He came from Australia, looking for a room in Mexico City, so I welcomed him as my guest. Four weeks later, sailing on a boat across a lagoon, we shared one of those moments where you know with certainty you will remember it for the rest of your life.
We arrived dizzy to Chacahua, a tiny town on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca. Chacahua is famous for its virgin beaches and bioluminescent lagoons. We arrived a bit fearful and quite tired, after the 6 hour drive from Acapulco. It was 8 o’clock, and the entrance from the village was another 20 kilometers of potholes and dirt that culminated in a nearly deserted village.
When we arrived we were approached by a young man who seemed high. We asked him a bunch of questions — “Do we leave our bags in the parking lot? Can we still see the luminescence in the water? Will we find a place to spend the night? Can you take us there?” His answers seemed to leave us with only more questions.
But trusted that on the other side of the lake we would find what we were looking for.
We jumped in the boat to cross the lagoon towards the beach. He sat in a corner and I was facing him. And there in that moment looking at the sky we abandoned our uncertainty. We knew that after having crossed the road, any end would be worth it: that road in which the stars hung down to us, big and tiny stars, from a huge black canvas.
From the boat we saw the lit windows of cabins across the lagoon. In the distance was the faint sound of reggae music. Boats were docked on the shore like an entrance to a hidden town.
We had the impression of escaping the world our eyes were accustomed to. His world: city and beach, first world. Mine: city and chaos, folklore and haste.
Giovanni, our guide, explained that the town of Chacahua first settled in that area and as time passed the section on the other side of the lagoon was added. Today there are 14 000 hectares, two beaches — Chacahua and Cerro Hermoso — and five lagoons of fresh and salt water, famous because of plankton that glow with movement.
After a few minutes of getting in lagoon, Giovanni asked us to touch the water. Our hands ejected dots of colors — blue and green — that jumped towards us. Ten minutes later we got in as if we wanted to impregnate our bodies with the beauty of the water. As if we wanted to wear it on our souls.
I watched him shine as he waved his arms as he swam. I saw him being happy and I felt happy too. We looked at each other and exploded in laughter.
Suddenly, we came to kiss. “The only way this could get better is if it started raining money from heaven,” he told me. He says he saw a shooting star and I like to believe it was true.
On our way back to the town, we were hugging, watching the water flow as it left its phosphorescent wake behind us. We watched the stars floating for us on a sky that at that moment was ours.
The moon glowed orange on the horizon.
I asked him if, in the future, when he recalled that moment, he would remember it was me who was with him.
He promised it was something he would remember forever.
This week he returned to Australia with a tattoo on his arm and I came back to Mexico City with one on my back. His, a palm tree, a moon and a boat on a lagoon; mine, a moon from which five stars are hanging, being followed by a paper ship.
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