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

I AM. Poised

By InspiredJourney



I couldn’t do it for the -gram because I’m sitting under some brutal down light.

Anyone who dares to care about not looking horrible, especially after ‘sleeping’ in van full of people, during that eight-hour ride, in a photo, know’s how crucial good lighting is: up, side, side, but not down. This reduces the chance of thriller movie fright when others see you. That’s a pro tip I’ve heard, in passing … haha.

I power up my phone on.

No reception.

Uh ohhh.

That normal bit of panic wants to take hold. But, I resist it, again.

I needed to ensure I wouldn’t aimlessly wander or spend unnecessarily, getting lost with some taxi driver while Google Translating my way into an (in)effective conversation in Spanish.

I wait while looking at my phone the way I would with Grem when he was much shorter that I and pushing the boundaries. You know, that mom stare. It’s all in the eyes and clenched jaw, while thinking ‘stop that, come here, go there, Nnnow’.

I thought it worked because I soon had an internet signal.

I do a quick search to locate my exact location, for its proximity to the hostel.

Well, I attempt to do so. It didn’t work.

The signal was lagging. The wheel continued spinning, ignoring my best mom stare coupled with side-eye, folded arms and near-tapping toe.

Using an app, I was able to message Kwamy in London, asking him to search for me while continuing to do so myself. This with the visible, yet ‘non-functional functioning’ signal (shrugs).

Tag teaming was a must, because nothing would keep me chained there near the male with the most swollen chest around: an ego driven rooster that had begun to crow, LOUDLY.

For a member of the animal group people love to fry, roast, boil, grill, or …, he was boldly announcing his location, daring any competitor with in a half-mile range. He had pipes that could unseat the number one seated opera soprano, and was boxed 4.78 feet from me. I was ready to wring his neck (I kid) find a shower and bed to rest after that bout.


The two not-so-bobbly heads (Kwamy and I) were able to get the exact address of the hostel.

Having watched a number of taxis drive by, I stand, walking towards to street and see mom van driver. He, crouching down and carefully toweling the van, tires included. It’s minutes after 6am, and he’s cleaning the van he just drove for hours(?). Ohkay. Pride much? Me thinks., but manage to read and utter: Disculpe. ¿Dónde está Hostel Disorganized Catty Environment?

He answers.

It’s close.

I inquire about the amount I could expect to pay a taxi. Because, you know, every pesos counts. I need all my pesos and pennies.

Treinta pesos.

As I’m thinking ‘not bad’, and if magically summoned, green and white taxi whips around the corner.

I hail him.

We greet.

I convey my destination. He agrees to take me.

In the car, the usual questions of where I’m visiting from et cetera.

Less than four minutes and three right turns we arrive.

A confused “Wahhh” escapes my mouth. I felt like a prank had been pulled. I could have walked … haha.

The thatched roof building is dark; not a living being in sight.

I think: Hmmm.

Perplexed, I question if this is the right place.

He assures me it is.

I believe him.

Like a Hoodoo priestess, I sit in the faint light reading the coins in hand.

Motherhood has yet to do me in; the small-font coins confirm my vision is near perfect. Grabbing two, I pass them to him.

Gracias; we thank one another.

I grab the mgear as I open the door.

Taxi driver does the same; opening his door, that is.

He peacefully walks to the entrance to see if there is someone to be rouse and alerted of my arrival.

Nope. No such luck.

I sit on one of the waiting painted chairs.

Taxi driver wishes me a great visit before driving off.

I sit, feeling quite alone, when a fleeing shadow catches my attention.

Knowing I didn’t imagine this, I didn’t invest into investigating.

There was no activity within range beyond my heartbeat and this shadow: no cars, no people, no stirring, not even a mouse, orrrr perhaps there was.

Though my engagement still new, this place was extremely quiet and peaceful. My spidey senses hadn’t warned me of any suspicions I needed to be mindful of.

I sit.

Shadow darts by again.

This time, I whip my head right to try catching a view.


It was like VFX in movies when some spirit appears or disappears in a wispy tail of black smoke trailing off into nothingness.

I reposition my planted gluts.

I see a guy.

I literally silently exclaim: HUMAN! He was the first sign of life since taxi guy left.

I ask if he knows anything about this hostel and its hours, because, you know, he must know everything about this town right? He ‘sings’ nooo, while walking towards me.

He tries to engage me in conversation. With his English and my Spanish, the effort, obviously futile.

Recognizing we couldn’t go on, he leans in like a lover after you two have stuck a fork in it with ‘it’s just not our time’, declaring the romance is gone but you both welcome remaining close-ish friends.

I flinch, hard!

He’s startled.

I’m puzzled that he’s startled, and now on guard.

Like a wrestling champ questioning if it’s time to square off, I look at him to gauge what how to instruct my muscles to respond. An elbow to the groin area (remember he’s standing, I’m seated)? A properly placed painful knee?

I’m thinking fast.

He continues by either trying to communicate he wants to kiss me, or wants a kiss from me. Either way, kissing was involved and was an obvious and emphatic no!

Though standing with a sense of weird somethingness, he stands down and sort of murmurs adiós and walks onward.

I sit: shaking my head thinking, while trying to shake the event off my skin.

I hadn’t even thought about the kissing culture exploration with Gabrielle.

Minutes later, I’m in a deep-ish state of contemplation wondering when the fuck (pardon this languge I’m imagining speaking here) this hostel opens as the dawning sun pokes a whole into the night.

Time ticks.

(This is the moment I formally introduce my feeling superpower. It is so heightened and always on point. You have this superpower as well. Tap into it.)

There comes a moment when I sense something is close.

No, question what you will. I’m wasn’t imagining this.

It’s alive, because I can feel it.

So again, I don’t see anything, but absolutely feel this life energy near me.

I look around. Nothing, no one is there.

I sit and I feeling it closer to me, but am not seeing a thing.

Irritation level at max force, I’m nearly cursing this ‘experience’, because really to hell with experiences now.

And then, with my jaw line perched, resting on my hand, I feel a slight bit of air near my arm.

I move to comfort myself by hand-brushing my arm, and am stopped by the one and only nosy rapscallion in kitten form: Ras, who I would later come to understand was a spirit guide to help prepare me for my time at the hostel.

While casually softening me up (I’m allergic to cats and stay away from them), sniffing me in search of food, I’m instantly made a cat lady talking to Ras. I enjoyed him.


I hear movement; metal then the wooden slate ‘door’ drags along the tiled floor.

Looking towards the entrance, I see shapes of people emerging from this black hole.

Two backpackers: One very tale man and woman.

Excited, I belt out: The door is open?! It was unlocked this entire time? (Note: this is clue into something called conditioning I’m sure I’ll explore later.)

They shrug, responding Yeees(?).

I’m happy to see signs of life, but equally annoyed.

They leave.

I abandon Ras as if he never existed. Worry not. Ras doesn’t lose you. He has his way of finding you whenever (all the time) he needs you or something.

I enter, sliding sideways like a stealthy romantic French cat burglar tipping in to steal a kiss from an unsuspecting woman. Or, may she is expecting him; it’s their adult game night. Theme: Please catch me because you can because I so want you too.

Sorry for the deviation, the fantasies will likely continue spilling from time to time. Shake it off.

I’m inside the hostel, but still alone.

The reception desk is closed.

I continue walking, making my way left, right down halls, passing rooms, and through the courtyard before I turn back.

As I retrace steps in reverse to the starting point, anger stirs.

I’m feeling some kind of way at having the level of access to this place; the people behind doorknob locked hollow wooden doors.

Perturbed by the less-than-stellar reception, I sit, positioned so I can see anyone that passes.

Just under two hours later, a man appears, making his way to el sanitario.

He’s in there for a while.

Out, he asks if I’m waiting to be checked in. I respond affirmatively

He says he’ll send the person who could assist me.

I thank him.

Ten minutes more: Margeaux, appears asking if I were a guest of a volunteer.

The latter, I am.

I cannot recall the words that came next. I had begun tuning her out.

I knew from the moment I saw her, and felt her energy that we weren’t tribe.

She’s behind the reception/bar. I’m sitting on a bar stool feeling like I’m begging for a bit of professional courtesy from these people I’ve never met. But this is a business and I,  however wrongly, have expectations of being organized as I’m going to exchange my time for accommodations.

More walking dead trickle in, gathering in this reception area around this bar.

I feel odd. I glue my attention to news headlines, checking in and giving updates on my whereabouts.

I’m asked if I want to lock my tiny backpack away in some cage. I decline.

Yes, you’re right, I’m likely giving off strange and non-welcoming vibes.

I wasn’t sure why, but I could sense something was off.

An additional hour in, the flip-flop wearing blue-eyed blonde German, Fritz, strolls through the now open and welcoming slat doors.

He greets all, while being filled in about the odd one at the bar: me.

He asks if she’s assigned a spot to me.

And in the most feminist-defeating subservient breathy French-Canadian tone, wide-eyed girl full of fear trying to avoid being admonished at all costs, Margeaux rushes: Oh nooo, I didn’t know where you wanted her.

Sooo over her.

I was more done with her, than I was when she first appeared. In that, her third action, had completely confirmed in all her glory, and that I must to stay clear.

Fitz, after checking a board, leads me on my previous path: left, right down halls, passing rooms, and through the courtyard to a dorm style room.

Entering, he excuses the fantastic filthy mess while walking, stepping over trash and just filth, checking for an empty bed.

There wasn’t one.

Surprise! We retrace our steps in reverse to the starting point: The Damn Reception Desk/Bar!

I assure you this was not Bill Murray and me on Ground Hog Day.

(Me: Drops head while waiting)

Again, checking the board for vacancy, grabs a key and escorts me to a private room, while stating “this is only temporary, while we sort who’s here, who’s not”, blah, blah, fucking blah. He didn’t want me to have an expectations of remaining in such ‘luxury’ with the double bed and pillows, both literally firm (rolls eyes until the muscles hurt). I’ve never known a firm pillow before this experience and I never want to know another one.

I’m left to settle in, because comfortable in not on the list of offerings.

I organize my things, and prep myself to get on with ‘volunteering’, i.e., work exchange.

Enter the next character, my raking drinking partner Jean.




2 responses to “I AM. Poised”

  1. […] That bit of peace appears when I’m greeted by my new spirit guide ‘kitty‘. […]

  2. […] I was even more sickened by the additional confirmation of the spinelessness I had gleaned when I first got hint of her disposition upon meeting and seeing her interact with Fritz. This was during my first day at the hostel and her being asked why she hadn’t assigned a place for me to stay. It took all of my strength to remain poised watching her in action. Read about it, starting here: I AM. Poised. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe: email