21 April 2012

Toilets of Mexico: A Work in Progress

I am not writing a novel or putting together a collection of poetry. I have, however, been working fitfully on a coffee table book that will be entitled The Toilets of Mexico. Photographs and minimal text. I do not wish to challenge anyone to read a lot of text, which is the mistake that many authors of coffee table books make. It will be glossy. Classy. There does have to be some text though. 

Yet, I am in the midst of despair regarding this project. So much so that I even confided about my despair to Alysa not too long ago. I simply cannot make the thing come together without it seeming condescending--without it reading and looking as if I am having great fun at the expense of the proprietors of these restrooms. 

Anyone who has read anything that I have written about Mexico knows that even when I am bitching, I would not have a thing changed. I would not wish the slightest alteration in anything Mexican whatsoever. My adventures and misadventures in the toilets of Mexico are worth documenting for the benefit of coffee tables in Manhattan, Paris, and Tokyo. I assure you. Yet, the tone has to be right, and I'll be damned if I can strike the right tone.

The sign above hangs in the unisex restroom at Juan's Cafe Etc up town. Juan is caught in the middle of clash of cultures, the same clash of cultures that catches up any restaurateur who has a norteamericano clientele. How does one persuade these folks to put their used toilet paper in the waste basket? And I sympathize with the norteamericanos, too. For a lifetime they have habitually flushed the used toilet paper down the toilet. Now, suddenly, they must change that habit?

I well know that I am in Mexico, by the way, and the utter absence of pressure is delightful. However, I do not think Juan intended a double entendre along those lines. Rather, I think he was just frustrated.

As I am with this coffee table book project. I simply needed to unburden myself.

The Mens' Room off the walkway around the top of the bull ring.

The rest stop along the side of the highway that Rick and I used on that two thousand mile drive to bring the pickup back to Mexico. After we crossed the border heading south. An ancient, agreeable, and still perfectly acceptable custom and practice here.

* * * * * * * * * * * * 

Relating to the morning and absolutely nothing else:

What Rick refers to as a "forced march."

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