Chapter 35

We finally make it to Guaymas and some people get off the bus to stretch their legs. This bus has stopped a few times and people have gotten out and bought things or just stretched. I have been sitting here for hours. I think this time I’ll stretch some too.

It’s late, and I don’t see anything open. The people who got off the bus with me are getting into cars and are being greeted by people. The bus is pulling away. This was not a rest stop. Holy shit! Guaymas is where I’m supposed to start traveling east.

Oh great, the bus station is closed. It looks like it’s the same place that sells tickets for the ferry too. At least that’s what the graphic of a boat would suggest. This sucks. I think I should have stayed on the bus. Damn it! Now what do I do?

Looks like I’m going to have to wait until 7:00 am when the ticket office opens up. Not having a watch, I think I’ll sleep close to the bus station, maybe on a bench, no wait, that would look funny. I need to find some place close, yet inconspicuous. I don’t want to get arrested for vagrancy and thrown in jail again. Who knows what I’ll lose next. It’s a good thing I brought my bag of food with me

There is a warm, gentle breeze coming from the water and it feels good against my skin. Guaymas looks like a small fishing village. There are boat-shaped shadows dancing on the water where the reflections of the stars and moon should be. The sound of the small waves hitting the shore is calming. The air is wet and full of seaweed, with just a pinch of salt thrown in for flavor.

The lights of the city are mainly off, but there are some people having a bonfire a little farther down the beach and it’s lighting up a good sized area not too far from here. I wonder what they’re doing.

Music is coming from a couple of guitars, and there are several people singing. I see beers in their hands, but they sound too good to be drunk. They obviously haven’t been doing this all day. I think I’ll keep a little ways off, and just watch and listen to the music. This actually sounds like a different song than I’m used to hearing . . . or maybe it is the same song, and they are drunk.



The stars wink all around and the horizon. It doesn’t look natural. The sky looks like space has swallowed the earth. The stars are so big here, and so many. A sideways smile of the moon draws a line on the water, all the way to the beach. A shooting star lights up the sky and the music from the guitars, hiccups for a moment, and in the silence, the oohs and aahs fill in. The sound of a wave making it’s final push for the shore is like punctuation at the end of a beautiful sentence.  A new song begins. If I’m going to get lost, this is the place to do it.

Someone is coming this way. The fire is behind him so I can’t see what he looks like, except he is about my size and moves like a younger person, not an old man. I don’t think he’s a cop.

“Hola amigo,” he says.

“Hola, como estas”

“Adonde vas?”

What did that mean? Adonde . . . that means where. He must have seen me get off the bus—vas. “California” I say, hopefully with enough of an American accent to explain the fact I don’t really speak much Spanish.

“Bueno. Yo soy Jose.”

I stand up and move to shake his hand, and move to where I can see who this Jose is. “Yo soy Franciso.”

“Buenas noches, Pancho.”

Great, Pancho. I smile. “Buenas noches.”

“Queires un cerveza?” He shows me his beer, and nods toward the bonfire.

“Gracias.” I would love—well not love—I could stand a beer. I wonder how many of these I’m going to have to drink before I start to like it anyway?

The flavor doesn’t seem to bother the people who drink it. Maybe it’s like Brussels sprouts; you have to be born to like them or you’ll hate them your entire life. Maybe the beer-liking gene passed me over.

He leads me to a large plastic tub filled with icy water and he reaches in and pulls a beer out, his arm dripping all over the already wet sand around the tub. I can’t really make out the brand in the dancing light of the bonfire, but the bottle is dark.

“Gracias.” Hey, am I having a purely Spanish conversation with someone? I wish Jose were here to see this. I guess these last few days are what you would call a Spanish immersion class. I gulp down half the beer without even blinking.

He reaches in the ice barrel and pulls out another and hands it to me. I take it with my other hand, now holding one in each hand and feeling kinda stupid. “Gracias, Jose.” I down the first one so I can get rid of it. I hope he doesn’t try to give me another. I look over at the musicians singing and playing. There’s a guy playing guitar, a guy on a large bongo-looking drum, and an accordion. I could do without the accordion. The accordion gene definitely passed me over. “La musica es bueno.”

He nods and gives me a knowing smile. I think he knows my secret. I guess there’s no hiding my accent.

“Ven.” He waves me over and I follow him next to the fire and sit on the warm sand. We watch the others play and sing. Every now and then someone would give a good, “Ayyyyyy yay yaaaaaaaay”  or “huueeeee, huueeeee, huueeeee” pig-like squeel.

After my third beer, I begin making coyote calls too. A bottle of tequila is going around the campfire. I hesitate for a second, but since a girl passed it to me, I can’t really say no.

After a few pulls off the bottle, I start singing too. Everyone is laughing and passing me more beer and more tequila. I think I may be the entertainment right now, but I don’t care. It’s all good.

There are five girls at this party, and they all have long jet black hair, tank tops or bikini tops, short Levi cut-offs and no shoes. They dance, sing, and sip off the beer next to the bonfire. The stars aren’t as many near the fire, but there are still a lot of them left in the sky. The breathing of the water is a constant rhythm and the music seems to be in sync with it. I look around at all the happy faces. This is like some kind of perfect Mexican-bonfire-on-the-beach kinda night. Mexico is awesome. I love being a Mexican.


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