Author: Robert Beech
The water off the point that juts out from the beach at St. Cabo is deep, really deep. The fishermen who sit out at the end of the point all day talk about the strange fish they have brought up sometimes, fish with huge eyes to catch the dim light far beneath ocean’s surface, or blind fish with no eyes at all. Some, even stranger, have little lights that dangle on thin stalks in front of their mouths, little glowing orbs, pieces of their own bodies that they use as bait to lure other fish close enough to grab, down in the pitch black dark far, far beneath the waves.
The water by the beach is clear and shallow. You would never know, looking at it, that the shelf drops off less than a hundred yards off shore into a deep ocean trench whose bottom has never been mapped. There was a group of young people playing volleyball on the sand. Locals, I thought, by the looks of them, not tourists, with sun-darkened skin, and torn jeans. The boys were bare-chested for the most part, the girls in tight little bikini tops that bounced enticingly as they dove for the ball.
I sat back against the rocks and watched them, listening to the cacophony of music blaring out from the radios in the little circle of cars and pickup trucks parked at the edge of the beach. I pulled my straw hat down over my eyes and tried to shade the back of my sunburnt neck as best as I could from the late afternoon sun. I closed my eyes and dozed for a while.
When I opened them again, the volleyball players were packing up, climbing into their pickup trucks and cars and heading back into town. The sun was going down in a spectacular show of crimson and purple on the horizon, but no one else seemed interested. I sat and watched it go down.
I stood up, getting ready to walk back to my hotel in town, when I noticed there was still one car left at the edge of the beach. It wasn’t a new car. It was a big, old showboat Cadillac convertible. The kind your grandfather might have driven to take your grandma to the drive-in. The top was down and I could look in and admire the leather seats. There was a smell like coconut oil wafting off of the back seat, and I wondered if somebody slathered in suntan lotion had been lying there. The radio was playing Despacito.
The words washed over me, pulsating in my blood. The words were sensual, insistent, and I found myself imagining things happening in the back seat of that car that made my heart start to race.
I looked around to see if the owner of the car was coming back for it, but there was no one in sight. Night fell, and still I stood, next to that strange mysterious car. I ran my hands over the tail fins, and the car seemed to throb. Looking around again, I saw no one. I opened the door of the car, and sat down in the driver’s seat, not really thinking about what I was doing. The door closed, and the car came to life. We headed out over the beach and down into the water. The spray from the shallow water splashed up over the sides of the car as we headed out towards deeper water. We reached the edge of the shelf and headed down, and I realized she had been fishing.