Since I left the airport last year, my soul has been aching to return. And finally I’m back and I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful it is. Nothing has changed, if anything, Mexico is better. But I’m jumping ahead. I need to start at the very beginning. Hopefully — and I just learned in one of my university courses that that’s not an acceptable word but I don’t give a hoot — you’ve missed my lengthy reminisces of travel. As one of my long-dead heroines, Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon, an Englishwomen who gave herself completely to Egypt and died in Luxor, once said, “I long to bore you with traveler’s tales.” Let’s get started.
I felt quite drunk on sunshine. It was intoxicating. I couldn’t stop smiling. The sounds (the half that I could hear since I’m deaf now) and colors and the breeze blowing through my hair was everything I have been needing. I have been so bleak lately, but this hour out in the countryside restored a great chunk of who I used to be. I sat decadently in a nearby cemetery and watched as the sun sank into barren fields. The heavens were a riot of color and it felt like I had been thrust into an impressionistic painting. I felt quite alive.
I couldn’t believe how fast time had flown by, how two weeks were gone and how I was about to go back to a place that I’d be fine never returning to. In the modern world we don’t always need proximity to our loved ones, we can just text or Facetime. Technology is a blessing, but I could never send Little Chiffon a text. I don’t know if she can read. And I doubt she has her own phone.
I feel that I have steered myself through life using my own thoughts, instead of the divine guidance of a deity. Probably why I never became a monk, even though I’ve considered it with regularity. I think if there had been a few simple changes in my early life I would be living in a monastery right now, never experiencing the world, never learning about the great and glorious cultures that have risen and fallen and continue to grow, never setting foot on new continents, never eating grasshoppers or good French baguettes. And I get the hideous feeling in the back of my mind that were I a monk, I would be utterly and perfectly content.
As soon as the sun set, I was on my way to that wonderland on the Avenida Insurgentes. It was dreamier than ever, but I suppose my nearness to departure caused me to romanticize every step of the way. Walmart was a wonder, reader. I stared lovingly at the laundry mat inside and the fast food options and the little cart that sold elote as soon as you came in from the parking garage.
Things that are actually impossible are far and few between, you know? It’s up to you to live a remarkable life. If you’re whining and whinging about how you can’t or why you daren’t, then your main issue is a tragic lack of imagination. You can do anything. You can go anywhere.
I sat in the courtyard with my churros, a bottle of tequila, and a bag of cat treats. Patron and Little Chiffon were laying beside me and then the church bell tolled midnight. I took a shot of that deliciously cheap tequila and petted the kittens and then all of a sudden I was 28.
This turned out to be yet another divine concoction thanks to that wonderful grocery store. Honestly, reader, who would I be without ALDI? Where would I be with ALDI? I don’t want to think of it.
I rounded the corner and there she was before me, the green light of the Olive Garden sign washed over me and I felt as if I were a pilgrim arriving in the holiest spot in all the world. I was giddy with excitement reader, and I veritably rushed for the escalator that would lead up to the doors of the blessed restaurant.
The beginning was simple enough, just a staircase, but after the first major tiered level, the steps became increasingly steep and people were huffing and puffing. I am blessed to be in fairly good shape for doing absolutely nothing to maintain my fitness, so I wasn’t too poor off, but I must admit that after two-thirds of the climb, my beautiful thighs were aching. I mused about how attractive I might be if I climbed a pyramid every day. I think that would be a tremendously amusing fitness regimen. But how many people have access to a pyramid in reality? Very few I suppose.