Monday, March 11, 2013

A Gringa Like Me

Well I’m spending a lot of time in my room in Mexico now; I have a nasty head cold or flu something.  Maybe it’s dengue fever.  I hear they have that floating around out here. Anyway,  I’m still gonna play tonight.  My set is at 12:30 tonight.

We’re playing mostly for the expats down here, generally a wizened and ropey-veined  bunch of heavy drinkin fun-lovin’ retirees. And there are the volunteers who run around helping us all out.  

 In fact, one especially sweet lady, Jacqui, who was born here when it was a beautiful gringo-less fishing village, told me the real story of her childhood here, how her father took them out in the fishing boat and when they reached the rocks, he’d say, “Applaud, children!”  and all the hundreds of birds would fly when they clapped their hands.  Now that’s a real show.  That’s the show they should be having here.

It’s funny where we’re staying.  Not exactly comfortable for a gringa like me, but I’m getting used to it.  The overhead fan only turns at tornado velocity as if to want to blow me back over to my side of the border.  Evil fan.  Look.  It's spinning so fast you can't even see the blades.

Phil’s fan chirps.  Incessantly. Like a wind-up tropical bird playing and replaying the floor show of a Disneyland paradise.  Chirp.  Chirp. Chirp.  Next plane of tourists arriving.  Chirp.  Chirp.  Chirp.

Also there’s a weird big picture in a blood-red frame in my room of a baby with curly hair.  Did a family live here before?  Did the baby die?  Why didn’t they take the picture with them?  I’d love to take it down, but maybe the baby did actually die, and its spirit would be pissed off if I took it off the wall. Nothing worse than an angry dead baby.

As long as I’m on the subject of weird, in case you didn’t know, you’re not supposed to put toilet paper in the toilet here.  They say the pipes are really small.  Philbillie says with his indefatigable Philbillie logic, "It’s a third world country, what do you expect?”  but I just don’t get it.  Why would they put in a toilet that can’t handle toilet paper? Now you know in case you ever come down here.  You can thank me later.

And there's more weird in the bathroom, too.  The tile. It's like a gilded and marble Mafioso’s dream of bad-taste luxury, a bas-relief of gold seaweed, coral and bubbles encased in a ring of gold for vapid queen mermaid (that would be me) who to ponder mindlessly, mouth half-agape, as though she has something to say from astride her porcelain and plastic throne.

One last thing.  Can you say door knob warmer?

In the early morning hours when the roar of the diesel trucks and whining scooters have subsided, you hear the ocean waves breaking and loud birds I’ve never heard before, maybe some still left from when this place was a gringo-less paradise. Whoever needed a road, anyway, a luxury hotel, an Italian or sushi restaurant in Mexico?  Drug lords cater to the north American party animals.  Dead bodies lying in the road.  The green palms wave at me in the night.  Here’s what I think.  Everything tells me: gringo go home…

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