in rural Paris, Iowa, and Wordpress

The Merely Unusual

On a certain level there is something the same about all beach resort communities. I gave some thought to this during a trip that La Mexicana and I took to Mazatlán not too long ago. Is it the slightly shabby little hotels of two or three floors all in a row? Is it the abundant souvenir shops and theme restaurants and other concessions designed for only one purpose—to vacuum the pockets of those tourists as thoroughly as possible during their short stay? Or is it the sameness of the tourists themselves, the elderly white men in their breath-taking, awful shirts, mandatory short pants, and over-priced, name brand sandals morosely accompanying their plump white women—“moderately obese” in the physicians’ notes–whose mouths are on autopilot?

My little computer froggie warns that I am writing cliché. Yet, sometimes reality is cliché. Moreover, I am probably laying on the sardonic tone of a misfit a bit thickly. In the end I concluded that this sameness resides in the fact that all beach resort communities abut some large body of water and abandoned the whole train of thought as circular. A tautology.

A little time at the beach goes a long way for me. I have the craving for landscape, the craving of the flat-lander who has lived his previous life amid implacable visual monotony. Seascape does it for some of us. Cliffs. Breakers crashing loudly on the rocks as they were constantly outside my window in Mazatlán. All of that. It is the silent mountains that do it for me, but I found myself there on the beach for a particular purpose that is beyond the scope of this treatise.

Still, Mazatlán has its charms. The shrimp boats are a-comin’ all the time. After the required pass through the predictably historic, disgracefully clean downtown, La Mexicana and I hit the side streets. We found an old guy selling shellfish on the sidewalk. We had the place to ourselves and enjoyed fresh oysters on the half shell and split a big shrimp cocktail glass full of assorted dead sea life. With hot sauce. It was a delight the likes of which I had not enjoyed since the old New Orleans.

La Mexicana was wielding the little camera that day. I know my baseball cap is on crooked. That was intentional. I meant to wear it that way.

The one good thing about tourists is that they are seldom truly adventurous. They confine themselves to the designated tourist areas where they can speak their language to each other; swap stories with each other about the quaint local practices that they have mastered; and then return home confident that they have been to Mexico. This makes escaping from them easy.

La Mexicana and I wandered the streets deeper into the city away from the beach and got lost. That was intentional, too. I meant to do that. We found an abandoned building there that fascinated me.

A tree was growing out of the top of the building that was difficult to photograph because La Mexicana could not back off enough in the narrow street. She did a wonderful job of photographing the rest of it though, I think.

Those are tree roots hanging down the wall above my right shoulder. I have since thrown away that baseball cap.

The tree’s roots had grown down through the building. All through the building. That is a tree root growing down across the upper right hand corner and along the side of the big double doors. By my feet you can see some roots emerging from a drain pipe that was built into the wall.

This is a closeup of that very same root.

This is a tree root emerging from underneath a door and running along the foundation. It looked to me like that blob from the early Steve McQueen film. (Am I remembering that correctly?)

The old shutters were ajar so that one could look into the interior through the bars. Those assemblages hanging down in the middle of the room are tree roots. To tell you the truth the whole thing gave me the creeps.

You have to admit it. This is subject matter the likes of which you have not encountered elsewhere hereabouts with you coffee this morning. Entertainment in the form of the downright bizarre occasionally and the merely unusual usually. That is my game when at my best here at The Solipsist’s blog.

tumblr tracker

7 Responses to “The Merely Unusual”

    • StephenBrassawe

      Definitely, Nature does. And Nature will find its way with us as a species, too.

  1. spidersworkshop

    Your photos have taken me back to my childhood when I used to play in an abandoned stable and cabins. There was also a swimming pool full of salamanders and a tennis court. The Inn was the only part of the “resort” that was still in use, and it’s third floor was abandoned and haunted.

    This was over 35 years ago, and I think it may be a posh restaurant now, but for children it was magic and mystery, with the smell of horses, hay, and mouldy books.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  2. skymunki

    i love this, the photos are beautiful. this made me think that even when we feel abandoned, that someone who really looks will still see some form of beauty within us. that we are given new life, and a new form, as we shape and crack and reform around root and branch, that God does not see cracks but rather open spaces to breathe new life into our tired souls. beautifully written.

    • StephenBrassawe

      Wish you could have been there with us, sky. It was a visually fascinating thing. I would like to go back and take another crack at photographing it. Hope it is still there. Hope it all lives on.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: