In the wake of the Nevada smoking ban I feel a bit like Nathan Bedford
Forrest after the surrender of the Confederate armies in 1865. Riding
along with a companion, Forrest reached a crossroads. “Which way?” his
companion asked. “Sir,” said Forrest, “if that road led to Mexico and
the other to Hell, I wouldn’t much care which one I took.”

Since I also feel that there are hounds from Hell on my trail, sick, vicious
duppies driving me from home to home, refuge to refuge, I’m inclined to
think that Mexico might be the better of Forrest’s alternatives. It’s
where Americans have often gone to lick their wounds and get their
bearings again after the world collapsed around them.

I find my spirit drawn to the ocean as well, “la mer toujours recommencee”,
always recommencing, obliterating time with each new wave, like a new
deal of the cards. Wanting a romantic landscape, too, and a relative
absence of American tourists, my mind drifts to the Mar de Cortes, the
Sea of Cortez, also called the Gulf Of California, that legendary sea
between the Baja peninsula and the Mexican mainland.

There is a town there called La Paz, with a seaside promenade and palapa huts
serving fresh fish tacos and Tecate beer, a port town from which the
Mar de Cortes can be explored and fished in a small open panga boat.
The land behind it is severe and mystical desert, the sea before it is
teeming with marine life of every description, much of it good to eat .
. . clams and oysters and octopi and shrimp, lobsters and tuna and
skipjack and crab.

Maybe I’ll see you there one of these days . . .