It was in Mazunte that I found out how little I needed. Brandon and I couldn't afford a bed in a hostel or even a flat dusty ration of dirt to camp on so we slept in the van while the others scattered around the town. I was perpetually dehydrated from the heat, bug bites polka dotted my skin, and the reality that we were stuck in Central America with no money or a plane ticket home lingered in the air like the stench of an overfilled, heated compost container that filled the lungs like vapor or steam, something familiar yet rejected by the cells. Stranded in Paradise.
I didn't need much sleep, or showers. I spent mornings watching the sun rise from the beach, meditating, searching for ways to hold on to something so overwhelmingly beautiful and sorrowfully fleeting. High noon was spent at Architecto, an upscale hostel on the beach with wifi, a bathroom and a restaurant overlooking the water. We spent a week using it's gathering space as basecamp, a week until they figured out we weren't guests and kicked us all out. Late afternoons we swam, layed out on the sand on oversized scarves and watched the waves until they hushed, or seemingly quieted. I never quite decided if they did or if I was imagining it. Waves of vigor that you had to maneuver, waves that mangled. Midweek I didn't run out of the water fast enough. I saw it in slow motion: The sand buried my ankles like quick sand as I pushed my body forward at full speed. I looked behind me, a wall of blue crashed against my back. My body was flung down, somersaulting, the salt water filled my mouth, my nostrils, my face met the sand as my body was dragged fifteen feet by the force. It was a few days until I built up the courage to get back in the water. Adrenaline flushed my veins, my hands shook. It was never quite the same.