Friday, March 13, 2009

The Day After

I feel defeated and small. My eyes see Tulum differently now. I know that it is purely my imagination, but I no longer see the local people as friendly. I think they all know I’m the girl that ran over one of their own. I even checked the newspapers to see if I was on the front page. Silly. It’s such a head trip and I wonder how to move beyond it. I’d be remiss in thinking I could go back to the innocence I felt prior to yesterday. But I want to – I really do.

I’m also wracked with guilt. I’m so angry at myself. What was I thinking? How could I have been so stupid? These are the thoughts that play continuously in my head, like a loop. Being naturally hard on myself, I don’t need much help in buying into these voices.

Eventually, I will find humor in this. I always do.

Up to this point, traveling alone, I’ve encountered little to no mishaps that required nothing more than an attitude adjustment or two. Yesterday was different.

“Don’t be a Pussy,” was all that a friend of mine said when I emailed to tell him about the incident. For some reason this inspires me.

I am determined not to let this get me down. I have one week left and I am not going to spend it with my head down and my tail between my legs. No. I decline an offer from Brian and Gina for a ride to town in the morning and tell them I will meet them at the beach in a couple of hours.

It’s best to go back to my normal routine. Do everything the same – except renting another moped of course.

I spend most of the day at the beach with Brian and Gina. The ocean will heal anything, I swear. I began to return to the calmness I’d been feeling since the day I arrived. The day was beautiful and the ocean lulled me back to my center. I was ready to face the final phase of this nightmare – HERTZ.

Brain kept his word and accompanied me to Hertz. I, of course, would have opted to skip it altogether just to avoid revisiting the horror of the experience. But, we went and it turned out that I will have to pay the deductible which probably works out to be about $100 US. They only charged me for a day’s rental which made Gina mad. “You weren’t even on that thing for more than a minute!” Gotta love her. It was all pretty straight forward until we got to the part about the cost of retrieving the moped from the police station.

The agent had no problem shrugging his shoulders and telling us he had no idea how much it would cost to get it back. Brian, calm and very professional, gently pressed the issue. This annoyed the agent because I think he took it personally that we were asking so many questions. But shit, they have my credit card on file and it’s Mexico – best to double and triple check!
In the end, he said that Hertz would send me an email with the final cost. This didn’t provide much relief, but at least I was done with it for the moment.

Later in the evening, I’m walking through town.

“Is that Liz?” someone calls out behind me. I turn around and it’s the angel from the accident who gave me coke and found my shoes! I’m thrilled to see here because I’d been thinking of her all day and how I never really got to thank her properly and find out her name.

Janie. She’s with her husband, grandkids, daughter and son-in-law. I give her a huge hug.

“I am so glad I ran into you! I wanted to thank you for being such a kind soul.” We hug again.

She introduces me to everyone and it turns out she had sent her son-in-law to the hospital to check on me – he speaks Spanish – but they wouldn’t let him in. She also tells me that mother of the girl doesn’t like Americans and she’s talking about making me “pay”. And, to top it off, the family is friends with the Police Chief.

I’m not feeling so well suddenly.

“You showed nothing but concern for that girl, Liz.” Janie reminds me. She gives my shoulder a squeeze and says, “I’m so glad you’re okay. Don’t worry about this.”

I give her my email and ask her to contact me if there are any more rumblings she thinks I should know about.

Once again, I am freaked out. Should I just hop a plane tomorrow? What exactly does “pay” mean? Am I going to get yanked out of my bed in the middle of the night? I keep reminding myself that no one actually knows where I’m staying. I was purposely vague at the hospital because I didn’t know if I could trust any of them.

The father is a taxi driver and I’m acutely aware of this as I walk over to the bus station to retrieve one of the many taxis lined up waiting for fares. My mind is not working with me. I’m convinced that EVERY taxi driver knows about me and once they drop me home, they will report back to Bernard and my fate will be sealed.

I try to hunker down into more positive thought as I sit in the taxi. Score one for traveling with someone else – again.