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Beach Grit

I was redeemed in Panama part 1!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

The surprising end to a fabulous journey!

You can’t make this shit up!

After the whole housing debacle, I was afforded a safe place to sleep by the same three Aussies who had previously given me a ride home from the surf, erstwhile divulging the best job for the aspiring travel surfer.

We spent our last night bar-hopping around Bocas, the two of us with girlfriends dutifully wing-manning our single compadres into a bevy of belligerent broads. After we had drank and danced and successfully paired off our pals with a couple of bar-light sixes, Matt and myself decided to call it a night. This was around three AM.

It was pouring outside, so all the bar patrons who’d decided to pack it up for the night were waiting for cabs under the same small overhang. With about 20 people in queue and no cabs in sight, we realized the odds were not favorable to catch a ride in the next hour. We scurried down the sidewalk in search of a new spot from which to hail a taxi.

That’s when I heard, “Hey Mike!” in heavily accented English.

I turned around and much to my disbelief, I’d just walked past that god damn C-tier hooker! Belly shirt, paint-a-brows, cigarette and all!

“Uhhhh hey…” I replied, still irked at her general existence.

“Timmy go kaled,” she told me, while crossing her wrists in an X formation.

“Timmy got killed?” I asked, bewildered.

“No, no. Timmy go kale… gail, gail!” she screamed, waving her crossed wrists in my face. The gesture was supposed to symbolize handcuffs.

“Timmy went to jail?”

“Sí! Four years! He get cot steal sumting.”


“En serio? He robbed me too!”

“Yes I am happy he go jail. Fuck dat guy.”

“Me too” I said, as I motioned toward the street. Our cab had finally arrived.

And this was maybe the perfect ending to my less-than-ideal, if highly enlightening trip to Panama. It took ’til three AM on my last drunken evening in Bocas Town, but I finally got the closure I was looking for. I would never see my pilfered cash or possessions again, but knowing that karma or justice or a statistical likelihood had ultimately prevailed was good enough for me.

Have fun in jail, puto! Y viva Panama!