The girls drove back to the guest house on Costera de Las Palmas, near the Fairmont Acapulco Princess, debating heatedly whether diving with the fat man was an opportunity or a risk. In the evening, after dinner, Cynthia and Taimi were swinging on a swinging lounge sofa, while Lanai was swinging on a screeching rocking chair, sitting on the outside terrace of their guest house called Tay Bay. Clarity was stepping back and forth, not knowing what to do.
"I know it´s only a car drive from here to the dive shop, but we can´t possibly go diving," said Lanai, "it´s not safe. I know this friend of mine, she absolutely wanted to see an angelfish, and she lost her regulator on her first dive."
"How can you lose a regulator, you´re breathing through it, it´s stuck to your mouth," said Taimi.
"My friend tried to imitate the angelfish open and close movement of its mouth."
Clarity walked behind the rocking lounge sofa, before stopping near a pillar of their guest house.
"We can give it a go, if it´s going to bring us twenty percent per year," said Clarity.
"With ten k as initial investment, we could start thinking about retirement, living on interest before reaching fifty. To do that, we need to find this fat man."
The rocking chair of Lanai swung to an impossible angle, hanging in mid-air for a long three seconds, until Lanai reached for Flower´s sweater.
"This is too important, let´s vote," suggested Taimi.
After a raised hand vote, those proposing to dive won by three votes to two opposing votes by Flower and Lanai, with one abstention, Jenna, who preferred surfing to diving.
"All right," said Lanai, "let´s go, but I pick the regulator first."
The next morning, Clarity drove the rented Jeep to a dive shop in Centro Acapulco on Paseo del Pescador. As they entered the shop, they saw the Rolls Royce of Cayman Bank drive by. The diving instructor, a man named James Blond, was in debt with the fat man, and was waving his hands, pointing to a parking spot for the car. The luxurious car stopped, and the driver stepped out, wearing sunglasses. Clarity recognized the dishevelled hair of Tarrance.
"One dive only, today, Blond, to see the lobster. My boss wants to see the lobster, before he talks about the debt."
"You need more diving lessons. The lobster lives where it lives, if it´s still there, we´ll find it. But I can´t promise you we´ll find it, or give you a rebate on our diving rates."
"If the lobster´s not there, we´re not diving. Don´t forget about your debt. We are the ones who paid for all the new diving equipment this season."
"I can´t possibly forget the debt, because you keep coming every day for diving lessons, but the diving rate holds, we need the liquidity. We´ll pay the debt by the end of the season in November. And we´ll find the lobster, although it may have moved spot since the last time we told you."
Clarity saw the fat man for the first time, a large silhouette stepping out of the Rolls Royce backseat, surrounded by two good looking ladies in their thirties, holding his arms. He was about five foot ten, wearing a black striped suit, a white collar shirt and a yellow tie depicting small gallinaceous birds painted blue, either quails or fowls, she guessed. Pinned to his suit lapel, the overweight man was wearing a small pin in the shape of a pincer belonging to a lobster.
Breathing heavily, he squatted to a halt, like a sumo wrestler, in front of Flower, while the two women that came with him climbed on the roof of the car to suntan in minuscule bikinis, revealing very few tan lines. He spoke to Flower in a stern tone, like an Indian Chief its tribe.
"The Rolls Royce needs cleaning. You like its spirit." Clarity saw Flower lift her head and eyebrows, scanning the double chin of the fat man, holding his stare.
"I like the lifestyle of the rich and famous," said Flower.
The fat man ran his arm against the hood of the Rolls Royce to clean off dust from the road.
"I like you and I´m rich, but I´m not famous, and I don´t know your lifestyle," answered the fat man.
Clarity left them to continue their conversation, and moved towards Tarrance, who was speaking to the owner of the dive shop.
"Blond, where is the shrine?"
"My assistant, Delemo, is bringing it. Delemo, bring the shrine, stop playing with the pincer."
A short man with curly hair wearing flowered swimming trunks, brought out a twelve inch statue of the fat man built with wood, holding a fork and eating a lobster from a plate. The fat man turned away from Flower and his eyes squinted. He started rubbing his middle finger against his thumb and his mouth turned into a half smile. Clarity turned to Blond.
"He likes the shrine, doesn´t he?"
"That shrine explains his life, really."
"What´s the name of this man, why is he known as the fat man?"
"The fat man? His name is Buddha talk, although he doesn´t talk much. He adopted the way of the Buddha, the way of the belly for him, ever since he threw a lobster to the boiling pan after it bit his ear with a pincer."
Blond walked inside the diving shop, filled with surfboards, water skis, and diving equipment, including oxygen tanks.
"Why? I mean why Buddha?"
"The lobster made an impression on him because a palm reader in the restaurant told him that lobsters bring good karma. So now, he collects live lobsters, and thinks a shrine for the lobster brings good karma for the return on money invested that he manages for Lofty. My money, in particular."
"Your money, your money is with Lofty."
"All my savings, they are the reason for my debt with Buddha Talk. Put on the diving suit," he said, "I need to find the ultra large suit for him."
TO BE CONTINUED, HERE
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THE MALIBU CASE.
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