salida, mercadoi had a mostly excellent trip to merida recently, the only fly in the ointment being a nagging bronchial ailment, which i seem to have passed on to a friend who lives there– sorry, buddy!!

one of the best results i had from the trip was a sudden jump-starting of my photographic muse– i had been feeling somewhat stale and jaded in cozumel, the result of wandering too many times down the same streets, seeing mostly the same sights. but merida gave me a fresh look in a much different light as i trod along, happily wandering down this calle and that one, seeking avenues unknown. i found some, but others just seemed a little different. anyhow, suddenly my mind was all abrim with new angles and new ways to look at things.mad possum

this new sensitivity has traveled back to cozumel with me, especially as the bronchial annoyance has faded. i haven’t had a lot of time since i got back, what with diving and such, but this morning i was really in the zone or whatever– i could feel it happening and it filled me with energy. and so it was that i came across an canvas advert along the street, and suddenly i was transported.oops, no, it wasn’t this wild weasel or possum or whatever, but rather this sign…

motel ha

it was the turn of the century, 2000, and i was driving, moving from my old home in colorado to my new one here in mexico. i had had a long day and was looking forward to a little dinner and a kip, but the place i had been thinking of staying in turned out to be not so nice. i figured i would just go to the next town and find a place there, but nothing looked encouraging, and the day wore on, hot and sultry, dusty and gritty. then suddenly i was in veracruz, the road changed from a two laner to six on a side, populated by a mad herd of taxi drivers and it began to pour rain. there was a boulevard between my six lanes and the ones going the other way, and almost no divisions to change direction. alluva sudden a tiny sign appeared out of the downpour, and by the time i had read it– “hotelarea” i had passed the gap. “CURSES!!” i cried, and tried to find a way back to where i had come from. there wasn’t anything– “not a sausage!!”, as john cleese would have said. i was tired and afraid i was going to get into an accident. the only choice i could see was an exit to the airport or else i had to go back onto the toll road, so i chose the airport, thinking like any stupid american that of course there would be a hotel there. WRONG!! now i was sure i was going to get into an accident and end up in a real bad spot.

suddenly i realised that i had to get a grip or i WOULD get into an accident. there was no divider now, so i pulled a sudden U-turn in front of a bunch of police cars and started back to town. after an interminable interval i saw– SALVATION!! a motel– PEPSI MOTEL was the small sign, and so it was with vast relief i turned into the narrow entrance. out of the darkness came a guy, motioning me to follow, and he guided me into a garage, and after i came out he closed the sucker– odd, i thought, but hunger was clawing at my innards, so instead of inquiring i asked about food. well, he said– he could make me a grilled cheese sandwich. GIVE ME TWO!! i almost yelled, and so he did. not gourmet stuff by any means, but it tasted pretty darn good to me.

so there i am in my little room, swilling the last vestiges of tequila from my bottle and picking my teeth, trying to watch monday night football on a screen full of snow. something about the room bothered me, and i couldn’t quite put my finger on what the hell it was. but it occurred to me when i lay back on the bed– THE MIRROR ON THE DRESSER!!– laying on the bed it gave an exact view of what was happening on the mattress, and it came to me like a sudden flash of lightning– i was in THE MOTEL OF ASSIGNATIONS– a fuck motel if you will, a “hot pillow joint”, and the covered garage meant that one could bring whoever there and have their vehicle out of the public eye, shielded from gossips and detectives. i began to laugh, it was pretty funny– not just the location, but also my naivete, that it took me so long to figure things out.

of course, living as i do now, i know that most time when it sez “motel”, this is what it means. still and all, a nice advert i had to admit– a tetch evocative, if i do say so myself. not that I plan on staying there….

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