A Little Lovin' (Doree Days - Part 4)

We just finished our second layer of painting when I got word Marilyn had arrived to the dock. I buzzed the dinghy over to shore, scooped her up and brought her back to the big boat so she could take a look.

She was checking out the boat and I was happy to have something new to check out myself, the boat days were on the brink of weary. She’d flown in from Indiana where we’d hit it off a couple months back, now somehow I was worth flying out to see here in California. I’m sure the boat helped.
It was midday and Jake and I would usually be toiling away on another project on the boat, but given Marilyn arrival coupled with the sense of accomplishment after the fresh looking paint layer, we decided to call it.

I took quick lap around the peninsula with Marilyn, then we headed back to the boat to scoop up Jake and bring him to shore so he could do his own thing, then went and got a nice sushi dinner back at the peninsula with Marilyn, much better than Jake and I’s normal fare of ramen plus whatever other dollar store treat the captain had bestowed upon our pantry that week.

We got back to the boat a bit before sunset with a twelve pack and a bomber of Aarogant Bastard beer that we cracked straight away. We sat at the back of the boat taking sips enjoying the company and the scenery. Jake sent me a message that he was 30 minutes out from needing to get picked up. I smiled over at Marilyn, “I know something we could do in thirty minutes.

Sometime more than 30 minutes later I was on the dinghy buzzing through the dark towards the dock, I missed a couple calls from an inpatient Jake. Once at the dock there was no Jake in sight. I waited a few minutes and then turned back to the boat thinking maybe he’d headed back into town. Back at the boat another dinghy was tied up, I hopped aboard where Jake was already, having caught a ride with a guy who introduced himself as Shane, the owner of the shiny blue boat that used to be adjacent to us and had since moved to a different part of the harbor.

It was interesting meeting him for several reasons. First, of course, was that his boat was about the most beautiful sailboat in the harbor, as far as I thought. Turns out that shiny blue paint job was the result of some other huge boat crashing into his and having to pay damages, translating into an upgrade.

Second reason being that one weekend night back while I was brewing beer with my brother down south Jake had grown bored and sober one night, a combination that inspired him to to gently paddle the dinghy over to the shiny blue boat, climb aboard and rummage until finding a bottle of this or that and hustle on back. He’d told me this story when I noticed a couple fancy new condiments appear in our kitchen upon my return.

Fair enough, but now we were meeting the guy. After Shane left Jake told Marilyn the story of his pirating as well, but now felt bad since Shane proved to be a pretty cool guy and “not some old rich fuck”. All the same I doubt the guy ever realized anything was missing or gave it much thought if he did notice.

The three of us decided to head to the peninsula, standard procedure. Our go to options always crashing people’s fire rings on the beach or heading to the cigar shop, both of which were proceeded with hitting the store for whatever bottle we could afford. We walked on up to the store to find a energetic blonde girl pounding on the glass between looking back at friend with what seemed like already drunk laughter, “Where is this guy?”.

The door was locked, but the place was open for business, we all guessed right that the clerk was just using the bathroom. Before he came out we realized that one of this girl’s friends was a guy named Tappin we’d met at cigar shop some time ago. He was one of those always friendly smiling guys, everything you could tell him earned a rolling “wow” reaction with amused laughter.

They were on their way to a party just a few blocks away and invited us, so once we were finally all able to pick up our beers we made our way over. Two or three dozen people were in the little house, spilling out into the front outdoor fenced in patio of sorts. We spent a while there, taking fireball shots that never stopped being offered and sipping beers.

Eventually the party was emptying for some neighborhood noise cutoff kind of reason and there was talk of moving elsewhere. We got caught up in some conversation on the sidewalk and missed the momentum to the next party, no address known. Jake had been flirting pretty well with a classic looking girl, red dress and matching red lipstick looking like she was at a well-to-do prohibition party. He lamented over the missed opportunity as we all made our way back to the dinghy and back to the boat. We finished what was left of our beers and had a good time anyway, but cards and good conversation can never really top a frisky red dress and red lipstick.

The next day it was back to painting, after the two layers of gray epoxy, it was now time for the first coat of white. Mitch arrived midday, the owner and theoretical captain of this big vessel, all of us marveled at the emerging beauty of the boat. What had been just a scraped up mess of yellows and greens and dismals was now looking like a gem, amazing what a little paint can do.

Marilyn even grabbed a brush after having spent most of the day lounging in the California sun, taking it all in. I used some leftover paint to cover some of the cabinets and interior things. After Mitch took off we called it a day, showered up and headed to shore.

Marilyn and I went out for a good dinner a decent walk away while Jake went and did his own thing. Jake insisted on another night of cards and drinking games, we obliged and handled the rest of the beer and whiskey on hand.

The next morning was Friday, which somehow had meaning in my life for the first time in years. I spent the day getting raised up the mast in a harness while wire brushing rust off the lines, Marilyn continued to revel in her lounging, Jake raised me up in between fiddling with plumbing down below.

By the time Mitch arrived it was time for a protectant layer to be painted over everything I’d been scraping. By now Marilyn had headed to shore to use the internet. Jake raised me up tug by tug with Mitch by his side, me getting a better and better view of the harbor holding a brush and a small pale of this paint. Just about to the top came a heavy jerk that I didn’t expect, my arm holding the pale flung up splashing all the molasses paint like substance directly onto my face and into my mouth.

All I could finagle was a loud coughing “Yo!” down to them, all they needed was to see my face and they lowered me down quick, unhooked me and guided me to the edge of the boat, opening my eyes was not yet an option. Jake poured jug and jug of water over my face to rinse the junk out of my eyes while I attempted to keep them open, wondering to myself about the toxicity of the stuff.

When my eyes were mostly flushed I threw myself overboard with some soap and rinsed off the rest, still gargling water and rinsing my mouth out. I got back on board and Mitch was already raising Jake up with another pale of paint, trying to get the layer on before the sun went down.

I changed my clothes, my Friday was over, the week was over, I was ready to catch up with Marilyn and hit the road. We all left at once, Mitch gave Marilyn and I a ride to the airport on his way back up to Hollywood, Jake was coming with him to catch up with some of his friends up that way for the weekend. Marilyn had decided that renting a car was a good idea since we wanted to spend the weekend checking out Southern California and check out some breweries as well as visit my brother, hence the airport drop off.

We cruised on down towards my brother’s place in Dana Point, making a few necessary stops first: In N’ Out for burgers (Marilyn’s first experience there), Pizza Port for some delicious beers and tasters and a quick stop at the grocery store for some home beers.

My brother didn’t get back until the next morning, we’d spent the night with his roommate hearing about the shark diving trip he’d gone on with my brother, playing darts and this sort of thing.

By the morning we were bottling a couple pumpkin beers with my brother that we’d brewed a while back and sipping a wit beer that was already good to go.

After lunch Marilyn and I took off on our own aiming for Stone Brewery. We spent the better part of the day there, lounging in the rock garden sampling a number of beers ranging from great to incredible. We had a bunch of food towards the end until Marilyn had sobered up enough to drive. We headed back towards my brother’s, pausing at the Mother Earth brewery to try their Imperial Milk Stout.

After catching up with my brother a bit more we decided to head back up to the boat for our last night together. We had the boat to ourselves for the night and I couldn’t resist but taking her to the bow of the boat under the stars to have our way together. Perhaps someone on shore or a nearby boat saw us, perhaps not, we were too buzzed on drink and each other to pay it any mind.

We moved about the boat in this manner eventually making our way inside and satisfied. The music played and we danced together, smiling some joyous sort of smirks. That was the moment I knew this girl was something else, I was in for it.

I took her to the dock the next morning, the long hug and the rest of it. We’d be seeing each other again.

Even if not for the magic in it all I was grateful for the break in the normal boat routine. Later that night that similar pattern would return, Jake and Benny arrived at the boat, drinking games, the late night trip to the peninsula, philosophical arguments and the rest of it.

Marilyn was just a glimpse to the outside that I would further embrace the next day. A real break from the boat, a trip up to the northern part of the state for harvest season peppered with visits to good friends and a needed change of pace, a needed taste of the road.

October 3, 2012 to October 8, 2013