Posted by Lex, on August 12, 2006
Snorkeling out to the edge of the reef was like swimming in an aquarium. Brightly colored fish moved in schools, darting away as they approached. The coral bottom was 6 or 7 feet below them, extending out into the bay. They swam and dove, watching for the occasional lion fish that lurked in the shadows of the larger coral formations.
“Had enough? I’m ready to swim back in.”
The three of them slowly worked their way back to the beach. Then dashed across the hot sand, not stopping until they stood in the shade of the roof that protected the picnic tables. Drying off, it was clear they had stayed out in the water too long. All of them had sunburns, mostly on their backs and shoulders, a result of snorkeling face down in the heat of the afternoon sun.
Back up the hill, Tom pulled Rocky aside, “Did Browder tell you his story, and what I told him?”
“Yeah, he still wants to call the States.”
“Can you check on him some? You’re stuck here anyway. I don’t mean hang with him every minute, but go to chow with him tonight, talk to him some more.”
Rocky smiled, “Where are you going, back out the gate?”
Tom nodded, “Yeah, and I need to get going pretty soon.”
“Is she cute?”
Tom chuckled, “Yea, she’s cute. And I need to get ready.”
Tom took out the new shirt he had purchased earlier, and his only pair of nice slacks, and dressed quickly. He made the ride to the gate in silence, riding the bus with a group of sailors he didn’t know. Across the bridge, he climbed into a jeepney, and sat at the back, one foot on the step. A few other people, mostly Filipinos coming off the base after work, joined him. The driver took off, circling back around the block and heading out MagSaySay.
The streets flowed past, and as his destination approached, he tapped the roof, causing the driver to slow and swerve in toward the curb. He passed a handful of Centavos to the driver, and stepped off as the jeepney pulled away. The house was visible from the road. A large two story structure with a balcony, it sat behind a cinder block wall that was topped with broken glass. He walked up to the metal gate and let himself into the yard.
Editor’s Note 08-05-18 – I do not know the identity of the guest blogger, but remember somewhere in the Wayback Machine that he was a Marine Gunnery Sgt.