It’s May and that spells summertime in San Miguel de Allende. It’s hot, 34C (93F) during the day. The climate is very dry so it’s important to hydrate. I drink 6 to 8 16-oz. glasses of water, one bottle of electrolytes, two smoothies, and a vegetable juice every day. I pee a lot.
I first fell in love with the rain during a monsoon season in the jungles of Malaysia. The thunder shook my molars. The rain pouring down on the thatched roof sounded like ping pong ball sized hale hitting the hood of an old Chevy pickup. It lasted for days on end. All you could do was sit there and listen.
In a week or two it will start raining here. Two violent thunderstorms already came through last night and early this morning. Soon, temperatures will drop and everything will smell clean and sweet, as the hills and parks turn greener. The sound of rain hitting cobblestones is very soothing.
The last six years or so have been very challenging for me physically. Three surgeries and a six-month long treatment for HepC have been daunting obstacles. The HepC treatment has been the worst. Ahead of me are six more weeks of extreme fatigue, insomnia, depression, high blood pressure, blah blah blah. I’m just not my old hi-energy, git er done self right now. If you add to that the fact that my lower back is in serious spasm and I am now flat on said back, I am being forced by circumstances into healing mode. It really is no big deal. It’s just something I have to go through to get to where I need to be. My mom is 102. If she can do it, I can do it.
I am determined to finish my book…NOW. It’s too painful to sit at a desk, so I am forced to spend a lot of time on my back, legs propped up with pillows, my back on ice, dictating into my iPad. I then edit it all by hand (thumbs, actually) then keep on pushin’.
It’s ironic that I’ve had such a deep love affair with Frieda Kahlo for some time and am now writing the way she painted.
This is all made easier by the fact that I am in glorious San Miguel de Allende, a town built on crystals, healing hot spring waters and an “easy-does-it” culture.
The following is an excerpt from my memoire, “The Kid Who Got Away.”
I am a very spiritual person. No, I don’t throw the I Ching before I make important decisions or check the Tarot cards before making dinner choices. I simply see everything in spiritual terms.
I am not a fan of organized religion. I respect an individual’s right to and need for it. There’s a certain sense of community it can offer, a feeling that one belongs to something greater than one’s self, in addition to a feeling of security in an uncertain world. There is wisdom and enlightenment at the core of every religion. Organized religion is just not my cup of green tea,
I have always been rebellious, demonstrating from an early age a disdain for authority. Maybe it’s like Prince once said, “A strong spirit transcends rules.” Perhaps it’s a character flaw. Maybe I’m just a jerk. Rules have always seemed like cages to me, traps set by those who would control me.
Religion and rebelliousness are like oil and water. They don’t reside well in the same environment. This has caused me problems throughout my life, sometimes truly embarrassing ones. Here’s an example:
My mother’s side of the family, at this writing the ONLY side of the family that I have any contact with, is very religious.
We gathered in Tampa for my mother’s 100th birthday. I decided to bring my guitar and sing my mother a couple of songs. I chose to sing her one of mine, “More Than Life Itself.” After the applause died down, I offered a heartfelt tribute to her, thanking her for all she had done. Throughout my expressions of gratitude, I could see and hear her complaining loudly about what a difficult kid I’d been and how much trouble I had caused her.
That pushed my buttons, as she’s done for so long. I said, “I play in a lot of bars, clubs and honky tonks. When asked to sing happy birthday…” I lifted my guitar and broke into a rousing rendition of Jimmy Buffet’s “Let’s Get Drunk and Screw.” This was not received well. Afteer a mixture of light applause and stunned silence, I passed by my son-in-law Rondells’s table as I returned to mine. He said, “Nice choice, dude.”
Yep, oil and water.
Be excellent to each other and remember: Think twice before hitting “Send.