I was drinking lemonade but Shelby, who was drug free, was happily ordering one Margarita after another. I was feeling quite relaxed and carefree. In fact, I felt close to euphoria. I really wanted to smile and I did, for absolutely no reason.
"What?" asked a puzzled Shelby.
"Huh?" was my response, wide grin still firmly in place.
She kept saying things like "It doesn't show that much." and "Oh, it's definitely starting to go down!" even if every time I passed by a mirror, I came face to face with Ron Pearlman in Beauty and the Beast (the series).
|The non Disney version without dancing teacups.|
More after the jump...
We started to chat with other tourists. That's what people do in resorts. They have in-depth conversations with absolute strangers. Maybe it's the booze, maybe it's the feeling of living as a community, but folks will come up to you and start chatting about everything from excursions they went on, to their recent indigestion. I told them about my condition, as they did stare at me as if I were a mutant and I needed to explain that my mutation was temporary. I also joked about my injection and at this point the buzz was starting to fully kick in and and I felt like nothing was taboo.
"She just stuck it in my butt cheek!" I explained, laughing.
"Oh...you know what's in that injection, right?" said an older gentleman wearing a polo shirt, who looked distinguished enough to know what he was talking about. I shook my head, as my eyes got wider (as wide as they could considering my predicament).
"Scorpion venom!" he declared.
Oh, that's just ridicu....MAYBE!
"Yeah, that's what they use here because they don't have access to most drugs so, you know, they get creative!"
Oh, all right! That make perfect sense! I was a believer!
Suddenly, I understood. I had been injected with scorpion venom and I was now filled with the strength and power of a scorpion. I was invincible! This is why I felt so good! I wanted to tell everyone about this! How come my country didn't know about this? Maybe this could cure many diseases and give one superhuman powers! I mean, imagine if a scorpion was the size of a human. It would wreck the shit out of everything in sight, right? It would be one hundred times stronger than any living being of its size! I always thought about if ants were suddenly as big of humans, we would all die. They would tear us apart like and carry us on their backs like that crumb of cupcake that is twice their size. So imagine the power of a scorpion!
|Behold the power of the scorpion! I later found out my injection was actually cortisone and benadryl.|
This buzz didn't feel like anything I'd ever felt before. It wasn't like alcohol. I actually felt in control. I just felt, really, really nice and happy. So incredibly joyous and merry; the power of scorpions running through my veins!
We heard talk of a place called The Bat Cave. This intrigued me. Not only because once upon a time, my heart belonged to a fictional character dressed in a bat costume, but because it meant that possibly, I could interact with Cubans outside of the tourist zoo! One in particular, of course. I mean, I knew that there was a cover fee that was expensive even for us, but the servers seemed to be making decent tips so maybe...just maybe...
Now, all I needed was to spot CDB and ask him if he'd like to join us there, after work. I had a plan! As evening approached, I realized that he wasn't anywhere in sight and this wasn't such a bad thing because my deformations hadn't gone away yet.
Shelby suggested that we head to the cave and in my mind I began to imagine that there was a chance that CDB was already there, so off we went to explore. Once again, I whipped out my yellow dress. We boarded a little choo choo train that looked a lot like the kind you see in a mall, except that we'd be riding on unlit paths in a subtropical forest.
We walked down a steep and narrow staircase into a tiny cave with fake cavemen scribblings and christmas lights hanging in various spots. It was dark, which was a bonus, considering our appearance. They weren't kidding about the bats either, this was a real bat cave indeed. Occasionally you'd hear a group of women hollering and screeching as one flew by.
The music was loud and slowly, people started to fill up the small dance floor. My eyes were like flashlights, scanning every face of every person, but still...no CDB. Then, hired dancers got up on the stage dressed like native island inhabitants, you know, the few of them that were on the island when the Spaniards came and eventually killed off with the flu and the few that remained were expected to deliver a bell full of gold, or twenty-five pounds of spun cotton every three months or else have their hands cut off and left to bleed to death. You know, those natives.
Still, the show was enticing and enthralling. They were amazingly skilled dancers with their fit and lustrous bodies, shaking their hips in a way that none of us could even attempt to imitate. That is, until...I started to drink lemonade with rum. I figured I was safe now. I also felt hella sexy. Soon, we were approached by two men, one being a muscled, attractive and smug type who didn't speak and Oscar, the host who said things like "Come on eberybody! Let's dance!" on the microphone every so often. He had large ears and a pointy face. I wanted none of this nonsense but he was confident and pushy. I tried to dance with my back to him but he just walked around me. Meanwhile, Shelby was grinding with muscly man.
I headed back to the bar for another limonada con ron, and Oscar followed me much to my dismay. I glanced back at the dance floor and saw that Shelby was now passionately kissing muscly man and soon they headed into the depths of the cave where I can only imagine what went on. I was stuck. Oscar was telling me about his future trip to Bermuda and how he was a very popular animator, and how jet set his life was. I decided to brush away my bangs but even that didn't deter him. My only option was to scare him away, mentally. I started speaking quickly about my love of science fiction movies and books, and began to quote Battlestar Galactica and compare Cuban politics to Star Wars. He was confused. He didn't have a planned response. Eventually he said something about "I've got to check on my friend for something." and he was gone.
As the bar began to close up, I searched for Shelby. Her hair was a bit mussed up and she had a startled expression.
"He tried to do it. DO IT! Right back there! I was like no and he left!" she explained.
We turned and saw muscly man chatting up a group of women, while leaning towards one in particular.
"Can you believe it?" she said, angrily. "He's already moved on! What. The. Hell?"
So, this was the first time I saw what I would later learn is called a Jinetero.
We embarked once again on the choo choo train, on the bumpy ride back to our hotel, the heavy scent of diesel drifting through the air, and the enormous starlit sky above my head that mesmerized me. I hadn't given up. I would see him again, somehow, someway. It was silly of me to think that he'd be there, when obviously, it was only other tourists and Jineteros that visited the bat cave.
|I was a cat-lady filled with love and hope.|