slowly surely + xyz : a journey of (re)discovery

I AM. Going

By InspiredJourney

 

Time to go.

The day following my round table with M&M and Fritz was like every other that came before. The evening, the reception area had become the scene of a mini chess tournament.

This day: my day to up-sticks, pack my sack and leave this experience behind.

Like any other, I came and went.

My preference to travel over night meant my bus back to Mexico City wasn’t until 8pm. It meant I had a number of bored hours to linger around town before I could escape.

I came. I went.

At one point, I hear a gentle “Hello”, as I walked by a table of people hovering over a board, contemplating their next move. I look and catch the humbled gaze of Messy Magdalene. Her demeanor was notably different from the ‘self-assured’ persona she had portrayed during my stay.

Continuing on my path, I wave with a limp and dismissive flick of my wrist and hand.

I spent the entire afternoon writing or lounging about.

While sitting at a café a few doors down from Hotel Breakdown, I see a group of walking in the direction of the beach. Margeaux is among the mixed group. It was obvious she had noticed me before they passed. She kept an unnatural tight neck, never swaying her gaze in any direction. Every other person in the group was jovial, talking and animated; gleefully gesturing like we did as young children on our way for a day outside of the classroom at the park. Margeaux was the only stiff one; she, determined to maintain her tight-lipped disposition.

They pass.

I resume people watching and studying the style of the hand painted signs around me. Once I finished my beverage, I retreated to my casita.

I write.

It’s dusk and still.

I strip the linens and tidy my temporary space.

Keys in my hand, mgear on my back, I head for the exit.

Ah, la recepción area is empty.

All the chess champs have vacated premises.

I couldn’t have asked for a better scenario. I didn’t want a false display of ‘well-wishing’ send off.

The sun has dropped more.

It was beautifully quiet.

Perfect.

The only person in view was Toto stretched out in a hammock tapping on a laptop keyboard. He never looks up.

I slip behind the desk, leaving the key in the designated area for rooms needing to be prepped for later guests and head for the door.

As I walked, I silently hoped no one would suddenly notice me and call attention to my departure and it become ‘a thing’.

The sun, gone.

I’m walking down the street, in the street, not on a sidewalk. The (ir)rational thought behind this street-walker strategy is that I’m hoping Chico and ‘em or some other gang doesn’t suddenly appear for an impromptu ceremonial send off.

Great. I survived, reaching the main and busy highway.

As I approach, I see Jorge on his scooter. He looks with smiling and wanting eyes. He stops and states the obvious in a curious tone: You’re still here(?).

Me: Yes yes, I’m walking to the autobus now. My departure is at 8pm.

He reaches for and grabs my hand in a cautious caress. He has a slight sad look as he asks if I’d ever come back to Puerto. I respond that I would if I ever have a reason. They weren’t empty words, because I would visit again. He felt a new friend that I’d definitely want to see again. Besides, he is willing to teach me how to make those de-lish smoked fish tacos.

At the bus station, I unload my bag and sit near outlets. Minutes in, I see an employee notice me. He walks over and politely asks where I’m going, from, if I enjoyed me time in Puerto Escondido, about Donald Trump, all while excusing his ‘bad’ English.

I tell him it’s no problem.

It wasn’t because he, like all the locals I met, was very kind and gentle.

He leaves me and I start a film on Netflix.

As seats filled with waiting passengers, buses arrived, loaded and unloaded bodies, departed.

The bus headlined in bright lights with Oaxaca pulled in. Passengers disembarked, then driver. He was a short and well-groomed man. My thought fell on how fresh he appeared; he didn’t seem tired and his uniform was neatly pressed. I was impressed that he could journey over the open road and not look a moment tired, because I would have been.

I lost sight of him, but later thought that he may have just started his shift with out trip.

Yes. That was it.

As I climbed aboard, there he was, beaming with a welcoming smile.

I must say that given my dizzying drive down, I was NOT looking forward to the possibility of another nauseating ride on seemingly perpetual s-curved roads around the mountains back to Mexico City! I was hoping being on this large bus would save me from of the stop and go jerkiness of regular speed bumps.

Buckled in, we drive off.

I nuzzle close to the window, cornering myself, preparing to doze off.

But first, a blaring sound from the overhead speaker and bright-screened monitors demand that I listen to the rules in Spanish, before I’m given permission to attempt sleep.

After, a film begins. I reach for my bag.

I plug my ears with neon pink squished foam. It expands and I pretend to not hear anything as I take note of how the ride feels thus far. Not bad. Not bad.

It’s cold aboard. The seats aren’t the most spacious, but are more comfy than the cramped ride down in the colectivo. I was able to get a few naps in.

After dropping passengers at a few stops along the route, we finally arrive in Oaxaca.

It’s early morning, and the hub is buzzing.

It was a bit jarring, because the experience was as if I was stepping out of bed onto a busy New York street. There was no separation between me indoor and outdoor life. Up and out you are.

The taxi drivers are clamoring for their next fares.

Am approached, and give him the name of the hostel I’d be staying. We agree on the price and I hop in.

A couple left and right turns, he then asks for directions.

[Insert needle scratch here.]



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