin cruiser passed a 30 foot steel hulled lifeboat. I was holding on to the anchor line and maybe I should have jumped. I could maybe have made it. But I hesitated and the moment passed.      
My cabin cruiser eventually lands on the beach at Tiburon. There are rocks around but none close by the boat. I stand on the beach and think I hear Rico screaming. I’m not sure. I don’t know what it is I hear except something human and agonized. I aim my rifle into the hillside and fire four or five more rounds.

The morning brings broken, grey clouds with its dawn. Everything is like steel metal and wet, the rain has stopped and I’m walking on the beach when I see Rico’s “canoe boat” on the sand. I stand at the water’s edge and watch and hear a Coast Guard helicopter hover not far above the water. So close the rotor wind frisks the water. The sound is noisy as it searches for Rico's body.

I later construct a stay for my boat because I want it even for sleeping and I might as well scrape the hull.

I want to stay on the beach for a while and be alone. One day I see a barefoot woman I know from the Heliport jogging towards me. I forget her name, but she was remarkably pretty, and she spoke only gibberish that never made sense. We were friendly anyway. I remember. She was wearing a red dress that went down to her ankles, and as she jogged towards me and my boat, her black hair bounced from side to side. And when she spoke, for a moment, she spoke words I understood.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rico from Gate 5 in Sausalito---Part Two.

Rico was readying to set sail for middle earth. I don’t remember what he called it, maybe Atlantis. I didn’t understand. He talked like there was a homeland at a set of coordinates under the ocean, at the center of the earth, and he was going to get there.

He said he needed a generator to take on the journey. I didn't know for what. But we went to a Marin County hill overlooking the entrance to San Francisco Bay. I saw an opening carved out of the hill that led to a large cave in the mountain. The whole structure was obviously built by the military. I don’t know if to protect San Francisco with cannon fire against Japanese ships during World War II, or to direct short range missiles during the Cold War. But inside, Rico pointed at a sizable, square steel machine with dials and switches over the face of it, and said that was his generator.

Rico claimed he was going to set sail for his destination in a Chinese Junk. I remember it was a sunny day.  Rico and I had motored from Sausalito to the water front at Bay View Hunter’s Point in San Francisco. We were walking in a parking lot and Rico pointed to a moored Chinese Junk so big its size astonished me. The hull was built of logs cut lengthwise.  It was as big as a small galleon, except Oriental. Rico said “that's the Junk” in which he was going to sail for “Atlantis.” It seemed out of nowhere, while talking, a stunningly beautiful red haired woman appeared walking towards us. Her green eyes sparkled. She plopped a black cat into Rico’s arms and walked away without saying a word.  Rico was taken aback, but then smiled and, petting the cat, said he’d finally found his familiar.

My memories about Rico have been rusting. He may have invited me to set sail with him. It seems he implied I had dark powers myself. All I knew was I wasn't going to have anything to do with magic myself.

I’m anchored out in Gate 5 water one day and see Rico rowing towards me. His boat bumps the stern of my cabin cruiser, and Rico starts talking. “Dolly left me” he says. He’s devastated. “I’m going to kill myself!” he laments. “Rico don’t talk like that,” I reply. “You don’t go killing yourself over a woman!” Somewhere in the dialogue, Rico also explains his coven has selected him to be its supreme warlock. He says rare is the man who long survives the bestowal of this position.

To be continued...


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rico from Gate 5 in Sausalito

Rico sported a mustache and goatee, and leaned towards the serious side. Actually he had somewhat of a menacing presence. At the least he exuded an air that warned people not to mess with him. He was little less than average height, with long hair to the neck, and had a packed, solid build. Rico was a generation older than most living in the Sausalito Houseboat Community circa 1971. He was building a wood boat when I knew him. It was a 30 foot double ended boat on stays off the swaying wood dock leading to his and Dolly’s flat bottom houseboat in Gate 5. I’d see Rico working and knew he was building a fine boat because I saw that for myself. Dolly had cascading red hair and alabaster skin. She was about 30 years younger than Rico and the love of his life.  

I lived anchored out on the water in my wood 25 foot cabin cruiser. I’d anchor out at different places at different times, maybe off the Heliport or Gate 3. Or maybe off Gate 6 or Gate 5. At any of these designations of waterfront location among the houseboat people, I’d anchor where ever I wanted. Nobody charged rent on the waterfront. I had paid $700 for the cabin cruiser with the anchor and chain thrown in for free.

I liked to move to one Gate for a time and then to another. I'd visit neighbors who anchored out, but I had friends who lived on docked houseboats to visit and a frequent need to land for food or to shower or do laundry. I’d skull my dinghy from my cabin cruiser to a dock and tie it up. Gate 3 was not as protected from the open sea as the other Gates. The Heliport, so named because it had a working heliport, along with Gates 5 and 6 generally had much calmer water. If there was a storm all bets were off and the wind and rain turned the water into a thrashing sea that amply demonstrated the power of nature. 

I anchored quite a bit off Gate 5, thus running fairly often into Rico working on his boat. I’d ask questions. Rico eventually felt he liked my company enough to invite me to his houseboat.

We probably smoked pot. We were talking, and at some point Rico claimed to be a Warlock. At that I instantly scoffed but he retorted “I could stop your heart now!" I shut up. I felt if he feels that way it might be true and I’d better just take him at his word. I didn't question his claim after that exchange. And we stayed on good terms.

Rico started to build a new boat. It was a long, slim boat that reminded me of a high end canoe. When it was painted and complete, I was impressed at how expert a craftsman Rico was. It was a splendidly built boat and Rico was justifiably proud of his work. But when he boarded it, I became aghast. The gunnels of the port and starboard sides lowered to hardly more than an inch above the water line. 

To be continued...