The Continuing Adventures Of JT Hilltop, JT Hits The Beach

beach

Even with my new bucket of hope and a full stomach Myrtle Beach fared no better. It seemed like everyone is looking to make a buck and few willing to part with them. I did however finally get a piece of advice that was worth listening to. I was directed toward the boardwalk and told to make sure I stopped into the Gay Dolphin to do some shopping. I admit having reservations about the shopping at first, I mean what the hell kind of store calls itself a gay porpoise. Not to mention I wasn’t rolling in money but the boardwalk did sound like my kind of place. We had some fantastic boardwalks on Long Island, Robert Moses and Jones Beach come to mind plus I had been to the grand daddy of boardwalks in Atlantic City New Jersey. Honestly though I gotta tell ya the Myrtle Beach boardwalk was pretty spectacular. Maybe it was just being at a beach again, maybe it was just being somewhere different, but whatever it was the fucking boardwalk was amazing. Full of happy people, hot looking young ladies and studly young men, old and young all decked in the latest in beachwear fashion. To my ocular enjoyment many of the ladies were clad in really tight bathing suits and after spending a month in a testosterone overloaded penal community even the ladies that may have been better off not having chosen such a snug fit looked great. As for the dudes they were all mostly tanned and toned and I suppose the ladies eyeballs enjoyed that. Although a few of the dudes did reveal far too much packaging for my eyes. Not everyone was decked out in the latest in appropriate beachwear fashion there were some definite fashion don’ts, women who were in need of more covering and men who should have considered showing less body hair and more body clothing.
The Gay Dolphin was a four or five story impressive looking glass shop but it was clearly a tourist stop filled with touristy crap. Walking on the boardwalk I found some other s shops that were great, all kinds of food and touristy clothing one shop in particular caught my eye. A Harley Davidson accessory store right there on the boardwalk. It was like a Beverly Hillbilly epiphany when it called my name, “JT, come on in, take yer shoes off an stay awhile!”
With only my emergency four dollars in my wallet I found what would one day become a family heirloom. An orange Harley bandana with a black stitching of a bike chain and the HD logo. For three seventy five it was a steal, which also crossed my mind but the last thing I needed was a shop-lifting beef on top of what I just went through. Despite being hungry and wanting a beer I blew my emergency money on a fashion statement.
I spent the day at the beach my head proudly protected by my new bandana and was living the dream in South Carolina. I was feeling great and free, so happy that nothing could rain on my parade. Well except for rain that is. A storm blew in off the ocean causing a massive chaotic rush off the beach. Like Mary’s lost lamb I followed the crowd without a clue where we were all going. With in the realm of three minutes or so it had gone from a warm sunny day, to a dark dampish day, to a rainfall, then ultimately to a downpour of rain that put on an incredible light show and thunderous stereo speaker worthy explosions. My brand new bandana was soaked in seconds. The rain came down cold drenching me and causing me to see if steam was coming of my previously sun-warmed body. People were scampering all over the place in what seemed to be chaotic. I ran under the boardwalk to seek shelter from the storm because it was a hard, hard rain gonna fall. The beach had pretty much cleared out and I sat with a few hundred ex-beachcombers waiting for the sun wondering who‘ll stop the rain. Despite all the rock and roll references I whispered to no one in particular, “fuck me”
The storm was mercifully quick but it’s effect was staggering. In it’s short half hour existence at Myrtle Beach it had created an entire new environment. The waves were choppy, the sand was dark gray and the texture of moist grainy mud. It smelled of wet sage and waffles. The boardwalk was in the process of becoming deserted as most of the people headed out to their hotels or homes or wherever. All that remained were a few hardcore surfers, hardcore beachcombers, and one lonely hardcore Long Islander who was starving once again as I had been unsuccessful at finding my old friend or making any new ones. Alone, re-depressed, and soaked to the bone I pointed myself towards the town, hung my head and meandered down the next path of my unscripted journey.
I couldn’t go back to KFC despite my hunger and it being as tempting as it was to scrounge another bucket of hope. Karma dictates storing the memory and being grateful not greedy. Time to move on and find the next experience. After tossing the idea around my head for a few hours I finally decided I needed to call my sister Amanda and plead with her to send me a little money so I can eat and begin hitchhiking back to Centerlawn. It was getting late and after following directions from a local man I found the local Western Union building. I found a pay phone down the block, called Amanda collect, and she promised to send me one hundred dollars under the one condition that I visit her before going back to Long Island. Under the circumstances it was impossible not to promise anything. All in all things were looking up. Over the next fifteen minutes I convinced myself this was the start of a phenomenal turn around and I would soon be back on track with my life. Brimming with both bravado and confidence I walked up to the doors of Western Union to pick up the money Amanda sent me. I took a deep breath preparing for my big turnaround and grabbed the handle of the door. Even with my newfound strength the door wouldn’t open. No need for a telegram to get the message. The door was locked, the building closed.
“What?! Six o’clock! Who closes at six o’clock?” Yes that’s right, the Western Union in Myrtle Beach South Carolina closes at six o’clock and it was now ten minutes past six. Disillusioned but not ready to give up I altered my strategy. Western Union opens at eight in the morning and I’ll be the first in line when it does. Just as if I was camping out in line for Grateful dead tickets I sat myself with all my meager belongings next to the door and would just sit right here until it opens in the AM. I was a tad exhausted so I closed my eyes and before I realized it I fell asleep. I woke up completely unaware of what time it may be and probably a bit confused of where I was at first.
Time passes remarkably slow when your on a cement slab listening to all the night insects and animals around. The alligators and frogs kept running around in my imagination and it wasn’t long before they were joined by rats, wolves, vultures, and maniac serial killers. Lions, and tigers and bears oh my. A sudden beam of light scared everything away. The beam was headed my way bouncing around the ground near my feet. I could tell it was coming from a flashlight. I rubbed my eyes and all I could see in the darkness was a figure in uniform. The way things have been going it had to be a cop shining the flashlight at my crumpled up self. Just fucking great I thought, the poe leece!
To my complete shock it was a sweet southern female voice that traveled into my auditory canal. “Are you allright there sir?” She called me sir which was a good sign. I hoped I remembered how to be charming, “Oh yes maam, yes I’m all right. I have an early morning meeting with a moneygram here at Western Union and I wanted to be sure I didn‘t miss it. You know, just in case I find a nice South Carolina Southern Belle to take to dinner tonight.” Truth told I have no clue what came over me. I can only assume I was either over horny or over compensating because a female cop both frightened and enticed me at the same time. “Hmmm, a nice southern belle huh? Y’all ain’t from round here, I kin tell that, whar y’all hail from?” Moment of truth. Say New York and its either real good or real bad. I got a quick look at her through the moonlight while also slightly challenged by her flashlight beam. Hard to judge her body all bulked up with cop stuff but there was what appeared to be bundled up curls of blond hair sticking from under her cap. I swore to myself she was beautiful. But again, my view was somewhat challenged and looks meant shit right now. Charm was what I needed to keep me out of trouble. There was a slightly playful tone to her beautiful southern drawl so I went with my northern charm instinct. “New York born and bred maam.” She gave me a smile that near melted my heart, “New York huh? What brings you round here at our beach? You know we gots the moes beautiful beach inna country.” I was enjoying this, I haven’t had contact with anyone outside of prison in over a month, “Well it sure is a pretty beach and I must admit your city is full of pretty women.” A quick flirt glance, “I’m an out of work chef looking for a job.” What in the hell possessed me to do or say that? “Well we could sure use us some good chefs here in Myrtle Beach. Wyoncha consider stayin round here awhile?” I was unsure what was happening to me but I was no longer in control of my vocal chords, “You know I might just do that. My name is Justin, er, JT actually, and the truth is I was left stranded here in South Carolina. I don’t know anyone here but I’m looking for a friend.” Time to place the flirt-inator in her direction. “Well Hon I’d shur like tah be ya first friend here, my name’s Josie Rae.” She stuck out her hand to shake so I got a closer look at her. Sure enough long blond hair tucked up into a police cap, and like I said a uniform that hides curves but man was she pretty. I held her hand a bit too long, “Are ya scared of me?” Like an idiot I kept our hands moving up and down in some sort of hand trance, “No maam, I’m not miss Josie Rae.” She smiled, “Then why you still shakin’ Hon?” That did it! I was hooked. Pretty, funny, sarcastic, what else could I possibly hope for? I let go of her hand, “Oh I’m sorry, I’m just not used to such a gorgeous police officer interrogating me. Perhaps you would like to interrogate me over dinner?” Those damn vocal chords are out of control. She took out a small pad and began writing, “I’m not sure about dinner Hon but I tell ya what. My shift ends at nine and I might be tempted into some breakfast at the Waffle King up the road on 17 roundabout 930. Here’s my number. If I don’t see y’all there y’all best be on yer way back to New York cause I’m likely to come hunt ya down an run y’all out of town mahseff.” She tossed me an impish smile, “Now y’all keep yerseff outta trouble there Mr. JT, don’t wanna hafta come back an lock you up. Lest wise not in jail.” She walked away. I was so excited I couldn‘t think straight .
TBC

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