At seven in the morning, you show yourself down several hallways into the restaurant.
Giovanni or one of the girls gets a pot of coffee and a full cup to me when they see me. When the wind blows I can feel the entire pier swing its hips like a drunk hula girl. It is five o’ clock somewhere and Jimmie Buffet Drive runs right through the dining area to the bar where Happy Hour begins when someone starts a fish story and the bar girl pours her first round.
At seven in the morning, this restaurant has an odd feel. Everything slants to the left and the guys who built the place must have had their heads in Margaritaville when they picked up their hammers and screw guns and measured their cuts.
By seven thirty, my order is on the wheel and cooks are scrambling eggs, frying bacon, making biscuits and gravy.
Sitting near the kitchen I listen to them talking about parties and during Spring Break plates will fly through their serving window as fast as they can fix them as they break their necks looking at girls in bikini’s, or less.
By eight, the sun is warming me through single pane windows and a pelican on top of a close by pier post in my line of sight is grooming.
Deckhands on the Osprey are out swabbing decks, loading poles and ice coolers filled with drinks, sandwiches and bait shrimp. In the gift shop, a clerk runs credit cards for men and women going out to fish this morning on the Osprey.
At seven, the world looks screwy. By nine, kinks are worked out.
South Padre Island, when you look at its aerial photograph on the wall, looks like a shark’s tooth.
I keep a sharp eye out for one legged sailors.
They are my canary in the mine shaft.