That I am traveling at all is a testament to the decline of covid–19 in some parts of the world.
Yes, I must like this place…as well as el yerno, Don, y la hija, Sarah, who invited me—el suegro—down! (¡And that is the last of my Spanish through which you must suffer!)
One urban myth is the “midlife crisis”: the 45-year-old man finds himself as Dante did:
I found that I was in a gloomy wood,
because the path which led aright was lost.
Or, as the Paul Simon put it, the man asks, “Why am I soft in the middle?” The man might consider having an affair but settles in the end for a red sports car, driving his way gracefully into old age. It’s a myth because it seldom happens that way. The plural of crisis is crises. The man in the gloomy wood makes momentary advances but as he looks down the road, he sees those who came before him falling off the end of the road into oblivion, while he personally feels shock waves periodically as time moves forward toward King Lear‘s “promised end” where
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
For me, what was it? Too many beers or too many blood clots? Moving upstream from all that, it was what my neighbor Ben said about the pandemic, particularly if one worked at home and was both at risk and living alone: it taught us to live as if we were depressed, cut off from others, locked up in our homes…shut-ins.
So it was I found myself in Zacatitos for a third time, graciously invited down by Don, who will read this and should have no doubts that he is among the most gracious hosts numbered among men.
In such an elegant setting, I alternately stayed in my room with my shock waves and strayed outside with the ocean waves.
As for the shock waves, I took comfort with Isaiah, not a person, but an ancient text that tells me over and over again that the desert shall blossom as a garden and that rivers will flow freely; that the hills shall be leveled and the valleys raised to create a highway for the redeemed who will look for their enemies, but will find none; who, even if they are lame, will carry off plunder; that the blind will see and the captives shall be set free; that no one in the city of God will say “I am ill”; who, when they wait upon the Lord, shall mount up on wings of eagles, running and not getting weary, walking an not fainting; who will find a messiah who suffers for them only to bring them to a place of peace, quiet, and resting, close to his heart.
I also walked with the burros.
Or looked at the variegated homes.
Nice as it all was, it would have been much less without the people.
It was these people that I one evening wanted to take out for dinner at a restaurant they liked, one that sat on the edge of Old Man’s Beach. They were surfing in front of the restaurant-hotel while I watched. If the restaurant started filling up, I was to get a table, which I did. I ordered a glass of “your house wine, red,” which I assumed to be the least expensive. It was truly the first Cabernet I actually enjoyed. So, thinking it’s cheaper by the bottle, I ordered our table a bottle, knowing that another couple would be joining the three of us later. Sarah & Don finally showed up, as did their friends. We enjoyed a fine meal, and when the check came, I discovered that “your house wine, red” was interpreted as “your best red.” Bottle: ~$100 USD. Funny, especially since on the drive over I said I’d never pay $10 for a glass of wine. The good news: I can appreciate a good wine! And so can Sarah, who also found it exceptional.
Getting on our flights wasn’t hard (for me) but was difficult (for Don): we all passed our covid–19 tests (a deal: $25 with results in a half hour), but there were various forms to fill out in addition to the standard paperwork. While I was drinking a latte, waiting for my flight, Don was refused entry, no matter how he re-did the paperwork, so—and do not let this become public—he did something like this: he pointed to the ceiling, saying, “Well look at that!”—and slipped around the guard to get to his gate.
For a rough idea of geography (which, like most images, is clickable):
Finally, a 72-second motion picture: