Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Friday, May 10, 2013

No Mas Hora Feliz?

From 2010 a smaller happy hour group
A few years back - before all the scares about Mexico - our happy hour group here at the trailer park would number somewhere around thirty. People gathered in a circle by the seawall, or if it was too windy they'd set up between the first and second rows of RVs. Often there'd be two separate groups - the Canadians in one and the Californians in the other although the lines weren't that clearly drawn; the Canadians included New Mexicans and the Californians included Oregonians. But the two groups represented a sort of changing demographic where the California group were the older people who'd been coming to Islandia for years and the Canadian group represented the more recent arrivals. Then the Canadians left. Because Mexico was too dangerous. Because there were too many dogs. Because it was too noisy. Because it was too cold. Because of whatever. The Californians - the old-timers - they just got old (and beyond old if you get my drift).

Now, no matter the state- or country-hood or size of the group, happy hour happens every night at the patio table at S's place on the front row. If S isn't there for some reason, happy hour happens anyway (we don't need no stinkin' host). A couple summers back when I returned to Mexico after a month or so in Bisbee I was surprised to see that happy hour was in full swing with Islandia's three full-time residents. Senior Citizens and Happy Hours go hand-in-hand come hell, high water, humidity or hurricanes.

But a change is comin'. S may be moving out of the park to a place he's built a few blocks away. He has a buyer for his RV but the sale is contingent on whether he not he's going to like living in town, whether or not he'll be happy giving up his ocean view, and whether or not he'll be lonely at happy hour. He's got a couple buddies who I'm sure will go to his new place but will they go every night? Will the rest of us want to walk over with our snacks and beverages? If I need to refill my gin and tonic I won't be able to just wander back over to my trailer; I'll have to arrive at happy hour with all the fixings. And do I want to sit on someone's patio inside a walled compound and not be able to see the sea, to watch the sunset? Isn't that one of the reasons I'm here?

This summer will be much like my first summer here when there were so few people in the trailer park and I had no friends outside the park. I was pretty creative that summer. I spent a lot of time in the water. I read and drank beers under the palapas watching the pelicans and gulls do battle. It wasn't as hot that summer and I spent a lot of time walking the beach, taking photos. I'm kind of looking forward to my own private happy hours.

The current happy hour spot - soon to become a thing of the past?

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