Thursday, April 19, 2012
Running Into Myself
“Study the past if you would define the future.”
Day 230 of Sobriety
I went for a long overdue walk on the beach this morning, it was virtually empty but several casas to the east of me I ran into a man combing the beach. He was wearing sunglasses and that made it difficult to tell if he was a local or an extranjero.
“Buenos dias,” I said.
“How’s it goin?” he replied.
Ah, a furiner for sure. We exchanged pleasantries and he told me that this was his fourth trip down here.
“I’ve never made it this far down the beach,” he said, “I usually can’t get anybody to hike that far down with me.”
“Well,” I said, “it can be kind of difficult to navigate the rocks just past my house but if you take the beach road into town you can hit the beach there and pretty much walk all the way to the inlet in Chuburna.”
“Town? What town?”
“Chelem,” I replied, perplexed.
“It’s still Chelem clear over there?”
“Yeah, there’s a square and restaurants and a market and people,” I replied, even more perplexed that a guy that had been down here four times didn’t know there was a town of 5000 people about 2 kilometers from where we stood.
“Do you know Buddy’s?” he asked, hopefully.
Ah, that explains it. Yes, I know Buddy’s. Any expat that lives down here knows Buddy’s, it is the favorite watering hole and gathering place of many of them. For some, Buddy’s is just about the only place they do know. It is in the other direction, in Progreso.
That used to be me, different places, different watering holes, but so wrapped up in where my next drink was coming from, I didn’t pay much attention to the rest of the world that was passing me by as I made my way there.
“Have a good one,” he said as I turned to make my way home.
As I neared my casa I saw a couple I knew heading my way. I waved and they waved back, instead of taking a few steps down to meet me, the woman turned sharply up my entrada, her husband lingered for a minute as if he thought he should stop to talk to me but then he turned and followed his wife. They used to stop and chat with me, one day when I was out watering my flowers they stopped in and we were chatting about Greta, they were asking about her welfare, and I shared that I hadn’t drank in 100 days, he quickly came back with the information that he hadn’t drank in six years. She was quiet.
I’ve run into them a couple of times at the local drinking establishments and she has come up to me after she has had a couple of wines too many and told me how she quit when he did but then she started again. She tells me how badly she wants to find that peace again. She has that look of pleading in her eyes that I remember.
I guess she doesn’t want to be reminded of those times, not that I ever would, but just seeing me must remind her.
That’s okay. That used to be me, too.
Used to be.