San Blas, La Libertad

Located somewhere between my fears and my sanity, there is a house that I have visited a lot. You can mostly see it on holidays and weekends, but I know for a fact it can house you on weekdays, too. Versions of me have visited it, in fact: I’ve changed since I was fifteen, haven’t I? We still recognize each other, this house and I, complicit in everything and in nothing, for you have to travel to get there; I miss you, San Blas.

I’ve been there so many times that the actions around it are mechanic and inherent: go straight, take a left, then a right; leave the car under the shade, if you’re lucky (for the garden does change: it gets more voluptuous in the rainy winter, and hotter in the dry summer). Pick your bed and do it quickly, for you’re not the only one who wants a bit of air or a lot of fan. Me? I don’t mind the heat. I’ll sleep against the wall, dusty from the low season, and retain the heat from the sun coming it, windows and doors closed. I was born in this sweaty weather.

I take some clothes off, lose track of my keys and my glasses, won’t know before 2:00 AM where I put my phone and my charger, or perhaps even tomorrow. I know where the furniture rests, and how to take it out; and, please, allow me to lay down the table cloth. The striped sheets, in fact, used to be mine, as well as that Little Mermaid sleeping bag that used to hang out in the closet. I don’t mind forgetting my towel, after it’s layed in the sun. It can stay with the other towels. They live with all the books that remain in different corners, different consoles and end tables, around the mostly-peach-colored walls of this house in San Blas, La Libertad. Pick up a copy of Tales of the City, in English, or read some Simone De Beauvoir; I don’t know, you’ll see what I mean.

But who has time to read, really? Oh, sure, before a nap, a little pretense for curling up undisturbed in one of three heavy crochet hammocks or a protest against yet another round of Dixit. It’s not your go-to thing, not when you’ve just arrived.

Because after the furniture has been taken out, the melting ice you bought just outside the complex has been put in the fridge, you’ll slip into your bathing suit. Someone is sharing their devotion to plantain chips and dip, while someone else is almost selflessly controlling the music, but you should turn it up, because we’re all gradually moving to the pool. We have started ashing the tiny circular ashtrays, eyeing the tequila we can’t grow out of, and we know exactly how long the walk to the beach is. We ever rarely notice the mosquitos and almost always eat too much.