Saturday, February 20, 2010

swimming in mexico

It’s hot today so I decide to float in the pool for a while before trekking to the beach. A quick submersion then I lay my torso upon a baby’s float, enough to keep my head out of the water. Suddenly a little black bug swims up to my face. He/she looks like a beetle. I have no idea what it is. It has four little legs, all of which are furiously paddling. I scoop the poor creature into the cup of my hand, swim to the pool’s edge and gently release him or her. He immediately turns around and lets him/herself drop back into the pool. I strike this off to disorientation and scoop him back up and place him a little further from the edge where upon he/she immediately turns around and swims back into the pool. I don’t get it.

Now I know that I tend to exaggerate at times, throw in a few details that didn’t actually occur for the sake of storytelling, (everyone must laugh after all…this I have learned…if you can’t be funny, no one really cares. you can tell the most harrowing of stories so long as you throw in a little humor, but, no exaggeration, I pick up the critter once more and heave him as far as I can (I played 3rd base for years, so no wimp toss) toward the garden. He lands on the branch of a baby palm and I watch as he drops him/herself off the leaf and onto the tiles below. I watch. Carefully. Don’t take my eyes off of him/her as he/she rights (fuck it – it’s a he from this point on…) himself and begins his journey back to the pool. I couldn’t believe it. Do beetles have a brain? Can they think? Is he consciously trying to drown himself and am I disturbing the natural order of things. Why is this beetle trying to get back into the pool? Is he just hot? He’s probably totally bullshit with me at this point! I WANT TO SWIM YOU STUPID HUMAN! IT’S FREAKIN’ HOT OUT HERE! And here he comes, back to edge and once again drops himself in. unbelievable.

I am so taken by this that I jump out of the pool and scurry over to the computer to jot down my findings.

Just thought you might be interested in hearing. Need to get back to the pool now to see if he’s still in there.

Friday, February 19, 2010

reading in mexico

So today I will read. I finished my first novel already (The Help – highly recommend) and start looking for another book. I just can’t sit idle, I need something to do and there is nothing I would rather do than immerse myself in a great book that takes me away from the beauty and warmth that surrounds me. A dose of cruel reality is important in keeping fresh in one’s mind how wonderful it is to be where you are.

I take three possibilities to the pool’s edge. I get myself all settled in; towel the recliner, drag the little table within arm’s reach, where I stack the 3 books and my ice coffee, and then proceed to coat my body with 30 sun block. I arrange myself onto the lounger and am immediately pissed that it is just too hot to sit here. I need to pick all this up and start all over again on the other side of the pool where there is shade. So begins the exodus.

Finally, I sit my ass down, pick up the first potential and begin to read. I read for half an hour and am into the second chapter before I suddenly recognize a particular sentence, a profound sentence, which I remember stopping at the last time. This not remembering can actually be a benefit, as one can read and re-read all ones favorite books over and over again and not have to suffer through bad fiction that goes nowhere. Nevertheless, I put the book down and begin the second potential.

I am immediately taken in by the gripping description of a horrid car accident. It’s almost too descriptive. I find myself cringing and feel my face distorting and head shaking….but it is so well written I am compelled to continue reading. Then the book begins to do that back and forth thing, swinging from present time to past tense, which I hate, but the past tense is at least a break from the current state the poor bastard finds himself in, and it is also compelling, so I read on.

Finally, we are back to prevailing times and we are in a burn unit of a hospital undergoing debridement, (the cutting off of dead skin from a burn victim). His description of the pain is so unbearable to read, that I actually feel my stomach rise into the back of my throat and I heave the book into the pool where it floats before sinking.

I pick up potential number three; a story of two best friends, who survive betrayal, disloyalty and pain, to go on loving each other forever -Sounds like fiction to me and the perfect read to escape reality when it’s just too good to believe! Within the first fifty pages, I read the words, “will you be my best friend” “I will always be your best friend”, “promise we will always be best friends” enough times that the words….NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER …no longer hold any value for me.

I get the pool net, scoop out potential number two and resume reading about what it means to survive an inferno while I bake in the sun for added effect.

painting in mexico

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

life in bucerias mexico

J and I have been in Mexico since the 5th of February.

This visit is supposed to be a test run. A ‘can we live here’ test run, so I am trying to live like a person would normally, not as a vacationer lives. That means I get up in the mornings and check email in case someone is looking for me. I am in fact working on this trip thanks to wireless internet access.

Actually I don’t really know what day of the week it is today. It is a rainy day and J left to go into Puerto Vallarta to work with old clients and friends she’s had from a hundred years ago.

On Saturday I relentlessly checked email for any potential work. “It’s Saturday…of a long weekend” J says, “I’ve told you three times already”. “Oh, yea. Forgot.” I say. “Oye” she says.

I have been cooking and reading and writing and painting every day. Not all at once mind you. I’m not that coordinated any more, although I do find I jump from one activity to another with seamless alacrity.

As a for- instance. I was just reheating left overs (shrimp (which literally just jumped out of the sea and cost $3.00 a pound) sautéed in olive oil with garlic, fresh tomatoes, capers, roasted red peppers, and white wine …all which cost less than ten dollars) over angel hair pasta)…just to digress a little more… Yesterday I made a fish and shrimp stew with rice, tomatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms and wine. I needed a few things so I walked into town where I picked up a bag of mushrooms, two avocados, three tomatoes and fresh cilantro all for a total of $1.50!

Anyway, back to the left overs. I needed to nuke the bowl of pasta but we were using the microwave for storage. After clearing out the huge pineapple and assortment of other veggies, I noticed those itty bitty tiny pin head size ants marching around in there. Of course I felt badly, but there were too many to wipe up so I decided I would set the microwave on for a minute or two to …well you know….i set the timer for 1.5 minutes….i waited…ok that’s enough I though. I felt terrible. I open the microwave door to find all the little fuckers still marching around!! How is it possible that you can inadvertently implode your miniature poodle (I’ve heard of such tragic events) but these little things do not die after being nuked???

I was so, amazed, amused, intrigued, curious that I left the microwave to jot down my observations and began to write. This is where I am now…..and what I meant about seamlessly jumping from one activity to other.

…ok, so wrote all that and then went and heated the pasta and ate. It was just as good the second day although I added a little olive oil and some salt, because I salt everything, even if it doesn’t need it.

Just for some color, i thought i would throw in a photo of Saturdays dinner (two "n's" because you always want old friend taught me that..that's how i know when to use double consonants...diner, dinner). it was also quite good.