Sunday, September 14, 2008

Palabras

After one stomach-wrenching lurch, the plane landed in PV. I was finally here and after the events from the last couple days (quitting a toxic job to try working on my own...from Mexico for the next couple weeks), I was feeling pretty good. I stepped through the sliding "exit" doors, tinted white, to be received by a throng of taxi drivers and tourist officials, clamoring for my business, any business. "You want a taxi-I give you good price" "Where you going, pretty lady" "You need a bodyguard, senorita?"

I smiled, No gracias. Pienso que estoy bien.

Creo que si. Buenos suerte y buenos tardes, senorita.

I wait for the bus and practiced chatting in Spanish with the man who guessed I was headed to Sayulita and very formally wished me a "most magnificent time", in carefully practiced English. As we sped past crumbling bulidings, new construction and pickup trucks full of dusty laborers, I practiced talking to the woman who sat down next me after I smiled to her and carefully said, Este asiento esta abierto." I practiced talking to the man with a portly Corona-belly, who reclined in a lawn chair in the middle of the road, halfway up the steep hill I'd trudged up, searching for the Casa Suenos Del Mar. He pointed up further up the road to a woman who spoke English. Together we pieced together some direction that involved me descending and climbing up another hill. There I practiced talking to a man who pointed me in the right direction, all in Spanish. Again and again I stop, confused by the nameless streets that force me to trade palabras with people of all sorts. Perspiration drips from my forehead by the time I arrive at the house where my friends are staying. Hot, sleep deprived, lost -- but happy. I made a lot of mistakes, but I revelled in the beauty of a language shared, even if it takes a couple (or 14) tries to get it right. The simplicity of shared smiles amongst strangers, as we fumbled to put words into sentences that could be understood and passed around.

Somewhere in my head, tumbles the words of that one poem I learned in 10th grade. Now I can only remember the first couple lines in Spanish, en el muro calor, paloma de cemento, sin embargo, tan vivido... The last couple lines I could only paraphrase, "Isn't it time we started thinking that just being alive demands something of us, big things maybe, or perhaps some simple thing would be enough...words for one thing, household words well worn with warmth."

Jen makes two plates of delicious nachos, piled high with manchego and guacamole (made from perfect avocados purchased for $.20 that morning). Mechanical fans swirl, mariachi blares from a passing car, we talk about nothing in particular as the sun sets and tiny, tan geckos end their day by scaling the ceiling above us to congregate, within the terracota light shade, near the warmth.

1 comment:

Kurt said...

Have a great time, Joya, and take some awesome pictures! Mutti