Note: Never have I ever met someone who so consistently made me feel so wildly uncomfortable. My interactions with him often left me baffled and speechless, and it wasn't until thinking back on this strange character of a person that Jenn and I realized just how funny he really is.
After a week in Palawan, we were back in Manila at our fantastic condo-turned-hostel on the 18th floor of a new high rise. A short, stout man got in the elevator with us as we headed up. He was wearing a mustard yellow shirt heavily stained with sweat, long khaki shorts, and he hadn't shaved in a few days. His eyes were droopy and beads of perspiration were forming around his thinned out dirty blonde hair.
We both pressed the 18th floor.
Please don't let him be in my hostel... please don't let him be in my hostel... I thought over and over again as the strange creature of a man followed Jenn and I passed door after door until we all stopped in font of the one that was our hostel.
We thought we got lucky when he didn't immediately come into our room, but a few short minutes later we realized he was on the bunk be right across from us. Awesome.
He is from Minneapolis but spends his summers on the lake in Bemidji. He works a number of odd jobs in the city, including valet parking, painting store front windows for Halloween and Christmas, "there's actually really good money it that," he told us.
"But the main thing I do is manage a home for retarded adults," he said.
I nodded my head along with another hostel dweller, "Wow, that's great!" I said.
"Yeah, not really... I'm burned out. I got tired of tackling retards in the stairwells everyday," he replied.
I eyed the guy across the room, unsure of how to respond, and we both squeaked out awkward noises of acknowledgement, followed by an impossibly long period of silence.
"Oh hey, do you know where I can get some prescription narcotics?" the man from Minnesota asked. "I went to the dentist yesterday to see if I could get some, but they wouldn't give me any. Then I went to the doctor, and they wouldn't budge either. I was expecting the pharmacies in the Philippines to be stocked with all sorts of pain killers I can't get stateside, but they're not."
It was about that time that I noticed his large, wide open suitcase along the wall. The suitcase was oversize and overflowing with clothes. On top of it all was a big plastic container filled with no less than a dozen prescription pill bottles.
"Umm, well sorry to hear that. I have some ibuprofen if you want?" I said.
"Haha... that's funny. That won't do me any good."
"Well, what exactly is wrong with you?" I asked.
"My thighs are rubbed raw. You know, it's really hot out and I've been walking a lot and so my legs rub together and shit - it hurts! I can't really walk anymore and I think the only thing that will knock it out is something like morphine," he said.
"Wait... you rubbed your legs raw? Huh. Well that sucks. I think sitting down for a while might be a little more effective than pain pills," I said.
What I was really thinking though was, "Dude, you're chaffing. Get some Goldbond and quit telling the world that your inner thighs are bleeding... I think you've got quite the cocktail of narcotics to get you through the pain already."
He replied by saying he was going to take some sleeping pills and was planning to pass out (it was mid-afternoon). Jenn and I left to check out the city and returned a few hours later to get ready for dinner.
"Ugh... these weren't strong enough," he said in a dazed stupor as he emerged from under his bunk. Despite his drug-induced haze, he was game for another conversation and we learned he wanted to open up a resort in the Philippines.
"Man, I love it here. I've been here a couple of times now and I just love it. My buddy and I from back in Minneapolis are going to open a resort here. He's got a Filippino girlfriend who is helping us buy land. Don't worry, she's totally legit, like they're not breaking up anytime soon. Even if they did we would still have the business partnership, you know? She's the real deal. I swear," he said, uninterrupted.
Well, sir, that sounds nice. There is no way in hell I would ever stay at your resort.
He went way over the top justifying her legitimacy while his business plan seemed like something he and his friend came up with one night when they were tripping on some of the many prescription pills they own. Jenn and I assumed that perhaps the man stole from all of the "adult retards" that he was tired of tackling? Who knows, it's just a hypothesis.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Narco.
(I actually don't even know what his real name is).