I'm going to Flipside in Austin starting tomorrow early (getting up at 3:30 am to go somewhere seems to be my lot in life, but at least this time I shan't be completely consumed by sand flies...only fire ants). I've never been to Texas before. Well, that's not entirely true, I was inside Hobby airport on my way to Mexico last February, but since our flight was delayed an hour and a half and we only had an hour and forty five minutes to make it from the domestic to the international terminal, my view of Texas is colored entirely by rapidly blurring people holding bags and a feeling of asthmatic nausea from my heart pounding up into my throat.
I woke up this morning feeling exceedingly grumpy that I was no longer in Utila. Why, you may ask? Well, is it grey and cold and rainy in Honduras? No. Is the sky blue and clear every day, and is it full of incredibly attractive, half-dressed people, and could I spend all day diving and lying in the sun and talking to interesting foreigners? Yes. Was everything cheaper and more delicious? Yes. You could almost overlook how no injuries ever healed there (my legs were pockmarked with unscabbed scrapes) and how my skin flaked off in enormous sheets due to the crazy sunburn I got at 10 am, before any human being should reasonably expect to be sunburned.
My second last night there, Peter and Ben and Su and I blew off going to Tranquila's in favor of buying beer and some disgusting squishy jello thingies in plastic fruit-shaped containers (aside: I love foreign candy. Don't even get me started. I will spend days rhapsodizing over the strange flavours and bizarre combinations...tamarind and banana? yum!) and they even bought me a Coke, and we went out to the dock at UDC to sit and watch the night fall around us. It was calm and clear, and the waves were gentle ripples, the tide moving away from shore, as we discovered after knocking practically everything we brought with us into the water one after another. I passed a plastic jelly fruit in the dive boat the next morning; it only made it as far as the bay.
But the quiet and the warmth and the company...and then, skimming through darkness below us and barely visible until you looked sideways, an eagle ray. They look like birds, underwater. I watched it until it blended out of the light, until it disappeared, and I tried to hold on to that moment. Buddhists say to avoid attachment, but I'm keeping the memories, oh yes I am.