Vallarta Day 7
Thursday here is nice and low-key for me.
Coco’s Kitchen is open for breakfast again – thank gawd! I decide to switch it up a bit and order the Greek omelette instead of the Vallarta variety. It was a mistake – I like the Vallarta better.
Coffee and blogging at Dee’s is next. I get a piece of chocolate cake, but it’s been in the display case a bit too long and it’s sort of dry. Serves me right for having a piece of chocolate cake as a mid-day snack!
I pick up my laundry down the block and fork over $120 pesos. $10 is not so bad, I suppose – everything is folded precisely and smells nice and clean. Much better than the laundry in Guatemala, where there were fabric fibers of every color all over everything, the clothes were still a bit damp, folded half-hazzardly and tossed into a tote. Of course, they charged roughly half.
I drop my laundry off at home and find the cleaning lady there changing the sheets and disinfecting everything. Despite my efforts to communicate that she take the tip I left for her during the last visits, it was still there when I came home. This time I put the money into her hand and she thanked me.
Acqua is next. The manager, David, and Aaron, the new owner, were both there. After my workout we chat for a bit. David is curious about one of my fancy exercises Kyle at the Firm has me do. I am flattered that he’s interested and I demonstrate it for him. David makes me a protein shake from their decreasing fruit supply, leaving me little options and I complain, “go shopping!” My gym at home charges all purchases to my account, so when I order them here, I forget to pay every time and David jokingly makes fun of me for trying to run off without paying – which, from his point of view, is exactly what I’m doing.
Walking towards the beach I pass the “Bon Dom” guy and I’m surprised that he remembers the reference considering how drunk he appeared yesterday. “Hey, Bon Dom – you wanna tour?”
I walk up and down the beach a bit, sipping on my protein shake. Waving off the regular beach vendors selling wooden carvings, children’s toys, sarongs, hats, sunglasses, t-shirts, and hits off a pipe, I’m cornered by a guy who really wants to give me a massage. I’ve actually been trying to track down a guy I met the other night who does them, but he’s been unavailable – apparently he’s really good. So when this guy asks me, I sort of second guess myself. He immediately picks up on it and starts giving me a sample. I get a bit creeped out and continue down the beach, “No gracias.”
Returning home I’m greeted with a fresh-smelling apartment and a newly-made bed. The cold showers are getting a bit old, but given the heat and humidity, the cold water is almost a bit refreshing.
I nap and wake in time for the 6:30 AA meeting and head over to the Alano club. The usuals are all there. I meet another gay man named Dudley. He tells me he saw me at the coffee shop the other day and invites me to the meeting on Sunday, when they’ll be celebrating his anniversary. Here they often celebrate with chocolate cake, so I oblige 🙂
A man I’ve seen at the meetings since I’ve been in town, Robert, shares about how he’s been attending at least three meetings a day for the last 30 days and continues to relapse. He drank last night and is at a loss of what to do.
I intend to ask him to join us for dinner, but he’s surrounded by others before I can get a chance. These are good AAers.
Myself, Art, the 40 year sobriety guy, and Tommy, the med student, head over to Joe Jack’s Fish Shack for dinner. I’ve passed the place a few times, but never stopped. Art tells us that they have a great fish and chips entree, but he comes for the steak.
We’re seated on the rooftop terrace in the corner table, giving a slightly elevated view of the neighborhood. I observe the nearby buildings. Some vacant, some missing walls, some walls in disrepair, some holes in roofs, others with rusted corrugated steel roofs, some with the Spanish tile roofs, open-air rooms, lots of little balconies. I ask Art what the black tanks are that I see atop many of the buildings. He’s unsure and makes a crack about not being an engineer. They’re either water or gas, he guesses.
Art begins to tell me about how the locals get natural gas, but I’ve seen it – large trucks with industrial-sized gas tanks come up the street, with a worker yelling, “GAS!!!!” and you have to wave them over. They have a large cherry-picker type of platform with a hose attached with which they’ll fill your tank.
We all order the steak. I’m a bit leery of the smashed-like steaks with grisly meat I’ve experienced in Vallarta before, but Art assures me that this is a thick, tender piece of meat – for only $150 pesos, to boot. It arrives with a side of fried potatoes and it’s MARVELOUS. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been so long without a steak or if it’s actually that good, but either way – we all agree, it’s spectacular.
I head home and stop in at Apache’s, a local gay bar and restaurant on Los Altus. Both of the regular patio-servers there have been flirting with me for days so I decide to to get a nightcap coffee and see what they have for dessert. I’m delighted with a fruit and ice cream bowl drizzled with caramel and chocolate, topped with whipped cream. It’s a pleasant ending to a nice day.
WIthin moments I’m surrounded by a fresh crowd of people on the patio. All gringos. All drunk. A couple of old ladies with a gaggle of middle-aged gays. One of the old ladies reminds me a lot of Joan Rivers – she’s got that raspy voice with the plastic surgery, make-up and quick wit.
Somebody orders shots for the entire patio and when I decline, they start getting on my case. I finally tell them I don’t drink, but they assure me its only got a little bit of alcohol – a “light shot”, they call it. Riiiiiight, I think. I leave some cash on the table and make haste for the street.
I arrive home just in time, as it starts raining outside – the perfect sleeping weather.