If you've ever been to a place and you sink right into it right away, you'll know what I mean. A couple of days after arriving in Sayulita, I remembered that thing called email. I'd changed the outgoing message on my phone to: "I'm currently in Mexico, drinking a frothy beverage from a coconut on the beach or battling a tropical storm. You can send me an email or you can leave me a message and I'll call you when I'm back."
I considered that since I had yet to see a coconut drink stand and the tropical storm hadn't moved inland, I should try to make good on one of my proclamations.
I told Leila that morning, while rocking in one of her livingroom's wicker chairs, that getting online was all I needed to get done that day. We decided to go into town (a walk of four whole blocks) to eat and about three hours later actually got around to doing that.
An hour or two after polishing off a whole fish, minus eyes and brains, a plate of guacamole, french fries, and tortilla chips, we were still sitting at the long wooden table in the sand, chatting with people who kept coming by and stopping to sit for awhile. My shoes were off, my legs were stretched out, and for all I know my arms were hanging like overcooked noodles over the sides of the chair. I'd begun to sink into relaxation and all of my muscles were playing along.
"I guess we should get the check," Leila said.
"Okay, but we can't get up," I said, "We'll just make eye contact."
We tried to look really hard at our waiter but he was all the way over there and we were all the way over here and it meant we had to turn our necks sometimes and we soon forgot about the check.
I remembered the day in Quito that Taryn and I decided to see how long it would take to eat our meal one piece of rice at a time. Answer: A LONG TIME. Especially when you factor in all the minutes spent giggling over how cute a piece of rice looks on a fork sprong all by its little self.
Someone asked us what we were doing that day and I gathered up my strength to chuckle. I said that I wanted to go to the plaza to check email but it was like two blocks away and I didn't know when I was going to feel up to that. I eventually did make it to the plaza and the cafe closed a half hour after I got there. It was 5 pm, after all.
Another day we spent at the San Pancho surf competition. Waking up that morning was aided by the fact that as soon we stepped on the beach at 9am, our eardrums were blasted with these choice lyrics issuing forth from the professional speakers:
CAUSE I'M A MOTHAFUCKIN' NIGGA 'TIL I DI-ZIE...
"This is funny," I said to Leila.
"They play all kinds of music," she said. "Some of it's pretty bad."
"Walk the dinosaur bad," she said.
"WOW," I said. Boom boom acka-lacka-lacka boom.
When you aren't surfing in Sayulita, you might be fishing.
Pato took us out on his boat. We sat in the bay and caught sardines in a net for bait. Pelicans hovered nearby looking needy and I thought about Leila falling asleep on the beach a couple of days before, while whispering to herself, "Pelicans look like dinosaurs..."
And I guess they do kind of.
Out on more open water, we skimmed along and I felt a smile spreading across my face in just the cheesiest, most conspicuous way. Oh, and the dolphins we saw? Almost too much to handle.
"Alright, I GET IT," I thought. All this awe and deep, still, strength is totally gonna go to my head.
Though mixed in with my litte lovefest was terror. When Pato stopped the boat and I stared into that endless blue and those gentle swells, my stomach flipflopped and I instantly felt like sharkbait. It took ten seconds to go from lusting after dolphin encounters, practically sobbing over all the HARMONY, to imagining the depths of the Pacific Ocean and the size of the whole flipping galaxy. And just for a minute I kind of turned on my own personal clump of molecules.
"My life is tiny and insignificant. I am a SPECK. What is my life? Who in the hell is writing this story?"
I am, of course.