Dripping with sweat after a two-mile walk on the beach with our dogs.
I climb into our motorhome and turn to sit when Patty walks up.
"I've been looking for you for an hour!" she whines. She's a minute of a woman, with short curly reddish hair, a deep tan and barely a wrinkle. And she's smoking.
I met Patty late last night, at the bathhouse. She was brushing her teeth when I walked in and she was wowed by my hair. (So she says.) She loves my hair. (So she says.) And, she says, she has just the product I need to keep it beautiful during the day. She'll bring some by in the morning.
She also managed to tell me, in those few moments together, standing in the restrooms, that she's 60 years old, from New Hampshire, and is staying with an elderly couple (in their 80s), who are leaving on Sunday.
Well, it's now Saturday morning and that's why she's been looking for me. To fix my hair. (Or so I thought.)
So I go outside, sit at a picnic table and cringe. Because Patty scoops up what she calls mud from a little pot and scrunges it into my hair. I hate this.
I'm sweating and sandy and sticky and now this woman smears mud in my hair. (I now look like the" Flying Nun," only too heavy to take flight.)
Patty yabbers the whole time she's scrunching and poofing my hair. (Why did I agree to this?) About the things she wants to see and do here in Corus Christi. About how she has three more days before her plane leaves and how she needs a place to stay because her friends are leaving in the morning.
"I guess," she whines, "I could stay in my car."
I think this woman wants to bum a bed off us. I think she's trying to butter me up through my hair.
"Yes," I say. "Lots of people stay in their car."
Mostly, I can tell the difference between a person in need and one in greed. And Patty, I think, guesses I can, too. Because she leaves soon after I fail to offer her a place to sleep.
But she's coming back later, she says. And I'm going to wash out my hair.