Friday, October 21, 2005

Cabo Cabo. Part 1, episode whatever...


I truly don't know what I was thinking. How on earth did I think I'd get away with it? In theory, the man you've pledged your eternal, undying love has a right to know who you really are. I threw that all to the wind. I wrote off the "contradictions" as the aftermath of a traumatic childhood. I seeded the road of life with distractions - they were tacks designed to puncture the most robust tire, and to disable the most advanced vehicle.

And now, I'm sitting here in a ridiculously expensive hotel suite in an exclusive resort in the "zona turistica" of Los Cabos, Mexico, and I'm wondering what to do with the Hartmann carryon luggage that was just delivered to my room. "We apologize for the late arrival, senora," said the young man who brought the tapestry-patterned wheeled carry-on to me. He lingered by the doorway until I gave him $10. Ordinarily, I would have given him $2. I had a bad feeling about this, though, and I wanted him to go away quickly.

It turned out that my premonitions of doom were completely on-target, as usual.

I opened up the bag, and it contained $319,350. Yeah, it was a weird amount. I thought so, too.

But, that is what it was. I counted it at least four separate times, the last time, keeping a tally on a notepad, since I no longer trusted myself to think in a linear fashion.

The only response to having $319,350 delivered to your hotel room as though it were a limp salad and a pile of soggy tortilla chips was to think highly uncomfortable thoughts of self-gratification, followed by a midnight stroll into the most ineluctably deadly of rip-tides - the same tides that crashed into the place where the Pacific Ocean collided with the Sea of Cortez and made a ravishingly beautiful chaos of history and economic exigencies, which could only be translated to a guttural grunting mono-syllabic response that sounded eerily like the word "RAGE."

But, who cared about that? Intellectualizing aside, the darkness comes to us each and every night. We have to tell the truth. Of course, this has nothing to do with people, nor humanity. It has to do with the way I am going to be asked to reconcile the accounts. Eventually, I will have to turn the rock over. I'll have to let the world see the maggots.

But first, there is little issue - this slightly pesky reality: I've got more than $300,000 crisp, almost pristine dollars in my hotel room, and for all the world knows, I'm a geologist who works for her father, a slightly nerdish woman who wears plain, dark clothing and thick (although fashionable) glasses. I'm in my late 20s, but people always think I'm either much older or much younger.

The more viscerally inclined of the male species immediately detect the cognitive dissonance in such presentation as the one I make. Some would like to think that all modestly dressed women are voluptuous to a ghastly degree, and they imagine Pamela Anderson breast implants, liposuction, and the collagen injections. Even for the woman who has not undergone pain in pursuit of the beauty myth, there is the psychological pain that comes with always measuring yourself and finding yourself lacking.

I admit it. I have tried some procedures. Their purpose was served a full five and half years ago, and here I am, stuck with what I imagine to be hyper-voluptuous lips, outrageous curves, and mental programming I will probably never be able to cast aside. I sigh, I modulate my voice, I inhale and pause, pregnantly …

and, well, what difference does it make?

If I do not figure out what to do with this $319,350 that was delivered - probably erroneously - to my room, I will most likely be hunted down and "eliminated" - not by a high-dollar hit man, but by an ugly, cut-rate, pock-market and sweaty "cleaner" who will off me and then obliterate my face with acid, my body with a close encounter with the "tiburones" that dance with the wolves - oops, I mean whales - just beyond the crazily beautiful arches off San Lucas that find their way to each and every tourist, time-share, and retirement-condo brochure.

I can disappear with this bag, can't I? Will this cash buy me a life that will last longer than a year?

In a few days, I'm supposed to go back home. I'll tell the people who love me that I had a great time. I'm not sure what I'll tell the person who had the misfortune to pledge his undying love to me.

Will I tell him that our entire relationship has been built on an intricate web of lies? Will I tell him that nothing I've told him is true? Will I admit to him that I'm not even from the state I claim to be from? Do I admit that I do not even possess the family members I claimed? Does he deserve to know that the person he had grown to love as "charmingly contradictory" was, in reality, not contradictory at all. She was simply keeping one step ahead.

None of that helps now, though. My stomach is throbbing, threatening to shove itself through my ribcage.

It is not the first time this has happened. Perhaps that is what is disturbing me most.