I can’t remember.
I can’t remember a single solitary sordid detail about that next morning.
Except that I had ½ a Costo blueberry muffin for breakfast, and I only remember that because I took a picture of it.
(By the way, the oo in nooscht is pronounced like the oo in book. NOT like the oo in scooter.)
I must’ve slept. And got up. Surely I got dressed somewhere. And shared bathroom space with someone. I know I would have made putting makeup on a priority. I would have deflated my bed. Rolled my sleeping bag, stowed my luggage, looked longingly at the big bus, ached to find an internet connection, wished I could spend time with my boys, prayed for joy and brushed my teeth.
But I can’t remember if I had fun doing it.
Maybe I did.
Let’s pretend I did.
Let’s use our imaginations and assume I laughed hilariously all morning long, that nothing alarmed or annoyed me and that I lost 50 pounds overnight.
Back on August 12, my mom, sister, brother-in-law, niece, two sons and a girlfriend and I went into Vancouver to enjoy an evening of theatre at Bard on the Beach. We all drove together in the Astro van and I sat on the door end of the middle seat. The middle seat is shorter than the back seat, but still has three seat belts, so I perched on the edge of it, with one cheek hanging over. I said to myself, thank goodness I’ll be taking a charter bus to Mexico and not a van. Because this? This would be fun if you had a skinny bum, fresh breath, a cute guy next to you and you’re 16 years old. I’m not. So it was not too terribly comfortable.
I’m 46 years old and I’ve noticed I pursue comfort with gusto these days.
And so it was with memories of our Vancouver excursion fresh in my mind and not much enthusiasm in my heart that I shoddied “not back seat”. In 13 seat passenger vans, there are like, 2 back seats. And they both looked claustrophobic. And I didn’t want to sit way back there. Which was a win win situation because, truth be told, I don’t think anyone really wanted me back there with them. For my self esteem, I coulda used a BFF (Best Friend Forever) on this trip; someone who said, “Sit with me! Or, “I saved a seat for you!” or “Can I sit with you?”
What am I? Twelve years old?
Where was I in the story? Let’s see … I don’t remember anything about Sunday Aug 26 morning except not wanting to sit in the back seat. And it’s taken me 550 words to say that. I should find a job that pays by the word. I would rock at a job like that. And would probably be able to afford a new couch for the living room or a new bed for Drew or a firmer new face for me.
I am so easily sidetracked this evening. My apologies.
Clint and Max and the rest of the chosen ones get onto their chariot, whilst those of us riding second class divide ourselves in half (not our bodies, but our group) and claim a seat on one of two vans. The Ab family, Eric, and Carmen and Glen get on one. The rest of us get on the other.
I ended up on the door end of the middle seat, and in an effort not to touch the person sitting beside me, (Dave) I hung half my ass over the edge of the seat. One cheek on. One cheek off.
I used my right leg to support half my body and looked forward to seeing the sexy definition my right thigh muscle would develop over the course of the next 8 hours. Maybe I should have looked forward to seeing Mexican children? Or the Mexican family we were going to build the house for? I have such screwed up values.
Surprisingly, the van ride was very pleasant. The air conditioning worked. Everyone was in a good mood, even Drew, despite the cough, and my numb cheek was not an issue for anyone but me so I ignored it.
The drive through the Mexico/US border was uneventful in every sense of the word. We just drove through. Like that. Just. Drove. Through.
Our stop in TJ (that’s short for Tijuana for you gringos) was fun. Well, it wasn’t at first because I am a responsible person who was charged with caring for certain individuals who under no circumstances were ever to leave my line of vision. So the first half hour was a little stupid on my part. And then I stopped caring. I stopped caring so much. I chilled abit. And took off their homing devices and allowed them to let go of the skipping rope we were all holding onto as we walked Revolution Street single file.
I coulda spent an extra hour there. Not for the shopping, because I didn’t buy anything, but for the photography opportunities that abounded. The colours! The textures! The history! The wrinkled faces! The … the… the … differentedness of it all!
All too soon, we needed to get back in the vans. Our cooks had prepared lunch for us while we shopped, so a dozen peanut butter and jam sandwiches were shared amongst us. We ate as we drove south.
My window seat afforded me a great view of the Baja coast line. Breathtaking.
(Hey, look! I’ve written a few positive statements in a row. Proof that I am NOT a chronic complainer. )
I took about 100 pictures of the scenic drive along the Coast Highway that were all deleted because the van windows were so filthy. But I have my memories.
We pulled into Eden at 6:30 pm, which was a Mexican, grass covered, palm tree lined oasis. A paradise in every sense of the word. Every.
Except the spiders. And toilets. And showers.
We moved our things from the bus to our tents and made things cozy. My tent mates were Tanya, Kara, Michelle and Sophie. Sophie and I go way back… her aunt and uncle are my neighbours at Cultus, but I don’t think her and I have ever had a real conversation. And now. Here we are. Sleeping together. Don ‘t for a second think that I wasn’t a little freaked out.
“God? Wow. It’s beautiful here. I wasn’t expecting this. It’s awesome. So awesome. Thank you. Thank you for today’s drive. It was good. Thank you for protecting us on that sketchy stretch of highway. Thanks for this place. This opportunity. These people. Thank you that I’m here. Thank you that I get to experience this (whatever “this” entails) with my boys. Use me in this place for Your purposes. Let me not be a dead weight, but a contributor to whatever You want to happen.
God? I’m a little worried about this whole sleeping-in-tents-with-teenaged-girls thing. Can you find me a private tent? I’m OK with people visiting me in it, I just don’t want to sleep with anyone. Or get dressed in front of anyone. These are big issues for me, God. BIG. Could You spoil me while I’m here – and get me my own bedroom? My snoring is, is, well is embarrassing. If I have to stay in a tent with people who have ears, could you do one of two things? Give them night deafness? Or give me snore-free nights? Please. Please?”