Guys wearing ball caps backward; third installment of “Me and Shea” …

Hi, friends and readers:

There’s an old saying: “A guy over thirty shouldn’t wear his ball cap backward, unless he’s giving head to another guy.”

I’d say there’s some truth to that statement. I mean, I see some guys at Rays games who are my age (ancient), with beer bellies and gray hair, and they’re wearing their caps backward. Come on guys, that’s a look for young guys, not codgers like us. Leave the backward business to the youngsters.

Having said that, I think both guys in this morning’s photo posts look pretty hot with their ball caps turned backward. I don’t know why the look is so effective, but it truly is. And I like the expressions on their faces. Don’t you?

I’m back from a beautiful walk on the beach, including a dip in the Gulf. Last night, while I attended a party on the island, a huge rainstorm came ashore and drenched everything. The sand on the beach this morning was hard-packed and stippled — a little tough on my bare feet — but my walk was still a treat. There are now seven sea turtle nests along the way, all of them staked so they won’t be molested. I love sea turtles.

Okay, readers, here’s another installment of “Me and Shea”. I hope you’re enjoying the story.

* * * *

Copyright Martin Delacroix, 2009


On a Saturday afternoon in early September, my air conditioner quit. When I called the landlady she said her repair guy didn’t work weekends; I’d have to wait till Monday. The temperature was ninety at least, the humidity equally as high, and dampness gathered in my armpits. It would be a miserable evening.

I walked out my front door, just as Shea pulled into his driveway, surfboard attached to a rack on the roof of his van. He wore a black rash guard and boardshorts. Drops of seawater glistened in his braids.

“Have a good session?” I asked.

He nodded and grinned, loosening the straps securing his board. “Chest-high swells at Jetty Park. I was out there five hours, my arms are like noodles.”

I spoke of my air conditioning problem.

“Hang out at my place,” Shea said. “My unit works and I don’t have plans for tonight.”

I fixed dinner for us at Shea’s: spaghetti and salad with Italian dressing. I drank Chianti, Shea iced tea. We sat at his dinette, listening to a local reggae station, while Shea spoke of his home life, up in New Smyrna Beach.

“There’s my dad — he manages a hardware store — and my brother, who’s fourteen and a computer geek. My grandma lives with us also.”

Shea was shirtless. I asked about a tattoo on his shoulder, one the size of a stick of gum, the word “Sarah” appeared there in Gothic script.

When I asked about the tattoo, Shea said, “It’s my mom’s name.”

“Where is she now?”

Shea looked into his plate and his voice cracked when he answered.

“We don’t even know.”


I said, “My mom passed five years ago – cancer. Then my dad remarried. He lives in Sarasota with his new wife and she doesn’t care for my company. I see them at Christmas, that’s about it.”

“Brothers or sisters?”

I shook my head.

After dinner, I washed dishes while Shea dried and put them up We stood at the kitchen sink, side-by-side, our elbows and hips touching as we worked. Shane spoke of his classes at school, his love for surfing, and how he admired his dad for raising Shea and his brother, all on his own. The subject of girls never arose.

“My dad’s a devout Christian,” Shea said; “a loving man.”

“And you?”

He scratched his chest. “I try to follow Christ’s teachings – ‘do unto others’ and so forth — but I’m no angel.”

We watched a movie on television. When it ended, I rose and stretched.

“Guess I’ll call it a night,” I said.

Shea looked up from his bean bag chair.

“Your place’ll be an oven. Why not stay here?”

“Where would I sleep?”

Shea rose and turned off the TV. He pointed to the hallway. “My bed’s a double; there’s room for two.”

My belly fluttered at the thought of sleeping next to him. I said, “You’re sure you don’t mind?”

“Heck, no. Come on.”

* * * *

Okay, folks, that’s all for today. I’ll post another segment of Me and Shea tomorrow. Have a great Sunday, everyone.

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