I can hear the faint whispers of the lives of thousands lured here and the many who were snared and never left. Come in, don’t worry, slip off the sandals, have a drink, smoke a joint, breathe in the air. Slowly becoming enshrouded by these emerald wisps of a maiden imprisoning me in this forbidden fortress, where no desire goes unquenched.
Goa… as almost all beach havens act as an opium den, the doors always open, but no one ever wants to leave. Their fix is always ever present, just around the corner. Whether it be something to keep you up until daybreak for the heart pumping trance scene, or something to bring you down to level yourself out. The taste of mind blurring nectar or the crisp sobering blood of a coconut. The bronzing heat of the sun or the saltiness of the tepid water. The fragrant intensity of the spices and chilies or the fresh fruits of the sea. Everything within reach.
I arrived in Anjuna, the northern part of the state and was checking into prison. Tall barbed wire fences towering above me, barred windows and a mug shot to not be forgotten. Sharing a cell with another nine inmates, we were lucky security was lax leaving us to our own devices. Beer cooler in the lounge and the charas flowed in and out with ease. I lost track of time and days as they no longer had meaning, they began to follow me and trail behind. Floating down a river of cheap booze days blended into one another, when one ended and the next began became unapparent. Was the sun coming up or going down? Motivation became non-existent to the point where the simplest task would take days and finally upon completion it felt like a great victory, as if Troy was breached. It traps you without your own knowledge of it and when it is realized it’s too late… you’re in.
I knew breaking out of prison wouldn’t be a simple task, but when the gates never locked one would think it couldn’t be a herculean task either. I planned my escape a few times, each time going to bed thinking tomorrow will be the day. It was always tomorrow, then the day after that. Eventually the day came and with the help of a friend met behind the bars we broke free with Queens, ‘I want to break free’ playing behind us. We ran to the capital, Panjim to lay low for a couple days.
Working our way to the southern border, one last stop, Palolem. About two kilometers of golden sand saturated with restaurants, sun beds, shops, beach shacks and long stayers. Perfect place to blend in, but the dogs were on to us. By day they were calm trying to beat the heat, but at night they picked up your scent. They would gather in packs to intimidate and attempt a few lunges when they felt lucky.
It was time to make a final run for it before Goa consumed me, but it was an internal struggle, being pulled in both directions. The water dragged me in every time the increasing heat began to boil my blood, the cheap rum and Kingfisher still flowing through my veins. Anything I need is within my grasp. Why should I leave, life here is cheap and easy, no worries. Hakuna matata!
Not sure what it was, definitely not the angel on my shoulder because he was taken out years ago, but something broadsided me, knocking me back on my ass. Get out of here or you’ll become one of them, a permanent bum of the beach. I thought what’s so wrong with that, I could do this. Wait, I have too much left to do still, too much to see, too much to eat. I can’t get snared and become a sun wrinkled fixture on the beach….. yet!