After our nine day escapade/honeymoon in Costa Rica, it’s basically impossible to understand what we are doing back in Miami, in a speed-strung, also tropical, but relentlessly demanding and high-maintenance city. Instead of monkeys teasing me with their hyper howls, the metro rails shriek me out of my sleep in the morning.
I can’t wake up and rush to check the surf like a sparkly-eyed dog running out to grab her owner’s newspaper, nor can I wake up my husband ecstatically, retrieve my board and march back to the beach with nothing other than a bikini and the board.
To check the surf today, I have to go online, wait for my spot’s surf cam to load, and then, if there is any surf, sit in traffic while the wax on my board melts into the passenger seat. Eventually, I find myself circling the beach’s parking lots, hunting for any space, like a lioness stalking a yearling, waiting for it to fall behind.
Here, when I meditate, it’s not on a warm hardwood floor next to the jungle facing an ancient, nearly crumbling, Indian tapestry of Buddha; it’s either on my balcony or on our futon which faces the TV. The buzzing of leaf blowers and pissed off honking attempt to snatch my peace of mind.
Yes, in Costa there were loud noises too. ATVs and dirt bikes were like a strange heavy metal cruising on a loud speaker, and everything was muddy. If it wasn’t muddy, it was dusty. When we came back to our bungalow from a trip to the market for essentials, for important items like giant marshmallows, cans of Imperial beer and plantain chips, our legs resembled a Pollock painting.
But, somehow, the mud never mattered because at the center of every grey reddish speckle were giant waves, trippy sunsets and white horses following us.
Now we are back in the city, trying so hard to stay in “pura vida” mode. My hair started dreading from the constant surfing over there; I still haven’t washed it since we’ve been back (you can keep that info to yourself). Everyday it dreads a little more and more, into these small golden and auburn ropes. I’ve been using the old baby powder, dry shampoo and sea water hair tricks, but if I don’t brush it out soon, the dreads will become permanent.
“You’d better wash that out before you become one of those stinky hippie types,” laughs my husband.
“You think it looks gross?” I ask disappointingly, seeing these thin “white girl” dreads as my last links to paradise.
“No. Not at all…well, not yet,” he says.
I think if I don’t comb the knots out soon, he will be married to one of these “stinky hippie types.” I plan to undo them this weekend; I’m sure to my husband’s relief. Perhaps, when my natty ties are gone, I’ll find other less hairy ways to stay connected to the freedom.
Bob Marley says it best in his classic song, “Natty Dread.”
“Natty Dread, Natty Dread, now;
a dreadlock Congo Bongo I.
Natty Dreadlock in a Babylon –
Roots Natty, Roots Natty!
…Oh, Natty, Natty,
Natty twenty one thousand miles away from home, yeah!
Oh, Natty, Natty,
And that’s a long way
For Natty to be from home.”
~ Bob Marley
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