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Thursday, March 11, 2010

A morning in Mexico

By Cassandra Violet Murphy

The air was dressed with morning chill, the early winds swerving aimlessly about, rustling the leaves of trees and whistling in their ears. Two men walked on the beach, boards in hand and tingling with excitement as the growing waves rolled towards the shore. The sand was dark and dirt stained from the river that slithered from the mountains and poured into the ocean. Shells were few. Sticks and faded rocks lined the beach sporadically, some clumping together in thick groups by the tide. The men walked out to the point from which they would paddle. The point extended long into the water, its barrier caused waves to break from it making them rough and rising high. The sun was beginning to rise far off in the horizon, the sky patterned with vibrant hues of light pastels. The clouds fitted together, aligned across the sky like pieces of a puzzle.

“The waves look rough,” the shorter of the two said, while leaning down to place his board on the sand. He rose his head and pushed his bouncing blonde curls from his face.

“Not as rough as yesterday. Did you hear about Miguel?” he pulled wax from his shorts and begun to cover his board in a thick coat with circular motions.
“No, what happened?” the sitting surfer wondered.

“He broke his board.”

“It was nice.” He stood up, stretching his limbs. He enjoyed surfing, so much that it had moved beyond a hobby, it was his lifestyle, his biggest passion and the thrill he sought after most.

The men jumped their stomachs onto their boards, gliding across the water like a sail soaring with the speedy wind. They rode for well over an hour, cheering one another on and enjoying the solitude that the early morning provided. Steve, the curly haired man noticed a small group paddling towards them.

“People are coming. Shall we leave?” He called towards his companion, George.

They rushed in, catching the currents to shore. The men felt tired, their muscles cramped with exhaustion. George announced that he would take a nap. Steve decided to take a walk and finishing smoking the blunt he had rolled earlier. He opened the door to his hut and hung his clothes to dry. The blunt was on the table, a light scent of skunk lingered through the air. Lighting it, he walked outside and sat in his hammock to enjoy the beautiful scenery that west coast of Mexico offered. He puffed his marijuana, unsuccessfully blowing clumsy smoke rings that were distorted by the hands of the wind.

“Can I join you?” a tanned, short girl asked, appearing behind his head. She smiled at him with soft brown eyes, highlighted by honey colored freckles.

“Of course,” he said, sitting up and handing her the lit pot. “What is your name?” he questioned.

“Mandy. Yours?”


“Steve…” she said, inhaling deep drags of smoke which she blew over his head. “I saw you out there, you’re pretty good.”

“Thanks, I’ve been doing this a while.” He laughed, a familiar bubble of mellow happiness begun forming in his stomach, it rushed through his body. He giggled.

“How long have you been here?” She asked, feeling her tongue become loose. Words poured from her mouth like the sweet beats of a melody.

“Here? Only about a week or so, but I like it, I think I’ll stay.” They finished the blunt and she sat in the hammock adjacent to him.

They swung like children, swinging their legs up and then down. The wind blew their hair and the sun warmed their skin. The waves could be heard crashing. When his hammock broke from its rope and he flew to the ground he found himself chuckling while her grinning face fell backwards and she held her stomach. He lifted his sandy body from the ground and shook himself off. Normally he would have felt embarrassed, but weed released his anxiety, it allowed him to relax. Normally, he had thousands of thoughts flying through his head, rushing around, clouding his mind. He loved how pot made him think clearly. Much like surfing had become a part of his life so had pot. Some time later, after having smoked out of the wooden pipe Mandy had bought at a small market up north, they found themselves engaged in conversation about their pasts.

“Yeah… I guess my parents don’t understand why I smoke. I feel like they say they don’t judge me, but they really are.” She said, biting her lip and watching her feet as they swung above the sand.

“No I feel the same way,” he agreed. “My parents caught me smoking when I was sixteen in my backyard and they completely overreacted. They treated me like some sort of scummy drug addict, like I had been doing heroin or something.”

“Exactly!” Mandy exclaimed, her cheeks flushing with passion. “Its like…its an herb, its all natural its not doing anything bad to you, it just relaxes you and makes you a little bit happier, its not even like this crazy intense high. I mean… I feel naturally stoned all of the time, like in those moments when I’m just really happy. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to feel like that more often.” Her eyes watched his face dreamily as she begun fidgeting with her hair. “Know what I mean?” she asked.

“I feel like it just makes me a better person, I get less anxious and I feel friendlier. To be completely honest with you… it probably would have been really hard for me to talk to you if I hadn’t been stoned…” he confessed, looking away, instantly regretting his words. His shyness bothered him.

“No… me too.” She said honestly.

They lay in the hammocks until lunch. Quite often they found themselves in intense conversation, however, the rare moments of silence were used to ponder the other. She did not make him feel awkward; she opened up easily, always giving an interesting response to his questions. When her stomach murmured a low growl she apologized and looked away, muttering quietly about going to get lunch.
“No, its fine. Do you like fish? I caught some yesterday.” He stood to fetch the meal, not waiting for her response.

“Fish is great, thank you.” She rose to help him but he softly shoved her down.
“You’re my guest.” He said firmly. He watched the corners of her lips turn slightly, noticing how her eyes squinted deeply, like fresh almonds. Her short blonde hair gazed her shoulders, stroking the smoothness of her skin.

Once inside he sat down, briefly taking the moment of isolation to take in the intensity of recent events. Grabbing the fish from the freezer, he hauled his battered grill outside, lighting it quickly. The old woman who had rented him the house had given him a sauce for the fish. He smothered it on them before placing them on the grill to sizzle and smoke. She left momentarily only to return with Corona beer and sliced limes.

“Nothing like beer and fish.” She joked. “Its actually a favorite of mine. Did you really catch those?” she wondered, rambling on.

“I did. And I agree, beer and fish is one of the best lunches I can possibly think of. Thank you for bringing these.”

“That’s not all I brought,” she said mysteriously, pulling a thick joint from the tiny bag she kept thrown over her shoulder.

“You’re perfect.” He impulsively replied. Their eyes met and they watched each other for several seconds. He wondered when their contact would break when a small piece of fish cracked and flew in-between them.

“Oh!” she exclaimed in a high-pitched voice. Apologizing, he ran inside to grab them plates.

They decided to wait until after eating to smoke. The fish was filling and juicy. A hint of spice from the old woman’s sauce explored their taste buds. When they were done they strolled the beach, occasionally jumping into one another and playfully blowing smoke in the others face. Her weed was strong; he made a note to ask her where she got it. Most of the weed he found this far south was only average. When they reached the river she jumped in. He raced in after her, shivering at the touch of the chilly water. When they wandered back to his hut the sun was setting.
Native birds soared the skies together in thick groups. They flew together, never breaking their beat. The sun setting meant the end of the day and both felt the sadness of departure frown on them. He walked her to the end of the road that paved from his hut to the main street, gently grabbing her small palm as he did so. She smiled at him, squeezing his hand in response.

“Will I see you again?” she asked.

“Of course!” he said in shock. “What are you doing tomorrow?” he wondered aloud, unable to help himself. He did not want to play games, not with this girl.

“Hanging out with you.” She replied bubbly.

They embraced and parted ways, their grins flashing the world widely. He stroked the hand that she had held and raised to his nose, a soft rosy scent came from it. She understood him, every aspect. She was a surfer and a stoner who was just living life, enjoying the simple things that could be experienced. He wondered what would have happened had he not been stoned and had met her when he was his awkward, anxious self, terrified of strangers. He knew for certain that they would not have spoken. Weed had brought them together in the most random of ways. His red eyes became two slits, laughing softly as he remembered the day. When he reached his hut he lit his last joint of the day, thanking it dearly for all it had brought him.

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