Sammy and the Sea
Never turn your back on the sea. It will tumble you like dice. Up becomes down. All control is torn from you in one wet reeling moment. Outstanding.
Whole fish experience
Madeline’s kids arrive today. Fresh blood! Mads has been skipping about all morning in anticipation, and when they arrive I can see why. Twinkley, handsome Michael and his pretty wife, Michelle. Mad’s daughter Cathy and her wife, Audrey. Everyone friendly, happy. We group troop to Maxim’s for supper and I make the dubious choice of ordering a whole red snapper, which arrives, of course, with head and tail, one dead eye staring glassily up at me from the plate. I stare back silently until Jayme offers to de-bone the thing for me. I can’t get it into her hands fast enough, and watch with fascinated horror as she neatly chops off the head, slits its belly open, and removes its entire rib cage and spinal cord. I pretend to be pleased when she hands its torn remains back to me, but those horrible women, Cathy and Audrey, sitting across from me, are giggling at my expression and snapping shots of my queasy face with Mum’s camera. Vile girls. And they seemed so nice. Later, we three go for a late night dip in the pool, and I contemplate quietly drowning them both, but jailhouse grey is not my colour, and alas, they are both charming.
Henna tattoo on the beach
Ixtapa island! Reached by little boats which putt-putt us the 10 minutes across the waves. Today the swells by the docks at both ends are big enough that it takes two brown and brawny men to try and hold the boat to the dock, while another to help us in. The boat is swaying and dipping, suddenly moving 3 feet away from the dock as someone is about to step in, then slamming against the stone, nearly crushing our legs. We all make it, even Candy Kay, aged 87, although her niece, Cathy, helping her, says she could feel her heart, jackrabbit fast. There is never a complaint or a gasp from this gal. She follows instructions and stays safe. I find out later she is petrified of water. She is Queen of The Troopers, that Kay, adventuring right along with the rest of us, cracking crude jokes about mice, and somehow remaining a thorough little lady. On the island, which is lovely of course, we all decide to get henna tattoos. I choose a gecko. Mum and Mads get hummingbirds dipping into lilies. Cathy gets a dolphin, and Kay? Kay wants to know what sort of tattoo will get her into the army base on a day pass. The amused local says he can give her a big letter K, and she settles for this, although she grumbles it won’t be much good without her phone number under it. We all have the best time.
On my last night we end up back at Che Mangiano. Patti and I dance all night and she invites me to see the ‘real Ixtapa.’ Mum is naturally anxious at this development but Cathy convinces her I will be fine, then tells me to never leave my drink un-attended. Sound advice. I get a lot of advice from all these dames. All of it sound. Affectionate. I have had a bounty of Mums these last two weeks , and rather than it being annoying, it has made me feel warm and happy. When I am left alone on the dance floor, I turn to Patti who pulls me into her arms, yelling ‘Girl, you are all mine now! Time to re-load. Come on.’We pile into the SUV belonging to band-mate Ralph, along with bass player Roberto and Patti’s beau, Mango Dave. We drive 10 minutes to Planet Beer, a big doughnut of tavernas and juke joints. Cars slowly cruise. Gaggles of girls in tiny skirts saunter the boardwalk. Hot rods blare music from mounted speakers. I smell beer, exhaust, frying tortillas. It is a deafening cacophony. Patti says this is where the locals come after work, after putting the tourists to bed. We grab beers, and wander, stopping outside an open-air restaurant blaring 70’s funk, and dance on the sidewalk. They drop me off outside my gates, and Patti and I hug goodbye with promises to email, facebook, and assorted other missives of the millennium. Tomorrow is my last day.
(to be continued....Meeting Mexico the Final Chapter)