When they left the restaurant several of the men went down to the dock below to look at the boats. Ocean boats had a different look and different equipment than lake boats and they were a good bit bigger. Nolan’s dad saw a sign advertising guided fishing trips and showed it to the others. It didn’t take long to get two boat loads of people from the family reunion on board to go fishing. They wrote down the number and made some calls to get the fishing trip set up. Then they headed back from the fancy seafood dinner to get a good nights sleep at the roach motel.
It was hard for anyone to sleep with the sound of critters crawling on the walls and floor. Nolan laid awake half the night listening to the awfulness and hoping nothing crawled on him. He slept in his shoes and clothes on the couch. He didn’t want to have to get up in the middle of the night and step on a roach in his bare feet and he didn’t want to try to get dressed for fishing while it was still dark. There would a lot of bugs out at 4:45 when they got up the next morning. But he did manage to get a little sleep even with the uncomfortable accommodations. He woke back up around 4:30 and went outside. The bathroom roaches were scary so he just peed in the bushes and waited for everyone else to get up.
Early in the morning, standing alone outside of the roach motel on the gulf, Nolan listened to the sound of the ocean. The parking lot lights were dim and the morning sun wouldn’t peak over the horizon for another hour. There were several raccoons in the dumpster and stray cats running around. The wind brought in the smell of the ocean and whistled as it shook the trees. Everything was dirty and shabby but Nolan loved it. He loved the feeling of being out here alone, solitude was his fortress. When he was alone Nolan felt free, it was the only time he felt like himself.
Suddenly a picture flashed through his mind life a thought was stabbing him. He saw himself fall in the water and drown. It hurt and he felt a little fear. He spoke into the wind, “NO!” He told the air and the dark spiritual forces over the area that he would not be drowning today. In anger at the suggestion, he then prayed for God to change this place, to uproot the poverty that was oppressing the place. He didn’t really know why that was his angry reaction but that’s what came out. Just a short simple prayer that the demon attacking his mind would be removed and replaced. About that time his dad came outside and saw him talking to the sky. Nolan was a little embarrassed and tried to play the whole thing off, but his dad could see how weird he was and he couldn’t trust his dad with truth, not after the dream he’d had a few months back. So he bottled it all up and waited by the car until the rest of the fishing crew arrived.