I see the jungle lined shore of Roatan Honduras outside my cabin window. I remember smell and color from the refuse filled creek; swirling brown. The broken TV stuck in the mud pointed up at the foot bridge; its final viewers. What did the locals watch on that TV before it broke and they tossed it out the back door with the rest of their waste: Friends, Cheers, Seinfeld, and Reality TV?
I also remember the dilapidated but vibrant Creek View Restaurant. I didn’t eat there. The view wasn’t appetizing; watching the sludge wash past the half submerged television set, upset my stomach. Too many Discovery Channel memories: parasites, bacteria, virus.It was tempting though. The vibrancy of the thin stick building was appealing. I imagined their food being simple and fresh. A cold Honduran beer, Imperial, and fresh tortillas made by the old brown skinned grandmother in the back and delivered by their bright smiled granddaughters; dazzling white teeth against deep brown skin. The food sounded hearty in a fresh-soul way. As if the food itself was karma-light and while eating I would be unhurried and capable of truly enjoying the simple things: assimilation of culture through diet. I didn’t eat there. Instead, I’m waiting for the Sail-Away-BBQ on the pool deck, which will be delicious and free of intestinal parasites: continuation of culture through diet.
I visited Honduras. I really visited them. It has not been commercialized to the extent of Cozumel. I feel like I’ve had an honest and brief glimpse of this little island. While I remember the colorful birds that little native men put on my shoulders, and the playful and fun monkeys they encouraged to climb up into my arms, bribed with sunflower seeds, I also remember the Creek View Restaurant and my imagined meal.
This small bit of recall has no point, no liberal moral, no heart pulling we-have-it-too-good hand holding sermon. No such sentiment drives me to change the things that I saw. I’m no liberal; I believe that men should make their own changes. I don’t look at others and see victims. I do not need the ego masturbation. I can appreciate that they have the lives they’ve chosen and that they and their ancestors have made decisions for reasons that seemed good to them. My glimpse into their chosen world left me with a splinter of reason, a vision of a wholesome family filled life (avg. family size of 17) that is less reflective than mine, and less pressured and hurried. A life that doesn’t need to be justified and approved, but instead it is hot tortillas, pulled chicken, smoked iguana and cold beer.
I have the life I’ve chosen. They have theirs. Whose is best? It depends on the values of the one making the judgment. I will keep living mine. They will keep living theirs. I’m driven to reach certain goals and ends; I have a will to power and a will to create. I pay the cost for my will. I pay the cost for my decisions. Is this the best way? For me and those few akin to me, yes. There is a best way for me, not all men, not you, but for me and the others of this kind we have our path.
I enjoy fresh tortillas, pulled chicken and cold beer too, but for different reasons. I didn’t eat at the Creek View Restaurant, but I’m glad they do.