Saturday, February 23, 2008

Who's the crazy one?

It's been exceptionally cold here this week. Cold enough to send the locals crawling into fleeces and filled nylon jackets. Cold enough to even get Buster, the town's only gringo waiter, to ask us to find him a sweatshirt at the Wednesday street market. Yes, even the local gringos are bundling up. The only ones still in tank tops and shorts are the tourists.

But it's still much warmer than anywhere inland, so a few days ago, an old friend who now lives in Guadalajara suggested coming down here for a few days.

"I don't know if it's a good idea," I emailed back. "Big Dog's been rather emotionally frail..."

I hadn't seen R. in decades. We only reconnected a year or two ago by email. I have almost forgotten how he used to be and have no idea how he really is today. Letters are always deceptive, desho? And I suspect he has some picture of me that has faded away long ago -- or never existed at all. But mostly, I worried that he and Big Dog would get into a huge argument over labor issues and immigration and the upcoming election and the fallout would last long after R. went back to the City.

After last night, though, I am wondering if subconsciously I was worried more about me. Recently, I seem to be more prone to huge mood swings -- induced by hunger. Like, last night. We come back from a leisurely afternoon stroll to find Miss J back home with a gang of guys doing shooters in her kitchen. I figure they'll all go off to get something to eat in a bit and then I'll start making dinner. Ha. As time went on, they became merrier and drunker while I became hungrier and angrier. I don't know why I just didn't start eating, but when I go into these tailspins, I can't think straight.

"Oh, come on, your motorcycle accident didn't completely change your life," I start arguing with Mayor Dave, the friend who introduced us to Miss J.

The music is too loud and too mid-70's, in addition to being somewhat distorted by the cavernous concrete room. People are shouting to be heard above it. The din is making me crazier. I've got to eat before I blow up in a rage. While I'm making a shrimp-filled avocado appetizer for myself and Big Dog, he decides none of the guys can drive in their state so he's going to drive Mayor Dave back home. Dave's leg, broken in that accident a year ago, is really bothering him.

"I'll pick up some milk on the way back," Big Dog says.
"Okay," I huff. Somehow it pisses me off that he's leaving as we're finally about to eat something.
"I don't have any money."
I sigh and walk upstair to get some, wondering why he didn't just do it himself. He's not the one making dinner and he knows just as well as I do where the money is.
"Here you go," I hand him the money and get back to huffing and cooking.
"I don't have a bag."
"It's upstairs," I tell him without even turning around. He knows exactly where the shopping bag is! Get it yourself! But he's not going for the bag.
I have to eat. NOWWWWW! I sit down (finally!) with my avocado boat and start wolfing.
"Ohhhh. You guys are having a problem..." Mayor Dave suggests. Even a drunk man can sense the Category Five Hurricane churning inside me. He just doesn't know the cause.
"NO WERE NOT! I'M JUST HUNGRY!!!" Having to shout makes me even angrier. Dave chuckles. Maybe out of embarrassment. Maybe out of nervousness -- maybe I looked like a really crazy woman.
"IT'S NOT FUNNY!!!" I am hunched over my avocado boat, guarding it like a lifeline to sanity. I MUST look crazy.

I was inappropriately angry for a loooong time after that, but now in the calm of another cool morning, I am embarrassed by my outburst and hoping that everyone was too drunk to remember any of it. I wish I was.

But R., really, you can visit us anytime! Didn't you like being abused by women?


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