The previous time in Cocoa Beach, I had a conflict with a construction worker in a Starbucks parking lot. Without closing off the lot or any specific sections, the workers simply constructed and deconstructed everywhere, and had my van practically permanently blocked in its parallel parking spot. When I walked to my van to leave, there was only one worker present, so I asked for his help guiding me out. Oddly, he begrudgingly helped without saying a word of response, and did so in lackadaisical fashion. When I ran over a cone in front that I could not see, he hollered, “God damnit!” and looked at me like one might look at an idiotic petty criminal. I hollered back, “That’s why I asked for your help.” I pulled out of the parking lot and was stopped at a red light. He stared at me from the parking lot with a kind of subtle brooding vengeance. Later I ended up parking not far from the Starbucks while I walked to some public picnic tables to practice guitar. When I returned, I noticed someone had used a sharpie to draw a stick figure taking a dump and had written “www.dick.com”.
This time as I arrived in Cocoa Beach, I wondered how much gossip construction guys took part in, and how many enemies I might have who can spot my van from a mile away. I went to Open Mike’s again. It was not as special as the first time. It was a funk jam night and there was an air of pretentiousness among the musicians in charge. I watched for a little while and left. The island was not blessed with wind and I made plans to attend an open mic that was on the way to Jacksonville. I stopped at an Anytime Fitness, exercised and cleaned up, and then changed my plans and called Michael Phaneuf, a kite friend, to see if we could connect. He invited me to his apartment.
It was great to see Mike.
He was hospitable, as was his girlfriend Amory. Even though they were watching a fun movie, she gave us space to talk and prepared grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for us. It was great to catch up and we really connected over our strategies and mindsets toward building our individual futures. Mike insisted on giving me $20 for the album I gave him. He invited me to stay the night on his comfy couch, but I was antsy to get back on the road. I thanked them, said goodbye, and got on my way to Jacksonville.