It was one of those break ups that leaves you a bag of bones. An empty vessel of a person, where all you get to be is mash up of organs working lethargically & only because they have to, long & stretched paled skin, sad mush brain, empty tired eyes, charred flaccid heart… The kind of sadness remediable by one thing and one thing only. One golden word: vacation.
So, Mexico, eh? $400 some odd bucks to get myself from the dreary rainy season that wrapped itself with prodding, icy fingers around and throughout the town that my ex and I shared that felt frighteningly small? Oh God- yes, please.
So a plane. And then some wayward nights spent in a few different places. Increasing fun. Throw in some new travel friends. Sprinkle some hitchhiking adventures in. Put me on a beach with my home girl in the middle of a stashy surf hub, full of sun-kissed surfer-boy babes and feed me a couple of drinks and you got yourself a real good story on ze boiler.
I shook my ass. I let my hair down. Real Julia Roberts kinda stuff. I was holding that. If I had to wear a neon sign reflecting my mind-heart-soul state- surely it would have flicker-buzzed that tricky, multi layered word: Healing. And with the all-too-common recklessness that accompanies a proper heartbreak, I got mine.
And I met Ernesto. His tall shadow across the sand taking over my memory. His flash of black curls. Big, knowing hands. Sexy swagger. Of calculated movement. Eyes open. He had game & was connected. He was street. He was bad. So good bad. He was in a gang… I did not realize what this meant. Either way he was very yummy. I liked him, though I was on vacation- don’t forget. So naturally I dispersed my time in many different ways…
And so Ben. Another local. A lone-wolf surfer. Compact body carved by the ocean. A total romantic. Dark & deep… In a rival gang. Who knew? And I thought he yummy too.
And so haay rebound. And so you go girl n’ shit. Allathat. And ride that wave until it crashes & lord watch for the shore.
My time with Ben turned out to be probably just four intense days together before he was convinced that he was in a painful kind of love with me, which I found quickly terrifying. He went off the deep end when I cut him off, the little bit of what we had. I’m not qualified to diagnose, but still maintain that homie was certifiably crazy, & I pity the woman who may very well be stuck with him somehow at this point of life. Needless to say I spent long days after avoiding him, which was no easy task, as there were only a handful of places where the nightlife action was. I just wasn’t ready to leave.
Truth of the matter is that either of the hes’ are not what or whom I think of when I think of the week & change spent in this spot. This little beach town- a town that healed me, gave me love, restored my spine, provided amazing times, helped me develop a shining (over) appreciation for tequila… I think not of that so much. I think of one night where the boomerang effect hit me smack in the face.
It was another night music & friends & Ernesto. Another night of avoiding poor Ben. Another night with the perfect salty air enveloping me and putting me in tropical trance… The way that breeze skimmed across my skin… I found myself on a rooftop bar where people were dancing & drinking. This is where memory & accuracy begin to get muddy. I remember free flowing, generous mezcal shots. I remember feeling annoyed that I had to keep running away from someone who wanted to work out nothing workable. I remember needing a cigarette & asking some local guy if I could have one. I thoughtlessly asked him for one in Spanish but instead of responding to me saying a simple yes or no, he chose the unscripted option of inquiring aggressively in English about where I was from. When I responded, slightly taken aback- about being from the states, he got up in my face, pointing his stranger hand right up in to my nose, to say the following: “You are from the United States and you are asking ME for a cigarette?!” And then, whilst furiously shaking: “FUCK YOUUU. FUCK YOUUUUU.” And on and on and on, with this weird stupid finger in my face, fuck youing me to pieces, backing me up until I was smashed up against the side of the building, with his terrible, angry, misdirected, spittle-maker-face against mine. And I blacked out. And did I hit him? Push? Did he push me? I’m not sure because don’t give me tequila & yell at me for your hang ups. Next thing I know, I’m in the middle of the floor but getting pulled back by two or Ernesto’s boys, while others from his crew swoop in on this guy and remorselessly remove him from my sight, pushing him down the stairs, taking him out the building, far out of my sight or anything I would ever know more of.
I remember yelling because I was shocked & drunk. Yelling because I was bugged out & confused. Yelling yelling yelling in English because I’m more used to speaking English now. Who knows what was conveyed, & I was being held back by these guys, & then there is sad, crazy head Ben with his boys, in my face- from where anyway? And now would there be a rumble? Ben- telling me to calm down and trying to hug me & drunk drunk drunk me, no memory.
I know I ran. I ran I ran I did not stop until I had to because I contained breath no more. I had run to the beach, ignoring peoples warnings against going alone to at night for various unheard, far-from-convenience-reasons, but reckless & still somewhat broken, I did not care. I needed ocean solace. I ran onto the sand & I melted. I cried cried cried cried. For more than that night or the moments of shit roof. I cried out of frustration for Ben; cried for loss of my boyfriend & how the fracture was my irreparable fault; cried for fear of/for that merciless seeming roof guy who was so angry at me who was nobody to him, & how much bitterness one must carry to hate strangers. Plump drunk dehydrating tears, bent over, standing in a loosey goosey forward fold, until I felt a sudden excruciating pain grip my legs & run up the length of my body faster than lightening. Tsunami faster. I felt like I was dry brush on fire, the flames licking me, twist biting at my skin- everything terrible. Fire ants. I had chosen my melt down spot to be perfectly situated atop a hill of fire ants. Hysterical now, in retrospect. Just perfect. But holy did they hurt so unbelievably bad. With out thought or alternative I found myself bolting-same-time-stripping soon-to-be-diving into black night ocean.
By morning the bites no longer bothered me. At least my memory does not hold that. I don’t even remember how I saw Ernesto, but I know that when I did see him, did ask him about what happened to the man from the roof, his eyes serious & fast- told me never to ask about him again. Impenetrable. I remember feeling Latino 90210 town on steroids. Tired. Drama lama ding dong.
I was done. Full. I’d had enough. My heart had been restored. I’d filled in the gaps between my vitals. The blood coursing through me- purified a la beach mode, despite the maybe murder… Ready to go home.