Cancun, Mexico. October 2010.
When you land in Cancun a driver from the hotel is supposed to pick you up. The pickup area is
swarming with Mexican men in white shirts, all of them yelling, some holding signs. None of them
have your name on them. It is more humid than you thought possible and the air smells very, very
unfamiliar. When you finally arrive it's late and everyone on the staff insists on calling you
"Mr. Cade". Your room is stunningly palatial and the floor is marble. There's a bottle of champagne
chilling in a bucket of ice and two glasses, which seems like some kind of cruel joke.
You sit down and drink the whole thing. The week is nothing but fifteen hour work
days with quick breaks for food. In the mornings you swim in a strange ocean the color of a
swimming pool. The sun rises slowly a few minutes after you wake up, and you get to take it in from
a private balcony. At night you wander the hotel, all marble and stucco and glass, your shoes clicking
and echoing down the cavernous halls. You find strange things, staircases to nowhere, carpeted
ballrooms that smell of salt water and humidity. A tiny chapel in the basement, empty but unlocked.
A resort meant for couples and filled with nothing but is no place for a lone traveler. You find yourself
alternating between jealousy and satisfaction, depending on what you're witnessing. You wonder
what the city of Cancun is actually like; there must be a life away from the hotel strip. You
may never find out. You're stuck floating in this cartoon, and you might as well top it off with
as many free margaritas as you can handle. Hung over, you cross the Gulf in another direction
and fill out a customs slip above a blue ocean that looks so gentle from this height. You make your
connecting flight in Houston, lost in your headphones as you walk. Another dream woken,
another ethereal landscape of mindless days and curious nights.