*An excerpt from Slippery by Liam Carroll*
Our hotel room has a bare-bones ‘Prison Break’ chique; white tiled floors worn into a mushroom grain thanks to the oppressive southern Mexico heat, three rust-encrusted, steel-framed single beds that appear unappreciative of the Pacific ocean’s proximity, and a door-less dunny that should be entertaining later on after generous servings of chili doused, black bean tortillas washed down with tequila. We throw our bags to the floor, don’t bother unpacking and head straight back to the poolside bar where a couple of lithe, young Swedish girls were looking lonesome as we arrived.
Chris waves to the barkeep as we take a seat in the shade of an oversized beach umbrella by the pool at a comfortably voyeuristic distance. The Swedes are sprawled out face down on blue and yellow deckchairs. How patriotic. Supple skin and perky glutes salute the sun. Jose, I presume, arrives with three ice-cold Pacifico beers as one of the girls sits up to apply sunscreen to the other’s back. Complete attention is directed at Scandinavian flesh as SPF 4+ and cerveza hops fill the air.
The first sip goes down a little too well considering it’s 9am. I drop my shirt. Swedes 1 and 2 seem completely unimpressed. They’re probably lesbians, or at least blessed with 20/20 vision. Fuck my body is shocking. I quickly put my shirt back on. We decide we best leave them to tan up a little more before we introduce ourselves and commence operation swoon.
The first Pacifico has gone down far too easily. They’re 10 pesos a pop (about $1), that’s worth celebrating. Mark waves to Jose for another round, adding margaritas to the order. Jose smiles back. We’ll save the tequilas until at least midday. Two young guys working at the hotel walk over, telling us they can take us to a jump rock thirty minutes drive away. Two American couples, the Swedes, Mark and myself are all keen. We grab sunscreen and towels and head off with the others, leaving Chris on his lonesome to enjoy a possible nap and a certain wank.
There’s a plump Mexican chap at the wheel of a van, waving us in. I jump inside, looking through the window to watch the two local lads advising the Swedes to ride with them on their bikes rather than in the mini-van. Don and fucking Juan let fly with a few thousand revs, the Swedes wrap their arms around our tour guides’ waists and squeal as they scream off ahead, leaving behind a cloud of dust and a mini-van empty of nubile Scando skin. Bastards.
Thirty minutes north of Puerto Escondido, Don and Juan have a long way to go to redeem their shameless cutting in on mine and Mark’s turf but this jump rock is spectacular. Perched about five metres above the sea, looking out over the Pacific Ocean. I can picture generations of Mayan basket weavers and grass cutters, much like Don and Juan, coming to this spot for thousands of years. This latest generation is blessed with the obvious added benefit of enjoying not only a refreshing swim, but also a high probability of pounding a tanned young tourist with a deep wanderlust.
We take our turns jumping in. Don and Juan ham it up with a uno, dos, tres countdown routine for each of us. Gracias muchachos. The water’s a crisp, azure blue unlike the brown beach water of Peurto Escondido. I’m treading water at the cliff base, bubbles starting to boil in my alcohol-filled veins. What the fuck are these blokes doing now? Don and Juan are stripped down to their budgy smugglers, resembling Olympic divers. They stand side by side on the jumping ledge, their backs facing the ocean, rising on the balls of their feet as they simultaneously raise their arms over their heads, bounce through their ankles and launch back-first into the Pacific. Through the descent they complete two perfect forward flips with legs fully extended, elbows by their knees and hands cradling their heels, landing in the water with less splash than most of my visits to the toilet.
You’d think the Swedes have just seen Moses part the Red Sea, screaming, clapping and swimming over to hug the guys. Tall Poppy Syndrome rages through me, I find little solace in hoping Don and Juan love cock as much as Greg Louganis. The Americans join in, praising the Mexican diving experts too, pleading with them to get a sporting scholarship in a US College. They politely smile away the tribute. Through broken English they explain they couldn’t dare leave, their mother is far too ill, their father has passed away and they have three younger sisters to care for. Cry me a river. Only Mark and I can see these two for the Swede-thieving, ridiculously muscle-bound complete cunts they are.
Praise be to Allah, the sermon to Don and Juan eventually comes to an end. We dry off and board the minivan back to the hotel. Don, Juan and the once-were-lesbians drive off on the scooters in the opposite direction. Outplayed by Mexican divers, that stings. We return to the hotel pool and set about drinking to oblivion.
*Slippery is available in paperback, ebook and audiobook at www.capebardo.com/slippery