He fell asleep there, but woke
up here. At least that is what
he says, without explanation,
with the bewilderment of a man
who is feigning confusion, and
doing a poor job of it.
Janice notices the kayak is more out of water than in, a phenomenon that
wouldn’t occur unless he pulled
it onto the beach.
Annie rolls her eyes, without even hiding her annoyance; men can be so
pitiable sometimes, a topic they
talked about last night in front
of the fire, hours before Phillipe materialized,
Barb is irritated by Phillipe’s obvious lies, enough to want to argue.
“You mean in the middle of the
night, your kayak up and floated
downriver, with you in it, and
without navigation, landed at
Annie, the type of woman who doesn’t need Phillipe’s apology, nor his
confession, interrupts. “What do
you want, Phillipe? Food, sex,
Phillipe, the type of conniving male who enjoys the tug and pull of
frustrating an uptight woman
like Barb, doesn’t want to jump
right to his excuse, needing
beer; he wants to be invited.
“Ladies. How distrustful women
are today. I would think three
lovely ladies camping alone
would be happy to see a man,
just in case they needed help.”
As soon as he finishes his
sentence, Janice put her hands
on her hips, and he knows he
spoke the wrong words.
“Phillipe, if we wanted a man around, we would have brought one. ”It was
Annie that came out of her tent
that morning and found sleeping Phillipe, dreadlocks, Coors
cans, and beaten red kayak at
the edge of their quiet beach.
“I think you did fall asleep, I
mean pass out, but after you
crashed our campsite. With that
mystery solved, now we deal with
why you’re here.” “And how to
get rid of you,” adds Janice.
Phillipe tsks. “Man haters. I wake up on a beach full of man haters.”Barb
walks closer to his kayak. “Not
going to have much fun without
your paddle, ladies’ man.”
Phillipe tugs at his packs and
tosses cans. “What! Where’s that
Annie points to the far shore. “Looks like it fell asleep here and woke
up over there.” “Oh no.” They
study the short calm space just
a few feet above riffles. “I’ll
have to jut across quick to get
that paddle or I’ll be heading
downriver.” Annie takes charge.
“Get in. We’ll push you out. You
can use my paddle, but better
bring it back.” Barb starts.
“Annie. He’ll never make it back
with it; he probably won’t get
to his paddle in the first
place, the rapids start right
Annie winks. “Big strong man. He’ll make it.”Phillipe climbs in and they
push. Annie makes to hand him
the paddle, but at the last
instant, holds it close to
herself. Phillipe heads right
into the rapids, yelling.
Janice says, “Useless.”
Annie says, “Prime example why I’m no longer married.”
Barb mutters, “Nobody drinks Coors anymore.”