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sábado, julio 09, 2011

Mr. Kaan's Visit(s)

A very rainy stretch in Bahia Soliman. First, the precursors to what would eventually become Tropical Storm Arlene. After that, the turbulence from an Invest just northeast of here. Sun in the morning, then all of a sudden, showers. Then partially cloudy. And showers. Repeat and repeat again. It is now overcast.

All of this unusual, inclement weather has brought certain creatures out that one does not usually see. They are here all of the time, rest assured of that, but they stay away from people. Three days ago I opened the door from the beach and startled a nice sized snake (3 to 4 feet) who was until then enjoying the coolness of my tile floor in solitude. The snake ran away, making that wild sidewinder motion. In the induced mutual freak out and massive adrenalin overload, I lost sight of it. And as a result, I have no idea where it may have gone. It may still be in the house. I doubt it, but it could still be here hiding. Somewhere. Also, sorry to report, I am not entirely sure whether it was green or black or black and green or some other color. It was long. It was thin. It was quick. This passes for the best description I can give. Naturally, I asked Obdulio, who is my expert on matters herpetological, about this event and he assured me that said visitor may have fallen from above (from the roof? from a tree? surely not from the sky) but that it was probably harmless. There. The freak out was unnecessary. Fine. I put the matter behind me. Obdulio who is also my consultant on the Mayan language informs me that the word for snake is “kaan.” “Cancun” is the Mayan word for the Place of the Golden Serpeant.

Time passes. The pounding heart and shallow breath Mr. Kaan brought me as a surprise disappear, and they are soon mercifully forgotten, tiny droplets in a vast undulating ocean of relaxation. In other words, life continues.

This morning I went out for my usual early morning walk. As I strode down the road in bright sunlight and a gentle breeze, listening to the birds’ inventive songs and approaching my house, a long stick in the road decided instantaneously to transform itself into a snake and to beat a hasty, side winding, rapid retreat from the dirt road into the thick brush. I only got within 10 feet of it. This Mr. Kaan was also between 3 and 4 feet long, similarly thin, and today was wearing a coat of bright green and dark green, which on reflection seems to be what the other Mr. Kaan may have been wearing when he called at my house. Was this the same Mr. Kaan who had visited me before? His impertinence, his rapidly absenting himself, possibly twice, without the courtesy of even a single calling card, leaves the important question unanswered. One should not assume that bad manners in the form of an abrupt departure reveals whether it was one Mr. Kaan or two.

Interestingly after this second Mr. Kaan made his abrupt departure from the road, I noticed that there were in fact a large number of similar thin sticks between 3 and 4 feet long lying in the road as well. I inspected them carefully as I walked by, hoping that one of them might in fact be a camouflaged snake, a relative or friend or acquaintance of Mr. Kaan. Alas, none were. They were all just sticks.

I have been aware while I am walking in Bahia Soliman of the vast, interconnected web of life here. Sometimes I see animals on the road, sometimes not. After today’s brief interlude with Mr. Kaan, however, I have begun to think that while I am walking down the road, various animals watch me go by and then rapidly cross the road behind me. They are surreptitious. Silent. Move quickly. They know that I will probably not turn around, that I will not see them as they run across the road behind me. Today I imagined that a whole pack of coatis silently crossed the road behind me as I was headed toward Hiway 307. I wish they wouldn’t do that. I would really enjoy seeing them.

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