One of my yoga teacher often ‘invites’ us to lie down and place our arms out like cactus arms. Its a deep and relaxing stretch for the chest and shoulders. I saw this cardon doing the same thing. It’s, perhaps, a bit too relaxed.
Today started off on the wrong foot. The upside was an expression of loyalty and support from my partner in life, Burt. That man is someone you want on your side. I could learn a thing or two from him. I am so lucky we found each other.
There’s been a low haze of confusion or lack of focus around here that reached a peak today. The family history of early on-set Alzheimers anxiety and perimenopause are a toxic emotional cocktail some days. Blog posts are harder to write because I’m tired and can’t seem to focus. I can’t remember to recharge my phone with minutes. I feel fuzzy. Today I did something stupid and inconsiderate that hurt Burt’s feelings. I had no excuse. I couldn’t even figure out why I did what I did. I loaned a precious belonging to a friend a day after I wouldn’t lend a spoon without consulting Burt. I have a let’s consult with the spouse kind of attitude about most things so why I would loan out a sentimental object that was only his makes no sense to me. The details are inconsequential. The fact was I was confused from the get go and when Burt found out what I had done he was mad. Really mad and hurt. I freaked out. I had no explanation for why. I got a sudden glimpse into the early stages of my mother’s erratic behavior and how hard it was on my father. I plunged into despair for my father and Burt. Burt and I worked it all out and I confided to him as I am to all of you my creeping fear that something is taking hold of my brain. I pray it’s mainly a deficiency of estrogen and a lack of sleep. Sleep has been harder this week. Exhaustion, teary outbursts, mood swings, confusion, forgetfulness: symptoms of perimenopause and Alzheimers. What a fun few years this is going to be. Do you think the traveling hypnotist could help? Me or Burt?
I (we) survived another 3 hours of the Hokey Pokey, I’m A Little Teapot, This Old Man, yada yada yada. The Palapa Society Bridge to English Concert is drawing near. Every week with the kids we never know what to expect. Some classes are divine and others must be a circle in Dante’s Hell. The mix of mood and personalities and weather makes for unpredictable results. I ponder every week if it is worth the effort and this week was no different but among the baleful looks and sealed lips I scored two unasked for hugs from little boys, a pair of girls vying to stand by my side and one little gem of a kid that told me he wanted to be a music teacher when he grew up. How crazy is that? I have no idea what I am doing and I can barely get by with my misshapen Spanish and this kid thinks he’d like to grow up and be just like me. Something must be going right. So I guess I’ll enjoy the post teaching exhaustion and hope the kid isn’t ruined by a career in music. I’d suggest electrician, carpenter or plumber.
There’s a restaurant hidden in the dust and cacti on the road to Cerritos Beach. This year’s sign is bigger, brighter and more easily seen than last year’s advertisement. Last year there was a tiny arrow with the word ‘desayuno’ pointing into the thorns. We never went. The better sign got people curious and word finally reached us that the food was cheap, tasty and plentiful so we went in for a meal about a week ago. It was a work day and Burt and I were hungry. We plowed through our huge plates so rapidly the waitress made a comment about our appetites. I told her we were working people. When she recovered from the shock that not all gringos are carefree layabouts she asked what we did. She nearly keeled over when I told her we were carpenters. Normally Burt and I don’t tell strangers we work. We do not have work permits and so it is illegal to work. We rarely work but on this day we did and so there you have it, I blurted it out on the one day this winter we worked. After my intemperate confession an excited conversation ensued between the two women running the restaurant. They showed us a table they hated. It was the ubiquitous in Mexico plastic bar table. White, ugly, flimsy. They wobble and spill drinks according to the women. How much for a wooden table? A stout, custom made wooden table? Burt hemmed and did a little carpet dancing. Wood alone can cost $100 around here. All wood comes from the mainland or the US or Canada. It’s very expensive. What to do, what to do? Burt told her he’d price some wood and get back to her with a figure. We fled. Visions of La Migra deporting us ensued.
Trusting to kindness and wanting to help people Burt got some wood and made a sturdy log-legged table in no time. We delivered it today. Burt charged ten meals. The clients were besides themselves with how fast he did the job and how little it cost. Don’t tell anyone. Music teacher and giver away of custom made furniture: these are not ways to make a living but a life.
We’re hiding out up on the hill watching movies while Burt’s finger heals.
Our last night working the film festival was spent as door guards/bouncers for a ticketed event in an exclusive boutique hotel. It was a night of flamenco with a live show and a movie about the world’s greatest flamenco dancer. The event sold out two weeks prior and more tickets were added as standing room only entrance. The standing room only tickets sold out. Not being part of the IN crowd I’ve never attended such a hot event and here Burt and I were, with another friend Jamie, keeping out the unlucky and unticketed. These types of jobs are great from instantly revealing people’s true nature. I saw some interesting manipulative behaviors from all walks of life as people wheedled, lied, argued and flattered trying get is to let them in. When their bids to gain entry failed most people shrugged and smiled and let us know they knew we were just doing our jobs. A few people looked like they were making mental notes on when and where they would get even with us.
Demand was so high and unrelenting that once ticketed people were seated or in place and the show started management decided to let even more people in. If people wanted to pay money to get into a too small venue with no seats and no access to the movie or dancers but rather to stand around, who were we to refuse? About half an hour into the show we started giving a little speech. You can go in, but there are no seats, you cannot see anything and we still charge you 150 pesos ($12). People paid. I could not believe it. It took me two days of thought and reading an article about Vanity Fair’s Oscar night party to realize some people couldn’t care less about the movie or the flamenco dancing. They wanted to be seen. It was weird to me. Then it got weirder. One woman went nuts on Jamie and me when we tried to explain: It’s hot, crowded, no seats and you can’t see the show. She responded with a condescending rant about us gringas and our rules and rigidness: this is México, we are free, we like crowds, you will never understand, you are an uptight gringa and are bound to your stupid rules and so on for quite a while…. Whoa, chiquituta, we were just letting you know what you were trying to buy. Clearly she wanted a free pass. Jamie and I (feeling rather unfriendly) remained in the door and when her lengthy bigoted psychoanalysis was over I said: That’ll be $300 pesos for you and your friend. I happily pocket her money for the kid’s film school and let her pass. That was one nasty person. She left twenty minutes later. I guess she was seen and she saw. Two hours after the opening we were invited to leave our post and join our friends and bosses up on the roof for a low key drink at the uncrowded bar with an amazing jazz trio. That was lovely.
Dull it isn’t. Morning, dawn, sunup, whatever. It’s not my time to shine. I am lucky the resident man-servant can sling hash and get me a cup of tea so I can make my 7:30 yoga class. Today I had to ask him to speak in a softer tone of voice so my head wouldn’t crack open and expel its ugly thoughts. Some days I have to ask him not to speak at all. I was cranky because Mimi capered on my head from 4:30 to 5:30. The 6:10 alarm roused me from the profundity of early morning deep cycle sleep. Thanks, Mimi. Despite the cranky lethargy Burt was able to convince me the sunrise was worth viewing. Usually I give him the, “You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” response from under my pillow. It was dazzling but my witnessing it doesn’t fill me with warm vibes and an eagerness to face the day. Is there something wrong with me or is it just a symptom of owliness?