Monthly Archives: April 2012

Magical Realism

Yesterday I attended an all-afternoon party. It was one of those sit-at-one-table-for-the-whole-time affairs, and the conversation mostly centered on a group of individuals I’m sure I’ve never met… (although maybe I did at some point over the past 36 years)

But I am used to this, and am quite comfortable just sitting back and listening, drinking a little, eating too much, admiring the babies in attendance, and complimenting everything I can… (a typical Yucatecan party)

Then the conversation turned to darker topics: insecurity, corruption, the election, organized crime … (such things     never used to be issues, let alone ones that were talked about at family gatherings)

In Yucatan, we have been relatively safe from organized crime. Our “City of Peace” seemed to be immune from many of the ills that plague other parts of the country. There are lots of theories as to why this is the case, but after the stories I heard around that table, I began to fear that this could change at any time… (and I started to feel pretty panicked)

I am convinced that fear is eating away at our national backbone, and because we are so scared, we have accepted a serious decline in our quality of life. We have allowed many unsavory situations to become the norm because we think we have no choice… (how did we buy into this?)

I decided to divert the despair by reading through some of my favorite blogs. Usually MEXFILES offers a hard realistic look at Mexico’s current events, nonetheless I decided to see what the blog would be reporting today. Lo and behold, this post was just what I needed to see… (serendipity at work?)

It  (  ) spoke about an annual Quince Años that is held for disadvantaged young women in our nation’s capital. The smiles on the girls’ faces and the innocent enjoyment shining from their eyes melted my fear… (like a miracle?)

It is said that such “magic realism” occurs when phantasmagorical elements infuse the real world. As they are presented in a straightforward manner, (with pictures!) the “real” and the “fantastic” unite… (good will and positivism are the result)

I am not such a “Pollyanna” as to dare say that good works alone will “save” our country. But Mexicans (and internationals who live here) need to get out of the negativity that has them mired in fear of “what might happen.” It is time to get off our duffs, stop obsessing about our own concerns and work towards a more positive society.  It is also time to stop apologizing, and stick up for ourselves. We cannot allow this negative image to continue. Will everyone buy into this? Doubtful. But you’ll recognize the ones that have… (they’ll have smiles on their faces like the quicañeras)

Photo Credits: (images found on MEXFILES)

1 Zocalo. Photo by Eduardo Garrido/Reuters

2. Quinceñeras in front of flag: Photo by Alma Rodríguez/El Universal

3. At Museo Franz Meyer: Photo by Dieu Nalio Chery / AP

4.On the bus: Photo by Alma Rodríguez/El Universal


Filed under Commentary

Bob Dylan in Mexico City

We all have dreams, don’t we? Some of them come true… others remain unrequited fantasies. One of mine has always been to see Bob Dylan perform live. As I live in Mérida, Yucatán, México… it didn’t seem too likely that this would ever become a checked-off item on my personal bucket list. I couldn’t see the local booking agency managing to talk him into a gig at Siglo XXI or Estadio Kukulkan

But miracle of miracles…  I am headed to Mexico City to see Bob Dylan at the Pepsi Center on May 12th. When I learned about the upcoming concert, Jorge said, “You could go for your birthday…” I threw myself into his arms. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” was all I could say; then I called a friend who is also a Dylan fan from way back when and she and I are OK to go!

There’s no point playing like I’m cool… like I’m taking this in stride… I am over-the-top excited. I have searched every website on the web and have yet to find the playlist. I am hoping that Lay Lady Lay or Just Like a Woman will be included. I have  great m-e-m-o-r-i-e-s attached to those two, let me tell you. The icing on the cake would be to actually get backstage and meet Mr. Dylan. Yes (ever the optimist) I have sent in a request to the official website…Yes, I know it’s a super long shot… but why not try?

Obsessed about this as I am… I promise not to blog every day about the upcoming concert … but be sure you will hear all about it post-event. Are any other readers going?


Filed under Destinations


Molly licked her lips… she had landed ‘the big one’ this time. Three weeks ago, the long leisurely lunch at “Las Mañanitas had been the prelude to an unexpectedly ‘delicious’ afternoon. She decided she’d handle Peter a bit differently than the other two. The payoff could wait… she deserved to enjoy herself a little.

His suntanned torso glistened with sweat as they headed up the trail behind the ski hills. He said he enjoyed nothing more than a good brisk hike on a clear afternoon. She had to agree. When they reached the entrance to the chairlifts, he suggested they sit off to one side and rest amongst the trees. He took his pack off and brought out two delicate acrylic wine flutes along with a bottle of Pinot Grigio in a thermal pack.

“Wine?” asked Molly, “We still have to get back down…”

“But this is a special occasion…” Peter said as he rummaged around again in his pack and brought out a black velvet     pouch. He withdrew a two carat solitaire. “Marry me Molly. Make me the happiest man in the world.”

Caught off guard, she wondered if this could be the real thing. Had she found true love? Looking into his aqua eyes, she said, “Yes Peter, of course I’ll marry you!”

Her bridegroom reached for her, and wrapped in his arms she didn’t see him activate the tiny microphone that had been sewn into the seam of his day pack. She talked on and on about the wedding she wanted, the honeymoon and of course, the ‘Happy Ever After.’ The wine seemed to be loosening her tongue more than she’d ever allowed. He kept pouring more…

“I’ve never been married Molly. You’ve been widowed twice; can you tell me about your husbands?” He wondered if he’d gone too far when he saw the dark look cross her features. Her mouth turned down and her eyes narrowed. “Have another glass Darling, this is a day to be festive.” She drank up…

“My first husband had a heart condition and the second was a drug addict.”

Peter’s eyes glistened. “Why did you marry them?” he asked her.

She needed to be careful; the wine threatened to spill years of pent-up secrets. But she wanted to keep his trust and so she began an edited version of her ‘tormented life.’ Husband Number One’s health deteriorated before her eyes; Number Two had deceived her from the get-go. She had never dreamed he would debase himself as he did.

‘Now we’re getting somewhere,’ thought Peter. He continued to discretely pry details from her, and she kept drinking wine. “How did you stand it my Angel; two terrible marriages. I hope there was some compensation…”

“I suffered greatly; I felt relief when they passed on – especially the second one. But at least I inherited from both, and I have my jewelry.”

Peter knew he’d almost collected enough information to convict her. “Come on Molly, we’ve got to get back.” He needed to carry her almost all the way, but while draped across his shoulder, her incoherent mind verbalized still more details of her life with Lalo.

“He forced me to get the drugs for him. He threatened to hurt me if I didn’t. One night, I accidently left his bottle of “OxyContin”  on the bedside table… she shrugged and rolled her eyes: “I guess he took too much.”

“Did you try to revive him?” Peter asked.

“No I could see he was a gonner.” She told her fiancé she’d actually seen Lalo take his last ragged breath. “It was for the best. I put the pills away, and straightened up. Then I called his brother.”

Bingo! Peter lifted Molly into the car, and drove her to his home. Once inside he pried the ring from her finger and got   her into the shower. When she’d sobered up, he played the tape of her drunken confession. “I work for Mauricio, and unless you give me everything you own, I’m giving him this tape. The police will lock you up and you’ll never get out.”

Molly recognized the steel in his eyes; she saw the same thing in the mirror each and every morning. She had to think fast. “We’ll go to the bank in the morning.”

“No, no, no… a girl like you has a safe; take me to see it.” Peter whistled when she brought out the large attaché case filled with cash and jewels. There had to be $5,000,000 in there. Much more than he figured on… why get greedy? “I’m going to drive you home, but don’t you ever forget about the tape.

“Thank God,” thought Molly; she was down but not broke. There was still the bank safety deposit box.

She practically jumped from the car… “Never again!” she told him, “Never again will I let this happen!”

Ever cynical, Peter blew her a kiss: “Win some, lose some Sugar.” His Porsche tires spun on the gravel as he raced off. Once home again, he poured a large glass of single malt. He dialed Mauricio’s number. “I´m sorry,” Mr. Panadini… the resemblance was uncanny but the girl is not Monica.

“What about the drug she put in your drink?”

“It didn’t really happen like that; I have to confess I simply drank too much and my imagination got the better of me.” He spent a whole hour convincing the disappointed man that there would be no point in keeping up the chase. He hung up, poured another Scotch, walked to his computer and went on line… ‘Let’s see what we come across this evening?’

Six miles away, Monica-Molly settled into her bed with her HP on her lap. She booted up and typed: ‘Marry-Me-Dot-Com

Visuals: from Google Images


Filed under Writing