I've been here before. Cozumel that is. I've not mentioned it, as that Cozumel and the one I'm experiencing are very different. This one requires a Hep A shot and an Rx for an antibiotic, just in case. It is the destination, not just a " If it is Tuesday it must be Mexico."
But I did realize today that there is some kind of circle being completed in my life.
The last time I was here was June of 1996, and I was on my honeymoon. I had just married Glenn Derby on the 26th. We took the train"The City of New Orleans" from Chicago to New Orleans and boarded a cruise ship where we explored different ports of call for a week. It was a great experience, but my children were young and I'd never been away from them for that period of time, so there was anxiety as well.
Cozumel was a one day stop. I remember it vividly for several reasons. The first was that as we were disembarking, we both heard a man whisper to his wife, "Look at that poor girl. (meaning me). She's going to be such a young widow." I was 39 and G was 52, and had yet to suffer all the ravages of football, ranching, and being a giant sized human being that followed him to the grave. I was insulted and hurt. Glenn's response was, "He's right you know. " I blew it off, but we still used to mention it over the years.
It was prophetic. He did die and leave me while I still have years of the journey left, hopefully.
The other reason I remember that day is that we spent the afternoon escaping the heat at Ernesto's Fajita Factory, drinking WAY too many Dos Equis under a covered thatch type of building. That establishment got ruined in a hurricane, but has been rebuilt across the street, closer to the lucrative cruise ship port. At that time there were many, many hawkers on the street too. They are gone, probably chased away by the politics of the big money to be made by cruise tourists. They are still here, the impoverished I mean. I barely had to go off the beaten track to discover them yesterday.
The dive shop, where I am taking lessons, is built on top of the old Ernesto's; that makes me smile. Glenn was always my biggest cheerleader when I wanted to try new things. "Live like you mean it."
That man on the ship was correct as it turns out. But there was no need for him to pity me.
On the journey.