"God Knew How Many Beats Per Minute" [Mr Martinez Part 33]
‘Rita left for the state-room at midnight. Martínez stayed at the table long after the bar had shut, staring out at the stars. He was slumped forward on his folded arms, still at the same table, when the bar opened for ‘desayuno’ at around six. The ‘Hedy Lamarr’ was around an hour-and-a-half out. The sun was coming up, edging the island with a light the colour of embers in a campfire. ‘Rita came in dressed for the bike, carrying Martínez’s rucksack in one hand. Her own was slung over the opposite shoulder, but then there wasn’t much in it. She handed over Martinez’s bag and they headed forward to where ‘Rita’s bike was stored at the prow end waiting to fulfil the Roll Off part of the deal.
Both rucksacks were stowed in the bike’s panniers and ‘Rita was negotiating the roads out of Port D’Eivissa like a local cab-driver: fast – and loose with the lights and signs. Before long the E-20 autopista had run out and they were heading north past Can Sire, Can Ramón and Can Ne Negreta into the green hills. Over the intercom local radio was playing music from the club scene, even some from the early days of the Balearic Beat. Martínez reckoned you could only bear it if you were loved up on E. He felt old, but then even the youngest of the Space cadets would be fifty now. The road kept climbing, the trees in the olive groves being planted ever closer together and the ground between turning from ochre to verdant green.
‘Rita’s voice came over the intercom, cutting through the insistent god-knew-how-many beats per minute that felt like they were knocking Martinez’s head from side to side.
‘You notice his address?’
‘Near some place called San Josep.’
‘Oh yeah, near Sa Talaiassa. Did you see? Where Google Maps marked his property?’
‘In the middle of nowhere.’
‘I bet he can see the ruins of the old Festival Club’
‘I’ve never heard of it.’
‘It opened and closed within three seasons in the 70s, my mother told me about it. I was almost born here on the island. She said it was no place for a single mother and her child.’
Martínez supposed she might have been, if her mother had had ‘Rita in her 30s. But people didn’t start families at thirty back then, before Franco died. He wondered how ‘Rita had escaped being one of ‘los bebés robados’.
‘So what?’ he said.
‘So our guy will be able to see the ruins from his place. It’s a big tourist attraction. The start of it all, The White Island stuff.’
‘Like I said, so what?’
The music came back on, louder. Maybe he should have been a bit less dismissive. It wasn’t doing his hangover any good at all. But it was keeping him awake. Falling off a moto whilst riding pillion at 100kph was not on his bucket list.