Friday, February 18, 2011

Yo Vivo Aqui!

"It's a beautiful mornin' I think I'll go outside for awhile, an' jus' smile"…Little Miss Sunshine here reporting on Day 14 of my 100 day abstinence. My condolences if you are suffering the after effects of the evil rum or your poison of choice this morning but you too can wake up feeling good if you just follow my one easy step. Don't drink! Lo siento (I'm sorry) but I just feel so good this morning I have to rub it in a little bit. Don't worry if you feel like killing me, the cap'n will probably beat you to it.
As I said the other day, I was waiting for a day when I was in a good mood to write about my Sunday with friends in Merida and the day is here but you know what? There's just not that much to write about. It was just five couples enjoying a beautiful spring Sunday (it is spring down here). Every Sunday they close off the streets in the main plaza in Merida Centro so the locals and the expats can meet and greet. There is music and dancing and street vendors. It is Merida's way of preserving I the Mexican tradition of Sunday being the day to spend with family and friends. Isn't that a great idea?
"Back again?" asked the ice cream vendor in his heavy accent.
"Shhh!" I said as I raised my finger to my lips and darted my eyes at the cap'n who hadn't accompanied me for my first purchase of helado de coco (coconut ice cream). The crowd gathered around the ice cream stand laughed and the cap'n turned to me with raised eyebrows. My secret was out.
Helado de coco has replaced alcohol as my favorite addiction. It causes me to stumble and fall down just like mi amigo, Senor Jack Daniels. It was what I was daydreaming about when I missed a step in the Progreso square the other day and ended up flat on my ass. Such familiar territory for me. My so-called friends keep telling me I need to start drinking again as they watch me hobble about. I guess all those years of drinking caused me to overcompensate for my drunken swagger and now I have to relearn how to walk sober. As a matter of fact, I was counting up all of the afflictions (must be my word of the week) I have suffered since the New Year in which I have been sober the greater percentage of the time. Let me tick them off. In six short weeks I have suffered bilateral ear infections, armpit boils the size of golfballs x 2, (you asked), an injured foot which is still very painful and, the newest affliction, some kind of bite on my inner thigh that is rapidly swelling to the size of a grapefruit, as if my thighs aren't big enough. What next? A plaque of locusts? This sober life isn't cracking up to be all that healthy for me. But I shall persevere.
Anyway, Sunday was just a normal old regular day with friends in the park. Our "meet up" place was a corner bar. There really is a bar on every corner in Mexico. Colonel Montejo and the other founding fathers must have had the foresight way back in the 1500's to foresee a future with cars and DUI's so they put a bar on every corner so you could walk to your favorite watering hole. Once again, I didn't partake and nobody took notice. Maybe they are starting to expect it of me. That's a scary thought. We strolled the plaza and side streets and were assailed by the hammock and fan (Mexican air conditioning) vendors. We've decided we're all going to have shirts made that say, "No Gracias! Yo Vivo Aqui." No thank you! I live here. We finally headed home at about 6:00 pm and would you know it there was a DUI checkpoint on the road headed out of Merida. They actually had a gizmo to blow into this time. In Mexico we've had them have us blow into their cupped hands and then smell or else they have you blow directly into their face. They really don't pay cops enough down here for the job they have to do. Gary, our designated driver, blew into the gizmo and was waved on through. It was a comforting thought that I would have passed, too, for a change.
Just an ordinary miraculous day for me.
So today I'm just out there doing my best to avoid further injury and afflictions and thanking God for coconut ice cream.

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