The other night, my friend Mary Ann made this (partial) comment on the blog:
First and foremost would be a Pasquale Cucumber Salad, from the black sand beaches of Mexico, with 20’ waves, palapas bars lining the shore and that cute surfer from Texas. It was hot, but the beer was cold and all the tables had fresh slices of cucumber dressed with minced jalepeno, sea salt and vinegar...and we were young & tan with sun-bleached hair and beautiful boys to entertain us, still in the top 5 summers ever...
She may have been commenting about the cucumber salad, not the season, per se, but her description transported me there, to the summer we spent in Mexico, supposedly studying Spanish. But language study turned out to be background noise, heard only during the morning hours, then quickly forgotten as we walked the suburban streets of Guadalajara back to our host family’s home to sit down to a large, homemade Mexican meal, always accompanied by fresh squeezed juices of every kind: watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya….
The siesta that followed was almost always during an incredible afternoon downpour, white noise that doubled as the city’s daily air freshener.
It wasn’t long after it cleared that we’d head out to the corner to take the local shared taxi-like ‘combi’ to the Suites Bernini, a housing option that most of our guy friends opted to inhabit -- two bedroom apartments with daily maid service and an armed guard at the front door.
Surely the maid had never worked so hard, but perhaps she’d never collected so many single dollar bills or returnable glass bottles, either.
Weekends we got out of the city, heading west, to the coast.
We headed to Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Pasquale, Zihuatanejo. Some of the best side trips ever. Sure there were chipped teeth, near drownings, and mishaps on planes due to over indulgence. There was too much tequila and arguments in tropical downpours and all matter of other shenanigans, but mostly, mostly there was a group of early twenty somethings who spent a space in time together, not even a whole summer, but a matter of weeks that I doubt any of us will forget.
That summer was exactly 20 years ago. Late July of 1989, that’s were I was, where we all were. I’m not sure where the time goes….. But here I am, exactly 2 decades later, holed up in the hospital, waiting to have a baby with a beautiful boy I met there, that summer, so long ago…. (Man do I wish I had the photo of the tequila-induced peace-sign he shaved in his chest one night to show you – both because he was already a manly stud back then, and because it’s a good illustration of the flavor of all those Mexican summer nights.)
Endless summer, I guess it’s sometimes true.