A Walk With Salsa.Submitted by FALLEN at 2012-05-30 12:20:37 EDT
Rating: 1.85 on 11 ratings (32 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
I close my eyes and slow my breathing, letting my mind settle, letting the noise leave my ears. The room is quiet except for the rhythmic beating of my heart and sound of the mantle clock ticking.
I feel myself drifting into my self.
I watch as the young girl takes a small ball of dough from the basket and rolls it into a flattened disk. She flips it onto nearby comal and rolls out a second as the first gets ready to flip. All the while she chats with her sister, sat next to her, who is dicing fresh cilantro; the two conversing in that rapid fire Mexican that on my best day I could never catch more than a few words.
The girl’s mother takes the still warm tortillas and fills them with chopped steak of some kind and a sprinkle of the cilantro. Smiling, she hands them to me and motions to a waiting bowl of salsa. I layer a spoonful on each, mindful of mom’s warning of “caliente”. I smile back and pay her as I grab an ice cold Sol from the cooler and some napkins.
I make my way down the paved road towards the cliff. It is not very busy here today, only a few people are in the shops along the road. Mostly tourist stuff, tee shirts and sombreros in god awful colors that I can’t imagine any actual Mexican being caught dead in. To my right is a pharmacy as they are called. I don’t know if I would be more concerned by the fact that you don’t need a scrip of any kind to get what ever they sell or the fact someone would take such medicine. I overhear an American guy haggling with a guy who looks suspiciously too young to have graduated from a pharmacy school, the price of some Percocet and bottle of Viagra.
For a “friend” he insists.
It’s warm but the ocean breeze does a good job taking off the edge. I’m about twenty miles from Ensenada if I remember correctly. The details sometimes get fuzzy when I walk through my memories. Either way, the Mexican sun can sometimes feel as if it is just out of arms reach in the summer time.
I continue past the leather goods store, watching for a few moments as a man braids cowhide into a bullwhip. I pass the cantina at the end of the street and the sounds of music and college kids; already a little drunk on tequila, spill out into the street.
I find a quiet spot along the seawall and place my beer on the red painted ledge as I look out into the ocean. The cries of a few unnamed sea birds call out from the distance but the sounds of the crashing waves dominate my memories now. The Pacific slams into the cliff wall almost like it’s angry at the land for being there. The roar and spray are impressive but even they are dwarfed by the plume of water that shoots almost 100 feet into the air towards the end of the path.
I turn my attentions back to the open sea and leave the geyser to the tourists. I listen and watch, hoping for a…I guess I don’t know what I hope to see. An answer? Some hope? I just don’t really know. The one drawback to these trips into my mind is that I don’t know where my memories will take me. Perhaps the places I go have nothing to do with what I'm searching for, just simply a familiar backdrop. I close my eyes and hope that something will give me insight or guidance, sadly this isn’t one of them. I’m still adrift as the birds I’m looking at in the water below me.
I take a swallow of my beer and as I unwrap the aluminum foil package, a dribble of grease and tomato runs down my forearm. A bite of the taco fills my mouth; the salsa, the meat and the spices are an incredible mix.
I guess the only revelations I get this day are how many people have never had authentic Mexican food and that I should have taken more napkins.