Kids These Days

    When I complain about the youth of America,  which I do quiet a lot because lets face facts, I love to complain, what I mean is any one younger then thirty. What I mean is anyone younger then me. I’m talking about anyone who is old enough to know better.
   I’m talking about “kids” who are old enough to know it’s not a good idea to drink and drive and party their lives away. 
   I’m not perfect no one is.
  When I was eighteen my friends and I would steal the keys to Jenn’s families beach houses in Mexico and drink margaritas, legally in Ensenitas and Rosarito.
   We never drank in the States. Why? Because it was illigal here and we were just kids.
   We might have snuck off to the beach houses but that was about as wild and out of control we got.
    We would spend our mornings praying for the coastal fog to roll out and the sunshine to return to the Baja coast. Then we would spend hours sweating, getting sun burned on the private beach. My friends would surf the days away and I would soak up the sun SPF 10 and a good book in the course crab filled sand.
   In the afternoon we would jump in our Ford Escort’s and drive into Ensenitas to get our hair braided, buy fire works and trinkets. With each bracelet I bought I pushed crumpled American dollars into the wilted hands of ladies old to young. Their skin was wrinkled and dried from years working in the hot Mexico sun and a life to cruel for us, Americans, to imagine. The small children worked at their sides selling Chiclets, while down below us on the beaches flea ridden horses, sorrier then the saddest mule took tourists for rides on Bajas beaches. We tried to ignore this, the sad side of Mexico and went back to our meals of fish tacos.
   Oh those tacos!  The corn tortillas were still warm, freshly made at Just for the Halibut. The fish tasted so fresh and the cilantro smelled so spicy with every corn tortilla filled bite.  We would wash down our tacos with ice cold Coronas, wiping the condensation on the beer bottle on our sweaty foreheads. My fingers would be dripping wet and sticky from squishing so many limes into my tacos and beer.
   It seemed like we had to stop for a taco break at every truck we saw.
   Were we afraid of Montezuma’s Revenge? No, we were scared to drink the water and even more so of the Federalle’s.
   That’s why we never drove drunk, terrified of the law and scarier still; Our parents.
    We came from families who knew substance abuse.
    We might be eighteen and drinking legally under the hot and sultry Mexico sun but we never took it to far.

    When I see Ice plant in Lowes I want to run my fingers over the plump leaves and remember the ice plant that speckled the coast near the beach houses with it’s purple flowers.
  The last night I spent in Mexico I wanted to awake with the sunrise next to the ocean so I chose to drag my sleeping bag on the veranda as the full moon rose over the Pacific. The sea breeze lulled me to sleep.
    Then I spent the night having vivid nightmares that all the sumo wrestlers across the sea in Japan decided to have a beach day. As the waves crashed along the shore all night long, each crash was to me in my sleep a tidal wave, ready to drown me.
    I awoke drenched in sweat, so much for my relaxation.
   When I look back now on our Mexico adventures, I thank god we made good choices and we didn’t get into any trouble, which very well could have happened. We were young, and well, kids are dumb. I’m so fond of these Mexico memories and I find myself very lucky to have been able to have traveled down there when it was still relatively a safe place.

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