It was a fine evening. The parrot's eyes glinted over the top of his stylish shades.
"So, anyway," he intoned nasally, "there I was on my catamaran. One foot dragging in the Aegian Sea and the other being licked by this smokin'--I mean at least a 10--supermodel..."
I looked away from the pedantic bird and let my gaze drift across the little bay to where the sun was falling down into the ocean through a light golden haze. It had been a good day.
My hand reached out automatically for the glass but was disappointed by its apparent emptiness. Raicilla. You shouldn't drink it. But once you have started, you shouldn't stop. Especially when you have had your quiet tipple hijacked by a self satisfied bird.
"I say," the parrot said, "you seem preoccupied. I was just telling you that she took off all her clothes and sprang into the sea. I never saw her again, poor thing. Waiter!"
It had been a pleasant day. I did almost nothing. But the sun and salt and cerveza had been busy by the looks of my sunburned chest. I had started to read a book, but fell asleep during the first paragraph. It had slipped off my belly and a small dog defecated upon it. I asked the waiter to take it away with the empty Pacifico bottles. And too bad at that. I like trashy paperbacks with a dubious plot line but lots of illicit and improbable sexual encounters depicted in the most lurid possible way. The dog apparently thought otherwise about such reading. Must have been a Catholic.
"So, I'm the kinda guy who always pays top dollar for everything," said the bird, "I just figure you can count on getting the best value that way..."
Down by the bay, a young couple strolled past holding hands. They were silhouetted against the shining water. A small breeze wafted across our table and riffled the coctail napkins. I settled back against the cushions of my chair and breathed in deeply. It was that peculiarly magical combination of a full stomach, a perfect warm evening and just the right amount of alcohol. If it hadn't been for my uninvited table mate, I'd have never wanted to leave.
"...but then, the Cardinal, he says 'My boy, you are excommunicated' and I say, 'Well, hell with you anyway, father' and he says..."
At this point, I did what I should have all along. I stood up and upended the table onto the pompous bird.
I walked away while he sputtered and wiped his glasses. He was still pontificating harshly to all who would listen (and some who wouldn't) as I faded away across the beach.