Sunday, March 1, 2015

Return to Sayulita, USA

Just above the scene of the crime
 Awakening on my numeric transition into decade number six to a quiet, cool house in Stinson Beach on a fogless, rainless last day of February morning, wondering how the 5lb baby of a card-carrying anorexic ended up with these splendid manboobs and such a bad case of Dunlap's, to arrive later that same day in the former surfer's hideaway of Sayulita only to be met by the blaring disco of a wedding celebration directly across the canyon. My companions, wife and daughter, are both feeling the instant effects of Cafe Leyza on the plaza, a consistently reliable restaurant that, on our fourth visit, has slipped and fallen on it's face. We should have known by the margaritas that something had changed. There on the third floor overlooking the historic plaza the dulcet sounds of Coldplay, interspersed with semi-live performances - a saxophone, a spontaneous gaggle of background singers, blasted from a massive stereo as tourists dodged the skateboarders. Escaping back to our gorgeous indoor/outdoor casita, the pulsing of the disco beat reminds me of our last visit in 2010 when I swore off this place, deeming it overexposed. But that was Semana Santa, the vacation week leading to Easter when families from Guadalajara migrate to the coast and Sayulita, where there are still plenty of campsites and inexpensive places to stay. They came in droves, standing in the surf and screaming bloody murder every time a wave broke. And I was recovering from a spinal fusion gone awry. 

But this isn't Semana Santa, it's the first wave of US Spring Break, and Sayulita isn't PV or Mazatlan or Manzanillo. Still, somebody is getting married across the canyon at Villa Amor, and there's a disco thing goin' on, or a hip hop thing...everybody sings, or raps along with the chorus: "you gotta love me sweet and you love me?" WTF? My parents couldn't figure out "She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah" and they were a lot younger than I am now. To say that every generation creates their own groove, their own language, their own melody (or lack thereof), well...ain't it the truth.
If the rise beans don't getcha, the raped shrimp will. 

It's my 60th birthday, and I'm sittin' here in Sayulita, wife and daughter with pillows over their heads, regretting every Cafe Leyza bite (daughter not to blame she had a few rough days in Brooklyn then jumped on a plane to PV in a state of emotional asphyxiation) across the canyon from a wedding party. I'm trying to decipher the music - the bizarre marine call and response - the macho bravura, the blatant anger, stumbling half-step poetics, the incitations, the calls to arms, the dark minor dorian blues, the violence, the bitches - comic cartoon synth whoops and weeps over the incessant "yeah yo yeah yo". I try to simply keep up with the breakneck speed of the raps, thinkin' perhaps this goofy poetry over police whistles isn't that different than a bunch a Miles or Freddie trills atop a walk vs. a funky stumble.

Okay, so the folks over at Villa Amor and their wedding clients weren't aware that there was a guy across the canyon trying to celebrate his big six (uh) oh who has come to Mexico to be in Mexico. It may be that Sayulita isn't Mexico anymore. It may be that it's time to move inland to San Miguel and Guanajuato where the artists and serious writers hang out. But I love the warm water, the waves, the ceviche, the Pacifico, the Hornitos. But maybe it's time to find someplace else in Mexico where you can still be in Mexico.

What these folks should have done is invited all the people within in earshot of their wedding bacchanalia, regardless of age, manboobs, or Dunlap's, since sleep is impossible, to make their moves. I mean, I can see the tiki torches, I can hear the girls shoutin' "hey!', I can hear the squeals, I can just imagine the outfits or the lack thereof. It's my birthday, goddamnit, and my girls have gone to bed. But wait, it's eleven o' clock, and...all is quiet. I can hear the waves. The crickets. The distant sounds of town. The crazy moon is down, thank God, and I think it is time to follow suit.

Happy birthday to me. 

PS I wrote this on our first night to the snappy grooves of the disco wedding across the canyon. As I soon learned, Sayulita is still as Mexican as a beach town in Mexico gets. Stay tuned...

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