Alma gets up and tells me she wants to go do her laundry and maybe buy some batteries. I breathe in the pale sunrise gently fading, the early birds sitting on the sand watching carefully as the waves recede, the tide begins her journey out into the ocean.
I reach for patience and ask Alma if she knows how far from town we are and how difficult it is to drive there. We’ve come many miles on a dirt and stone road.
Alma whines I never do what she wants to do. I sigh. This is our experimental two days of seeing if we want to continue to travel together.
I want to be more patient, I think I’m healthier than Alma and should be able to deal with more – but this is my Joiyssey & I want to save my energy for people who live here, not people who come from my old country! And I want to live my talk, which also means not using up resources so flagrantly.
I point out that the sun is just rising, we haven’t had coffee or breakfast, let alone had a moment to enjoy the beach, the water, the ocean.
I suggest as gently as I can we take time to eat and drink this morning and then talk about what we are going to do. I am so glad Alma agrees.
After an organic breakfast of steel oats, raisins, coconut, almonds and cinnamon, I explain to Alma that first of all, we are far away from the nearest town, and even farther from the nearest town that most likely has such a thing as a laundry mat. 2nd of all, I remind her that our plan was to spend a few days on the beach near Mazatlan to chill and figure out if we really want to continue traveling together.
And lastly, I explain to Alma that the veggie oil we collected in Mazatlan needs to sit for awhile before I filter it and pump it into the tank.
But if today is the day she really needs to do laundry and buy batteries, we can just put down a blanket, take the containers off the truck, and then take the truck into town.
Alma agrees to stay put. Alma assures me again that she doesn’t really want to make decisions about where we go and when and she’s okay with staying another day on the beach.
The two guys, are new friends, that live in the last structure close to us, are whistling and singing over the distance between us, inviting us for lunch. Alma hates eating fish although she loves fishing. I say I’ll gladly eat her share – and I do!
I bring over my last organic calabasa squash but it is too late. The guys have already made sopa and invite us to sit. The dining room/kitchen is an outside area about 20 feet away from the structure. Of course, there are plastic arm chairs for two – they scramble for a third cracked plastic chair and a brick to sit on.
Finally we are all seated around this square table that is listing to the side. It is an antique! The pristine white porcelain enamel antique top has an old, 1920’s painted Corona beer advertisement on it and the original wooden skirt around the edges.
Only one of the original legs is mostly in tact; the second leg, where the table leans, is two pieces of wood nailed together and stuck crookedly onto the skirt; the other two legs are white plastic tubes that have been forced over the tops of the remaining stubs of the legs.
At the listing edge of the table is a fire pit lined with cement blocks, with a grill and a garbage can lid for cooking tortillas. I eat a huge bowl of the soup they’ve made.
It has little blue crabs and several different little fish in it, and of course lots of chilies, lime, garlic, and a little tomato. It is so delicious. The crab is runny but so very sweet, and I hope I don’t get sick eating it!
They ask us to come back for a fish dinner – fish is big around here! They go inside the cement building and come out holding a larger raw, dead fish. Carlos, the older man, guts and fillets it by the time we have risen, and then hangs it high on a post, away from the cat and the sickly, starving dog, and tells me he will grill it for my dinner.
As I leave, I watch flies land on the bloody carcass and promise myself I won’t eat it.
Our neighbors have supplied Alma with bait, a bucket, and a net. She catches two cat fish, both are too small to really eat, so she throws them back.
I study my Spanish on the warm bay beach in between dips into the shallow water and watching the birds.
When it is time for dinner, our friends are making funny noises to get our attention and waving the stiff, grilled fish in the air.
I agree to taste a little piece but before I know it, I have eaten the whole thing, it is so very yummy.
The guys tell Alma she can take out the boat tomorrow to fish if she wants, and she’ll get a lesson in throwing the net to catch bait.
Alma & I go for a pleasant walk on the ocean side of the beach, where the sun is setting brilliant reds again and the water is very warm. The same time the sun is setting on one horizon, the full moon is rising on the other.