24 February 2011

The Merely Unusual

On a certain level there is something the same about all beach resort communities. I gave some thought to this. Is it the slightly shabby little hotels of two or three floors all in a row. Is it the abundant souvenir shops and theme restaurants and other concessions designed for only one purpose—to relieve those tourists of as much of their money as possible during their short stay? Or is it the sameness of the tourists themselves, the elderly white men in their awful shirts, mandatory short pants, and over-priced, name brand sandals morosely accompanying their plump white women—“moderately obese” in physicians' parlance--who never shut the fuck up?

In the end I concluded that this sameness resides in the fact that all beach resort communities abut some large body of water and abandoned the whole train of thought as circular.

The point is that I am not going to put up a bunch of photos of the same stuff that you would see in any beach resort community anywhere. Yes, it is beautiful. You can see that from the one photo that I have put up. But a little time at the beach goes a long way for me. I have the craving for landscape, the craving of the flat-lander who has lived his life amid visual monotony. The seashore does it for some of us. Cliffs. Breakers crashing on the rocks. All of that.

It is the mountains that do it for me, but I find myself here on the beach for a good reason that I will explain later.

Still, Mazatlán has its charms. The shrimp boats are a-comin' all the time. After an obligatory pass through the predictably historic, disgracefully clean downtown, La Mexicana and I hit the side streets. We found an old guy selling shellfish on the sidewalk. We had the place to ourselves and enjoyed fresh oysters on the half shell and split a big shrimp cocktail glass full of assorted dead sea life. With hot sauce. It was a delight the likes of which I had not enjoyed since the old New Orleans.

La Mexicana was wielding the little camera today. I know my baseball cap is on crooked. That was intentional. I meant to do that.

The one good thing about tourists is that they are seldom truly adventurous. They confine themselves to the designated tourist areas where they can speak their language to each other; swap stories with each other about the quaint local practices that they have mastered; and then return home confident that they have been to Mexico. This makes escaping them easy.

La Mexicana and I wandered the streets deeper into the city away from the beach and got lost there. That was intentional, too. I meant to do that. There was an abandoned building there that fascinated me. 

A tree was growing out of the top of the building that was difficult to photograph because La Mexicana could not back off enough by reason of the narrow street. She did a wonderful job of photographing the rest of it though, I think. 

The tree's roots had grown down through the building. All through the building. By my feet you can see some roots emerging from a drain pipe that was built into the wall.

 This is a closeup of that very same root.

This is a tree root emerging from underneath a door and running along the foundation. It looked to me like The Blob from the early Steve McQueen film. (Am I remembering that correctly?)

The old shutters were ajar so that one could look into the interior through the bars. Those assemblages hanging down in the middle of the room are tree roots. To tell you the truth the whole thing gave me a creepy feeling.

You have to admit. This is subject matter the likes of which you have not encountered in other blogs here today. Right? Entertainment in the form of the downright bizarre and the merely unusual. That is my game here at The Solipsist.