Sabor de México
The weaving of the inside of the palapa roof forms an exotic herringbone––in places its pattern interrupted by a patch of pale blue sky where the palm fronds have been eaten away by wind and rain. We are nine gathered around the table: eight women and one man. We sit writing in theme books, on typing paper, small notebooks or computers. Three of the four computers are Apples, a testament to my firm belief that this is the best computer for the artistic mind. Something about it is instinctual—which is right up my alley.
Alleys are something lacking in this town of small palapas and concrete houses. Neighbors back onto neighbors. Chickens have no dirt pathway to cross between properties, but jump from one shared fencepost into either yard: the one they belong in or the one they choose to go into. More often than not, no fence separates the spaces between houses. Here, privacy is not a big issue. The sounds of life float from street through window, uniting the visitor unwise enough to live in a house fronting on the main street in town with a night full of ATV’s, motorcycles, loud bands and tape players, air brakes, raucous shouts of those vacating bars at closing time.
The time between the night’s last departures and the next morning’s first arrivals is but an hour or two. Every morning I am awakened by the blasting of radios turned full volume and shared via rolled-down windows of pickup trucks and cars. It is a harsher form of the church bells that serve the same function in my village in the interior of Mexico. Who would need to be asleep later than 6:30? Who could be complained to if I were so foolish as to register any complaint?
Senses in Mexico are there to be stimulated. The patterns of shadows thrown by palms, bright colors, the bite of salsa and tequila, sounds formerly mentioned, the grit of sand underfoot, the sting of saltwater on sunburned arms and backs, the smell of tamarind and lime and the rotting blowfish on the beach. All senses mingle in a salad that we all taste from the common bowl. Whether we live here or visit here for months or weeks or hours, we take our few bites or many according to the time we have to digest them.