Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Doing Good at Attracting Bad

It wasn't even as long as a thought. More like a palmetto bug tickled my brain with an antenna then scurried away, the image was that brief. I want the flu. No one wants the flu. What I wanted was an excuse to stay in bed all day and eat fudge (the thing I crave when I'm really sick). I wanted to take NyQuil and get that funny feeling along my scalp. I even thought I liked that tingly achy feeling.

I knew as soon as that mini-thought flashed in my mini-brain I'd get sick and sure enough, the next day at noon it hit. That achy feeling started in my fingers, my toes and then wham! all through my body. I was pretty much confined to bed and bathroom (thank god they're in such close proximity). I had no fudge, no NyQuil and my body hurt more than I remembered it would. I was too hot, too cold. Having the flu sucked.

That is how the Law of Attraction works for me. I usually get what I want but with some glitch. Years ago when I first moved to the Oregon Coast I drove down a tiny dead-end street on the cliff overlooking the Pacific. One of those fleeting image thingies: I'd like to live here. Then not too long after that I was lying in bed and I thought I'd like a lover who shows up for a few hours then leaves. Guess what I got? The longest on-again/off-again relationship of my life with the most non-committal man who lived on that tiny dead-end street.

A few years back I put images of things I want to manifest in a box then put the box away. I wanted an adobe house and a published book and a man with a cowboy hat. The only thing to materialize (so far) was the man and he happened to have a meth addiction which made him schizophrenic and therefore not very good boyfriend material.

Maybe, just maybe, life-changing events take longer to materialize. It took almost twenty years for me to finally go off and experience life in the desert, a craving that was sparked in 1987 with the movie "Bagdad Cafe." It was a desire I carried but it wasn't in the forefront of my thoughts. More like it was tucked away in some back pocket and then when the time was right my desert script was resurrected and there I was living out that desire.

But I also have conflicting feelings about this whole Law of Attraction thing. It seems not to be readily available to people living in third world countries. And I have a problem with the idea that you may have caused your own cancer or somehow wanted that head-on collision. On the other hand I do believe if you change your thoughts toward a positive direction, your life will follow. Attitude is one thing I know we have control over, the one thing we have power to change.

I finally made it to the computer and sent Manny a message. His pattern is to finish work, shower, log on to Facebook. When he showed up I sent him to Flo's with a note asking if she had NyQuil. She didn't but she hopped in her quad and drove to the farmacia for Tabcin Noche. Manny filled my water pitcher, locked the bodega because with you-know-who out of rehab and back on drugs I can't leave a key in the bodega door.

The worst was over within 24 hours. When I got the flu I said okay, guys, thanks for this but it's gonna be the 24-hour variety, okay? And it was.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hurricane Season

The morning is overcast but I doubt it will rain. If it does, it'll be a test for Vanna's newly-painted roof. There are lots of Ford Econoline vans here and they all have rusted roofs. I wonder why. Why the top? Anyway, El Vikingo ended up doing a pretty good job. The first day he sanded through the metal and that night it rained even though it never rains here. It was a message from the gods: make him stop. I was going to fire El Vikingo but then he got expert advice from The Welder who told him not to sand so hard. El Vikingo took Vanna to The Welder's shop where he fiberglassed the bad spots, bondo'ed everything else and then applied rubber paint - the kind used on the top of mobile homes - only this is a dark blue and not white. Although a different blue than the rest of the van, I like the color.

So if it rains today, I'll find out if the roof still leaks. If it doesn't rain, the roof will get tested when I'm up in Arizona. Hopefully.

Last night the town got sprayed for mosquitoes. This morning they're worse than ever. It's hurricane season.

This part of the Sea of Cortez does not normally take direct hits from hurricanes. The last hurricane to slam Kino was Lester in 1992. When I first got here I remember the shell and sausage lady telling me that she stocked her shell shop from Hurricane Lester (not the sausages). The other night a man talked about living in a house on the beach when Lester hit. He described how frightening it was. He said it was too dangerous to leave the house because of all the cement blocks and roofing materials flying through the air so they had to stay indoors and pray the house could withstand the crashing waves.

Now he lives at this end of the beach. I told him that after Hurricane Henriette I found the best shells in front of his house. Some were painted blue. After his house got swamped by humongous waves he threw out shells he'd  collected over the years. Some he let local kids paint blue.

Even though hurricanes don't normally come this far up the Gulf of California, we do often feel their impact.

Islandia seen from the water. Notice the sea wall, the people at the top of the stairs.
This from Henriette in 2007. Huge sea swells and surges send waves over sea walls, up the boat ramp, flooding homes on the beach and a few blocks into town. Fishermen pull their pangas a safe distance from the water. The whole town becomes a flooded, muddy mess. The beach turns into a cornucopia of scallops and clams. Before dawn people are out with flashlights and gunny sacks gathering all manner of scallops and clams including chocolate clams which are generally agreed to be the best.

Waves crash over the wall, even over the palapas.
The sea reaches the top of the stairs..
...and comes crashing through.

Water surges up the boat ramp and into the park.

Islandia after the storm.
It's hurricane season. I should replace that flat tire on the trailer so I can pull her out of Kino should a Lester show up. Should a hurricane hit, I won't be here - I'll be in Arizona - so new tire or not, the Airstream won't get towed anywhere. With enough warning I could come back and get her, my home, the only thing in the world I own besides Vanna and her newly painted roof.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A headline like this...

...will send me on a rant.

Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, "will do anything short of shooting them" to keep illegal immigrants out of the United States.

I'm waiting for El Vikingo to show up. He's been working on the roof of my van which is a real bitch because there are areas where it has rusted through. The Viking is not an expert body worker and he made that known from the get go. So what he did was take my van to the welder's shop and there he got some pretty good advice and the use of the welder's tools. In this mosquito-infested heat he's labored away for 100 to 150 pesos a day. That's 8 to 12 bucks. A DAY.

The Viking needs a cell phone and a car so he can do this work. Gasoline is around $3 a gallon. He drives a Volkswagen which is economical. (I wish I had that Volkswagen. The front passenger seat is gone which allows whoever is in the back seat to stretch out their legs, like cabs in Mexico City. And he's glued fur to the dash - a real Viking!).  At his house he pays for electricity, water, propane. Food isn't all that cheap unless you're living on tortillas and beans or eating at a taco stand. Some tools are less expensive here but most are more. And don't even think about buying electronics which is why so many people ask us to bring TVs, laptops and MP3 players from the States.

The Americans and Canadians go positively apeshit if you pay more than 150 pesos a day or if you leave a good tip at a restaurant. "You'll spoil them," they say which is condescending in itself but what they're really saying is "you'll spoil it for us." They'll lose their cheap labor pool.

Yes, the cost of living is less here compared to the U.S. but could you live on 10 to 15 dollars a day?

Back to that quote. These are PEOPLE crossing the border - not illegals. They risk everything and now they have to face murderous drug smugglers. They are not taking away jobs unless you're willing to work picking fruit or as a day laborer or fast food worker. I imagine my old database manager job would be safe and that IT programmer's...oh wait, his job is being done by someone from Pakistan. And damn, most transcription work's been outsourced to India or the Philippines. Why aren't we more pissed off about that??

So Rep. Brooks needs to get his head out of his ass. People in positions of power need to be careful about the words they use. Haven't we seen enough of what putting someone in the crosshairs will do?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Guapo (Handsome)

We went to the Gravel Pit for lunch although it was early, just before 11. First we stopped at the Super-T and bought a bottle of white wine, unchilled. At the restaurant we asked the waitress for glasses with ice. She brought out shrimp cocktail glasses, the kind they put malted milkshakes in in the U.S., loaded with ice. We uncorked the wine and filled 'em up.

The Mexican food items on the menu wouldn't be available till one o'clock (I don't quite understand why it's so difficult to get comida mexicana in this town) but the waitress did say we could have chile rellenos or quesadillas. We ordered the rellenos because I'd told my friend how good they are here. The sauce is spicy and the cheese inside the chiles actually melts rather than congeals.

The flies were a nuisance but the rellenos lived up to their reputation. We refilled our shrimp cocktail glasses with more wine, more ice. We talked with the Coca-Cola delivery man - or pretended to converse, understanding every other word but it was enough to get the gist.

We talked about our lives, men, sex. It'd been a long time since I talked sex with someone - almost as long since I had sex. Most women I know here are married. They don't want to talk about their sex lives and I don't want to hear about them. So it was a treat getting to talk raunchy sex with a single woman. We didn't hold back. We poured the last of the sauvignon blanc.

That's when we noticed the man sitting at a table along the wall, facing us. We'd just had a discussion about what kind of facial hair we like and don't like and he fit the bill with a nicely-trimmed goatee. Both of us agreed he was one of the most handsome men we'd ever seen. Every time I glanced his way, he seemed to be looking at us. "Oh-oh, do you think he understands English?"

We paid the bill and headed for the van. "Is he looking at us? I can't tell," I asked and my friend said yes. I started up the van, we rolled down the windows and waved to the handsome man as we pulled away. He smiled and waved back.

We made note of his vehicle.

I dropped my friend off at her place then stopped at La Palapa for a small margarita. I wasn't ready to return to my closed-up trailer - closed up to keep the cool AC air in and the mosquitoes out. There were quite a few families at La Palapa even though it was mid-week. The kids are out of school, the families are vacationing in Kino. I watched the vendors strolling between palapas, the banana boat flinging off the riders. Xavier the musician gave me a key chain - a painted shell with Kino on it - because the colors matched my shirt.

I think about the handsome man. If I had a man to play with - nothing serious mind you - I'd probably be happy to make a commitment to staying here. I'd build a palapa over my trailer, enclose the porch, make this my home. At least for a while. After all, everything is temporary, at least in my life.

After buying tortillas I visit with a friend. I tell him I'd probably stop thinking about leaving if I had a boyfriend, a cowboy who likes to dance. There's this man he's been wanting to fix me up with, a man from Hermosillo who has a home here, a man who only speaks a little English. I take a deep breath and say okay, let's do it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sounds Like Rain

Apparently that last post, the Buddy Guy post, was some sort of rain dance because it rained here in the land of "it almost never rains here."

Somewhere around midnight I woke to turn off the AC because the trailer was freezing-ass cold. I turned on the floor fan, keeping the windows closed because I knew it was still hot and humid outdoors. I crawled back into bed and heard the pat pat pat of raindrops on the trailer roof. You know how sometimes you'll wake in the morning and go outside and the patio is wet and you'll think hm, it must've rained last night? Well living in an aluminum house there's never any guessing about did it or didn't it rain. Even one drop of rain causes a reverberating ping on the roof of the trailer.

I laid in bed expecting the rain to end but it didn't. I fell asleep but woke a little later just to check. It was still raining! It rained all night. Not Arizona raging monsoon nor Portland steady downpour, just a sweet two-step on the trailer roof.

It rained enough that there's a puddle on my trailer floor from where the roof leaks around the Fantastic vent. Small price to pay for a cloudy Oregon day on the Sea of Cortez.