"There's a store in the Village called Blue Skies that's owned by a couple named Sky and Blu. Sky is short for Skylar, Blu for Bluma, and they just figured they belonged together."
--The Beat on Ruby's Street
Quintana Roo, (Yucatan Peninsula). 1957.
Now and again, Blu gets restless. I knew it was coming on a few weeks ago and this time I was ready for it. Asked a friend to watch the store for a couple of weeks and drove down to Texas, then hopped across the border to Mexico.
Owning Blue Skies is a good thing, but it can be a hard thing, too. Tied to the store and the counter, and you can't go home, really, because the store is your home. Blu looks at me sometimes and I know she's feeling trapped.
I wanted her to be surrounded by turquoise like she's never seen. We got down there late at night and when we woke up, she opened the curtain and gasped. Looked out from our hotel right over the water.
I've seen her eyes light up on our wedding day or when her best friend comes into town from Virginia. I've seen her at parties, seen her waking up in the morning and seen her just before I drift off, looking at me with love in her eyes. But I've never, ever, seen her like I did that morning when she pulled the curtains open.
Don't think I ever will again.
Stayed a week, soaking up the light, night, and tropical ocean. Sometimes in the store I see her walking, kind of hunched over, like the weight of the world is bearing down and she can't get out from under it.
Here, she straightened up. Like a Mayan goddess, straight as stone. Swam all day, like the mermaid I always knew she wanted to be.
We're going to stay the month, I tell her. Even if we lose the store.
That was the wrong thing to say, I guess. She tells me we're going back tomorrow. But her eyes cloud over like rain, and she has to turn away so I won't see them.
And I say, wait a minute, honey. Not just... yet.
Caribbean near Tulum: Mindaugus Danys
Mermaid: Andrew Stawarz