It was just past dawn. I was at the end of Rockview Street, staring out into the ocean. Quinn sat in the passengers seat. I spotted Marv sitting on the cement wall checking the surf. He didn’t see me. I got choked up. Marv was probably getting close to being about 30 years young. I met him when he was still in high school.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to talk with him because I was sick and fucking tired of having the same thing to say to everyone. It usually went like this:
Hey aren’t you supposed to be in Mex?
Oh Aaron, sorry to hear. What happened?
Everything, and Nothing.
I don’t understand.
Neither Do I.
And then I would proceed to tell this somebody that I didn’t want to get into the specifics, but that I am trying to come to grips with THE most defining time in my life.
So there was young Marvin. He looked good. He looked clean and sober. I felt the magnetic pull to reconnect, but couldn’t tell you why:
Yeah Marvin, What’s Up Big Guy?
Aaron, is that you?
Indeed it is. No, stay there, I will be right out.
I got out of the van, went around to the sliding side door, and let Quinn out. Both she and I walked over to Marv. I could tell that he knew something seemed odd. It surely had to do with the fact that I had a dog, and I was right:
No way, Who’s this?
She is Quinn.
Beauty. I am guessing Puerto is done?
It is buddy.
Dude, what’s the matter?
I lost all composure, and it felt right. I put my head down, cried into my hands, and basically just broke it all down for the kid. I told him everything in like four minutes, and didn’t hold back. Marvin had no choice but to put his arm around me. There is something very refreshing about breaking down in front of youth.
I stood over the bar. Mary(pronounced Mah-ree) looked beautiful in her yellow sundress. She had a receipt written out, but needed my Domicilio. I got that confused with my Apellido. I started spelling my last name. She chuckled. I knew I had the word wrong. She didn’t have the where-with-all to explain what it really meant.
Her 71 y/o father entered the scene. He had spent 40 years of his life in Long Beach CA. He said it meant address. I told them that I didn’t know my domicilio. He asked me if I had a telephone number. I said I don’t carry a telephono. Laughter should have been in the air, but it wasn’t. But it would be soon. I just needed more time.
I handed over 600 pesos to cover us for the month. The Jefe said that I misunderstood, and that it was 600 dollars. I went out on a limb and processed his comment as a joke. “Oh, OK..wait a sec., and let me go out to the car and get more money,” I said. I saw the smirk already appearing on his face. The ice had been broken.
We talked and talked. He told me about all sorts of stuff. Tarzan, Mexican Mafia, Crocodiles, Young Pretty Ladies, Givers vs Takers, Carne Asada Tacos, you name it. He broke down the history of his Sweet Water Lagoon, and the many stories that went along with it. My partner was long gone on his morning paddle. I was conducting business.
I told him that we were good people, and that his daughter is so very lovely, and that she’s been taking great care of us. I told him that we will do everything in our power to make things right around here. I thanked him again for allowing us to keep our equipment locked away on his property. I then got on my board and went for a two hour paddle.
Mexico City is a Big City. Maybe even the biggest, I don’t know. Last I heard, about 21 million people live within the city limits. Whoa Digger!
My partner told me that one time he got so lost that he had to pay a taxi driver to get him back on track. And no, he didn’t prepay the driver.
Ill timing, coupled with our situation, had us approaching Mexico City around 3:30pm. It didn’t feel like one of our better decisions thus far.
My partner told me that one time the sign to Cuernavca was so covered up by a tree, that he missed the turn, and had to get bailed out by a taxi.
There were toll roads on top of tunnels merging into highways. It was 75kph and bumper to bumper. I put down the Cheese Its and went Kyle Petty.
Burger King, Laredo Texas//10:30am//Air Conditioned:
I suggested we use the drive thru because we were behind schedule. My partner suggested we dine in so that we could chill out a bit, enjoy a shitty meal, and get our story straight.
OK, what’s our story?
Well for starters, he demanded that I keep my mouth shut at all times. He didn’t care what shirt I wore. He didn’t care if I kept my sunglasses on. He didn’t care that I hadn’t shaved in weeks. He didn’t care about anything I thought was worth caring about. Just keep your mouth buckled he kept saying.
But what if..???
How are we gonna..???
“Look Pollo, please just let me do the talking. Trust me this one time. Just be sure to have the paperwork ready. Pretend you can’t talk. Pretend you can’t hear either. The ONLY thing you need to do is be sure to have the paperwork together the exact moment I ask for it. Got it?”
My partner wasn’t really referring to paperwork, so much as the work that had gone into this one piece of paper that suggested that the two beastly sporting-good items inside the van, and the seven monster sporting-good items on top of the van were worth a teency weency portion of their true value.
OK, but what about the rest of the items inside the..??
Are you sure that I shouldn’t…??
Don’t you think we should pretend..??
I’m not going to say it again Pollo, shut the beak!
I sat quietly in a plastic booth. I wanted to talk so badly, but my partner wouldn’t have it. I just sat there and sipped shitty black coffee. I can’t remember ever seeing my partner so serious.
We went outside. It was hot. I found the folder that carried the ‘piece of paper’. I specifically remember taking out the piece of paper and repositioning it inside my backpack full of technology.
It was 11:10am on Sunday Morning.
Labor Day Weekend.
I’m movin’ on up, to the south side
To a deluxe apartment a La Punta
I’m movin’ on up, to the south side
I finally got a piece of the Tlayuda
Dogs ain’t tied to a short leash
Plastic don’t burn in the hills
It took a whole lot a trying
Just to swallow some of them pills
But now I’m up in the fruit trees
Papaya & Mango out the back
A dozen dogs policing, A couple roosters cackling
There ain’t nothin’ wrong with that
Yes I’m movin’ on up, to the south side
With a maid and hot water, two-plus stories high
I’m movin’ on up, to the south side
I finally got a piece of the pie…
An agreement got made in the Big Blue Ocean between myself and Big Jim. We agreed that I was ready to blindly go where so many white men have tried to go before; Out on my own, to find my own way. Looking back, the shield that he had graciously provided by allowing me to oversee his hotel in the GringoLandia section of Puerto Escondido was a beautifully orchestrated eye opener. I’ve been coming here for many years, each year with a different sort of set up,(treehouses, water towers, plantation estates) and each visit found me under someones wing. Big Jim, being six six, has had the biggest wings of them all. And still does. He’s a Lion in Puerto. I’m his little cub. We are both hobo surfers that is for sure.
But it was time to get off the tit even though I ain’t really truly off it at all. For instance, if God forbid I ever got myself in a real jam, I wouldn’t have the slightest clue as to how to make it go away. That is to say, I still need enabling, just not as much as in years past. So after a couple of trials and errors, I settled on a nice and safe concrete box in a half finished hotel, on the poor side of the highway, half way between Gringolandia, and Very Real Mexico. The owner of the hotel knows just one English word. That word is HolAron. I bought a fan, a blender, a burner, a cooler, some pots & pans, a coffee cup, a couple plates & utensils, a plastic folding table, a bicycle, some WD40, and a few other nicknack paddywacks.
Everybody I know, and/or know of, and/or associate with, be it athletically, professionally, mentally, physically, spitefully.., family, friends, fringe friends and the like, past and present readers and haters, and the rest of you, whoever you are, I am finally certain that by now you can’t help but wonder what could possibly be happening in P.E, Oax., MX, that has me annually spending six odd months of the year (t)here.
“He’s too young to be an Ex-Pat, and too old to be traveling around aimlessly on Daddy’s dime. Does he have a senorita or two that he’s hiding away?, and is she Pregnant? Hasn’t he come to realize that he’s not going to be able to surf the waves at Main Beach like he had hoped he would when he first visited in 2005. Hmmmm. Curious if he’s running from the law? He’s probably just working on his bloody tan!”