I would really love to go to the show at the new art gallery, I thought, if I could just be brave enough to drive my motorcycle or the camper on the dark narrow road the goats, horses and cattle share. I would really just love to take Poppy up on her offer to ride along with her posse if only the network would just work so I could email her. If only my phone wasn’t dead. If only I could find that…”what do you call that thingey you charge the phone with, dear?”
“The charger?” He responds to my question as I am explaining my emotional journey down into the abyss this week. “The charger!” We laugh hard.
My husband and I have been categorized by one quiz on social motivation as the type of people that would do fine simply having a pet snake for company, and I really believed it until he had to leave for a deposition this week. I stayed here in Paradise with the snake.
I really just wanted someone to paint with me. I begged nicely on facebook. I mentioned my blog. Was that a mistake? Do I want so many strangers knowing who I am? If I could only arrange my stories so that EVERYONE would crave my company, understanding and sighing sympathetic and inspired verses in response to my nearly honest, but not wholly vulnerable vignettes. Nobody bites. I finished an uninspired
watercolor landscape alone, but for the company of a movie about Picasso and Diego Rivera.
I went to my Spanish class and later to dinner alone. I really just wanted
to practice my Spanish. If only the waitress felt the same. Her english is smooth and without Spanish accents. She hasn’t time for figuring out my hopeful babylike babbling. A table of ten with Texas accents have come and waitstaff are scraping wooden tables across the floor to accomodate them.
I ordered in English. I sipped two lovely Malbecs and enjoyed the taste of the wine, but not the tough texture of the lamb. I reminisced about my past lives. I would even now really just love to still be invited to my old gay friends’ potlucks and parties.
Ron had worried whether he passed muster with my mother when we were new together, ten years ago. I told hm he could do no wrong, she was just so tickled that I’d married a MAN! He insisted privately, and to my amusement, that he was a lesbian. He said in his logical way that his proclivities are absolutely identical. ” I like to date girls, kiss girls” and so on. Funny guy.
But now, I have “heterosexual privilege.” Back then, I could never have been married.
Things have changed in Washington in ways I never dreamed could happen in my lifetime. You can even sit on your front porch and smoke a spliff if you’ve a mind
But here, this week I am reminded how little imagination most of the world still has:
If only my yoga classmates weren’t talking about the problems of sharing common spaces with the renters and I hadn’t started talking about how white it was here. “Well,” said one, as if it fixed it for me, “these properties are expensive.”
“I know,” I said, “I understand how the world works, but I belonged to another community that was intentional like this one, and we managed somehow to be diverse. surely people come here wanting to experience the language, the culture?”
A nice woman doing stretches on her pink mat confessed sheepishly that they had to have what amounts to a bouncer at the kiddies pool last year.
I imagined families of coffee colored townies coming in streams, steaming in the heat, glad to eat at the restarant and slide into the the bottle glass blue chill of the pool.
If only my husband wasn’t helping David, our guard build his house, if only they had nails, a saw that worked, concrete on time, an income that gave some small hope of ever finishing. No electricity, no running water, and never a glimmer of resentment.
Our wise mexican yogi, smiling, noticing perhaps, some pending problem under the palapa said kindly:
“We must look within now.”
I looked within, ashamed at thinking to call myself a travel writer.
This was none of my business. Or, was this precisely my business?
I hadn’t done the dishes for two days. I pull on the blue rubber gloves. I begin scrubbing crusted plates under a stream of clean warm water and find myself weeping. Hard. I look at the mirror in dismay and am so surprised to see that blonde white woman with the creased wet face looking back at me, towel in hand. She looked like an old Eve suddenly stricken by the cruel cunning of that serpant of Genesis. No longer an innocent. Suddenly culpable.