I’d promised the twins that this time, they could choose. Was our vacation up to me, we’d do Disney World again, as we’d had lots of fun back when Jeanie and Curtis were twelve. They’d loved it, too, of course, but kids get older.
“How about Yellowstone?” as I’d been doing a bit of reading. The emphasis these days is on sustainability, really important, and maybe we’d see some endangered species.
“You said we’d get to choose, Mom,” Jeanie reminded me. “We’re thinking further south.”
“Grand Canyon?” it being another I’d looked at. “Perfect, the ranger talks and everything!”
“Curtis will fall over the edge. Cabo San Lucas. Rent a condo.”
I needed a map. “It’s not even in America.”
“Actually it is,” supplied her brother. “North America, technically.”
Jeanie flopped the brochures onto the table, the top one showing a happy couple serenaded by a mustachioed quartet in sombreros. “Look. All in English. And anyway, Curtie needs to work on his pronunciation. Señora Sites said so.”
“I got 95 on the vocab,” his retort.
“Grand Canyon has a Motel 6 with a pool,” I pointed out.
She was ready for that one. “Our condo has a kitchenette.”
My daughter wasn’t finished. “They have supermarkets, ‘supermercados,’ they call them. We’ll eat cheap. Snorkel. Beachcomb. There’s a speedboat to see dolphins, even,” the speedboat bit for her brother, the dolphins for me.
“It would be fun to see dolphins,” I allowed. “They say that they’re smarter than we are.”
“We learned the Mexican Hat Dance in, when, fourth grade?” remembered Curtis.
“Fifth. You boys couldn’t even clap right,” his sibling’s response.
“Dibs on the worm in the tequila,” Curtis decided, but perhaps seeing my alarm, added, “Don’t worry, Mom, if you just want a regular Coke, you say, ‘Una Coca Cola.”
“Un Coca Cola,” corrected the other. “A ‘refresco’ is masculine.”
I missed the distinction.
“You’d have to fight off Latin lovers, of course,” to me.
Give me a break!
But even without such, Cabo San Lucas, wherever you are, here we come! Cosmopolitan says we should broaden our experiences.
The flight worked like a charm. “No frills, no spills,” as Curtis put it. En route, I plowed through a few pages of “Listen, Learn Spanish,” though I couldn’t do the listening part. I already knew many of the numbers from when the kids watched Sesame Street.
On the taxi to our condo — Jeanie knew how to talk to the driver, but he understood English when I explained that we were from America — we passed nightclub after nightclub. Pretty sleazy, I’d imagine. Jeanie elbowed her brother for gawking at the ladies.
I suppose I wasn’t being fair, though, as to how the woman made their living. How they dress is just how they dress, not that much different from Jeanie, other that she’s not from here.
I got the bedroom, Jeanie got the sofa, and Curtis, a pad beside it. Except for the spoons, the kitchenware matched. The spatula was better than the one at home. The view was the best part — sea, sand and big black rocks.
“The Pacific’s larger than all the land on earth combined,” reported Mr. National Geographic.
What National Geographic doesn’t feature are the children hawking gum, hats, sunglasses, seashells and condoms. I didn’t point out the latter to my kids. Cosmopolitan had an article about child labor.
We walked along the beach as the sun went down. Back home we’d never stroll arm-in-arm, but this was Mexico.
“Sunsets aren’t this orange in America,” I observed as Curtis nudged me around a patch of seaweed.
“The color orange and the fruit are the same word in Spanish, like in English,” he informed me.
I thought that was interesting. Would they call a grape a “purple?”
If I’d latched on more than absolutely necessary, that was OK, him being my boy. If now and then his arm was fully on my front, that was OK, too. It’s good, though, that my bra had some padding, as otherwise he might have felt where he was.
“We’ll bring a blanket tomorrow,” decided my daughter, who may have been watching. “We’ll do backrubs.”
We chatted with a foursome in the lobby. The Harmons were from Connecticut; the Jantzens, from Oregon. The girls had gone to Iowa State together. They leave their kids with grandparents and meet up every year. Today they’d golfed.
“Need to get washed up,” one of them laughed.
“I bought us a new shampoo,” the Jantzen woman told the Harmon husband, a strange thing to tell your college friend’s husband. Stranger still, those two heading one way, their spouses, the other.
I pictured the Jantzen woman shampooing the Harmon guy’s bald spot, but that wasn’t really what I pictured. The Harmon and Jantzen Christmas letters probably mention vacationing with old friends. As for how they do so, who am I to comment, me who’s not paired up with anybody?
The kids went to town and came back with mangos, a frozen pizza and Coca Colas. At least they hadn’t gotten the drink with a worm in it. Plus Jeanie came back with a new swimsuit. Ten percent off since it was her first visit, her justification.
“Like you pay full on your second?” from her brother.
But oh, the Pacific! When I ventured in, Jeanie had Curtis follow, his hands on my sides so I’d not get dunked and swallow salt water.
Curtis claimed that Cabo was where they filmed Jaws, which I knew to be false. Jeanie rode her brother’s back so they’d look too big for Jaws’ lunch, leaving their poor mother to get eaten. When I pointed this out, however, I got to ride half the time.
That evening, we spread our beach blanket on the sand to watch the sunset.
“Backrub time,” decided Jeanie, behind me, Curtis at the tail.
In doing my sides, her breasts were against my back except where my shoulder blades could feel her brother’s hand between us. More than a backrub, but you can’t be telling your kids how to do things.
On a blanket not far away were a blonde and her partner, the two of them kissing. I thought it best we head back before the kids noticed, but Jeanie said we had to wait until we could see a star, and when I saw one, Curtis said it was a planet, so we had to wait some more, him doing circles on her.
Jeanie was just in her bra when she poured our orange juice. A way to beat the heat, I suppose, and anyway, it hid more than that swimsuit. Then off to the beach, arm in arm.
Once there, Jeanie rested her head on her brother’s stomach and claimed to hear the Mexican Hat Dance. “Ta-tad-da, ta-tad-da, ta ta,” bongoing close to his trunks, before scanning the sea and reporting a white fin, the final “ta ta” dead center.
Back at our place, I contemplated knocking off some “Listen, Learn,” but instead skimmed the next-month’s Cosmopolitan left by last week’s guests. The feature, written by a Ph.D., was about helping your male friend communicate.
I could see my two on the balcony, Jeanie on her stomach, strap open, Curtis lotioning her shoulders.
When she flipped over, had she forgotten? Apparently not, as she stayed that way. In doing her brother, her breasts, dancing fruit.
When they came in, the two smelled like coconuts.
In any case, time to shop, once more arm in arm, Curtis’s crossing me every time the sidewalk changed, which down here is every few feet.
One store had a statue of a naked couple, the woman wrapping the man. “Inca. Made by hand,” guaranteed the attendant, as if the Incas would have had statue-making machines.
“How about this one, Curtie?” asked Jeanie, hefting an onyx phallus.
At the next store, the owner knocked twenty percent off the price of a bracelet because it looked elegant on my wrist. The twins were great and never called me, “Mom.”
“Curtie bought a switchblade,” tattled his sister on the way back. “He’ll get arrested at the airport.”
“I’ll hide it.”
“Ditch it,” as motherhood’s never completed.
The band under the gazebo did the “Ei yi-yi-yi” song and I left them a dollar.
“Mom’s getting into this Mexico thing,” from Jeanie.
“La señora es on vacación,” from Curtis. It’s amazing how I’d picked up on understanding conversations.
“‘Está en, not es on,” corrected his sibling. “And aqui, nuestra madre es una señorita.'”
That’s why I bought my book, to help with what I didn’t naturally pick up.
The three of us watched the sunset from the same spot, the kissers from theirs. We return to familiar places.
“Came to see it again, same as us,” Jeanie’s thought before walking to make their acquaintance.
The woman, she reported back, is a film professor from Mississippi and he’s a paramedic from Tucson. She’d been buying a necklace and he’d stepped in to bargain down the price.”
“I thought they were on their honeymoon,” I admitted.
“Here’s something interesting,” volunteered Curtis. “‘Honeymoon’ in Spanish is like in English, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the moon or honey,”
His twin poked his side. “Mr. Americano, so unromantic. You make honey under the moon, right, Mom?”
Tonight, Curtis headed our backrub line, me in the middle.
Our neighbors pulled a blanket over them, and by its movements, like Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in “From Here to Eternity,” began to make honey.
I was under Curtis’s arms when Jeanie reached around to rest her hands above mine, pushing me down. I was OK with doing his stomach, even down to where I edged his belt, but when she pushed me onto his buckle, I was quick to extract myself. Pay attention to where I am, I wanted to tell her.
After our neighbors completed what they were doing, the woman waved us goodnight and Jeanie waved back, only then pulling up the hand that had taken my place.
I masturbated that night, the first time in years.
“Hit the beach, troops!” once we’d put away the breakfast dishes.
Curtis had us dig a canal so a pool could return to the ocean. The tide would put everything back to what it wants, anyway, but it was fun helping.
On our promised speedboat trip, it’s difficult to count dolphins when they take turns jumping, but I thought it was fifteen.
“Don’t let her fall overboard, Curtie,” his sister told him, the net of it being him holding me from behind, his arms around my chest, but it was for safety.
Afterward, re-lotioning time, Jeanie unhooked my top. “Just stay on your stomach, Mom,” turning me over to her brother to do my back.
“SPF 30,” Curtis assured, doing the sides of my breasts.
“Don’t skimp,” his sister advised, at which he skipped a little more under.
“OK, other side,” Jeanie ordered.
I did the best I could in rolling over, but hooked, maybe I didn’t hide everything.
Jeanie put her hat over my eyes. “This sun’s a killer.”
Curtis worked from my shoulders to my collar, and then down.
The problem with not being able to see was that I couldn’t tell how well my top was draping me. It had started off OK, but now and then I could feel it slip. As to how far, I wasn’t sure, but the breeze was reaching where it didn’t usually, his fingertips tenting ways for it to do so.
Arching down to minimize myself loosened my top even more. Arching up, on the other hand, lifted me against his wrist.
His circling across the bottom of my top and then back across the top of my bottoms, made me suck in my stomach. Not that my bottoms parted from my belly, I hope, but I’d the sense that each of his crossings pushed them toward where I bulged.
In doing my legs, almost the same thing, him working along the hem to where I wasn’t sure if he was or wasn’t crossing over it.
Curtis re-hooked me when he finished, again maybe not everything under wraps.
In doing him back, Jeanie grabbed his arm to roll him over, the reason for his reluctance rather apparent, and by his sister’s grin, I rather thought she meant me to notice. I of course pretended not to, but Jeanie’s hat over his eyes made me less worried about getting caught. Such things happen to boys his age for the oddest reasons, they say. They’d be mortified if they realized how observant are their mothers.
“Don’t forget this side,” Jeanie pointed out, leading me to where my wrist rested on what it shouldn’t have been on, and there I remained, teeter-tottering across him to lotion his far side as he informed us about the first Spanish explorers.
Jeanie had us play Tower of Pisa where the waves weren’t deep, Curtis on the bottom, me in his lap, and her on me. Curtis said it must be an Italian game, not Spanish, but Jeanie said they were both Romance languages, adding that he was so unromantic.
He wrapped his arms around me and had me sit low to lower our center of gravity. I didn’t fully follow what he said about harnessing tidal power. When Jeanie abandoned us, Curtis and I kept at it. Not just his hand in general, but his fingertips back and forth. I tried to ignore it, but my nipples couldn’t.
We kiss on vacations because we’re having fun. When Curtis and I retreated to the shade, how we made it into a tongue fight, I’m not sure, but it was just silliness.
As a taco’s a taco, we had lunch at Taco Bell where they have clean restrooms. After that, I opted for some downtime and the kids went off to explore.
On their return, the two informed me that one of the Harmon/Jantzen pairs has a unit with a seashell chandelier. They’d run into them leaving for a seaplane ride and the woman lent them her key to check out our Jacuzzi. It’s in the bedroom. The maid will take care of whatever gets messed up.
Did you, I wondered, to which she answered that that’s why they were late getting back.
You didn’t take your swimsuits, I thought to mention, but didn’t, as maybe the place has loaners.
Come back and watch the sunset with us, the woman had offered. Their bedroom looks right at it, and they all four could stretch together out without getting sandy, but Jeanie informed her they had sunset plans with me, which made me feel good.
I’m no fool, though, picturing the four on the bed waiting for the setting sun, a Harmon/Jantzen raising a seagull feather skyward, a Mayan solstice thing. Curtis would point out that now’s not the solstice, but they’d say it’s solstice in the Mayan calendar and offer to show my two how the Mayan King of Corn and Queen of Squash bid the setting sun goodnight progressing through a series of positions from the Mayan Zodiac.
For the ceremony, the Mayans wore only a feather headdress, they’d be told, but to protect endangered species, they’d go without. Curtis might suggest they pull a sheet over them, but his sister would point out that even Mayan royalty wouldn’t have had sheets.
I’d seen the Mayan positons in a book at the shop where I got a CD of native drumming. The first position was for Squash to inspect Corn’s tassel, for Corn to familiarize himself with Squash’s blossom, and the like. Then the positions for ripening the cob, teasing out Squash’s kernel, and so forth, what couples from Connecticut and Oregon may be used to, but as my kids are more Midwestern, I’d hope they’d skip over them. Hard to say, though, them now being in Mexico.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, they’d be to where Corn gets to penetrate Squash — hybridization, I think it’s called — but at this point, the King would take over from Curtis and consummate Jeanie as Princess. The Queen would in like manner coronate the Prince. My kids would be confused, but by the time they’d figured it out, they’d already be into the sacred seedings, and sacred or not, you can’t halt a seeding.
They’d complete the ceremony per the beat of the CD, King above Princess on one side, Prince above Queen on the other. In Mayan times, the guy on top was the rule. The kids would miss seeing the sunset, but the outcome would foretell a fertile year. The maid would change the sheet.
I pictured the following night, my two watching the sunset with the other Harmon/Jantzens, this time more Aztec, the males being rulers of the underground and the females, of the sky. Aztec girls got to be on top.
Just me back in the hacienda, I’d be watching the sunset pretending to be a señorita being taken by a conquistador.
I was so glad my two preferred sunsets with their mom.
Jeanie added that the Harmon/Jantzen woman had offered that next time they go sailing, Curtis could bring me. Nice of her, of course, but what if they came back early and I was trying out the Jacuzzi?
The lovers weren’t within eyesight this evening, and Jeanie, too, must have had them in mind. “Just us tonight, I guess. Me in front. Mom in the middle.”
In doing my stomach, Curtis lifted my blouse to the bottom of my bra, I should have intervened when he lifted it further, but if I’d stopped doing Jeanie’s neck, she might have turned and seen.
Anyway, it’s OK if it’s your boy describing Poncho Villa’s invasion, him over my breasts.
“He did it OK?” Jeanie asked when we were done, I hope not noticing me tugging down my top.
As the night was yet young, we headed for La Tortuga, where at the chorus of La Bamba, we all sang along.
Jeanie reached over and undid a button. “So you won’t get so hot.” Down here, everybody shows a little. When she tried to get me to undo another, though, I didn’t let her, as I’d not have wanted Curtis seeing my whole bra.
We did this conga dance where you form a line, holding the waist in front of you. I made sure Curtis was the one behind me so it wasn’t some stranger coming around me every time a crash rippled through the line.
When they dimmed the lights and the band switched to Moon River — Luna Rio, according to my flashcards — Curtis dragged me to the floor, and once we figured out how to stay off of each other’s shoes, we did OK. I don’t know how my second button got opened.
His thigh, however, I couldn’t ignore, but he was just trying to stay in step, and, everyone else was dancing this way. I did my best to not think about the lump, but must admit that maybe I did, it soon seeming more than a lump, my thigh back and forth over him, his more up and down on me. Had he realized how we were dancing was so close to what those around us would later be doing, he’d have been more careful.
I thought it sweet when he drew our hands between us, how everybody else was dancing. If Jeanie hadn’t undone my buttons, however, he’d not have ended up under them. His other hand dropping to my behind and pressing us tighter, I really couldn’t do much about.
I hoped Jeanie’s thumbs-up meant that our dancing appeared OK. If a boy’s going to visit a Cabo club, it’s best with his mother. Likewise, if a mom’s in a place like this, it’s best with her son so she doesn’t fall in with a cartel man and get trafficked. You can keep each other safe.
It was Jeanie’s opinion that at a place like this, passion should carry on after the dancing, he and I should kiss accordingly. So that’s how we did it, a long one, together as we’d been on the floor. I wouldn’t have let him back me up against the wall, of course, but nobody would know it was my boy. Well, his sister would, but she’d not tell.
In keeping with where we were, he got it so that he could most definitely feel me and maybe I used my leg to check him out in return, which Jeanie thought it likewise in keeping with the atmosphere.
It’s pretty exciting in a place like La Tortuga. In leaving, I took Curtis’s arm, what a female does when leaving a club, hoping they think this one’s on an actual date.
In passing an empty cabana, Jeanie thought that as my feet must be tired, we should stop to rest. He could rub them, or maybe my back. And probably we should try a couple more kisses, him owing because he’d stepped on my toes, and me owing because he’d taken me out. She’d not wait up.
But Curtis pointed out that were she to go ahead, she’d be in danger of being robbed, to which she’d given him a withering look.
When we passed our pool and its festive lights, the Harmon/Jantzen four were the only ones present, and while my guidebook said that going topless is frowned upon down here, the two wives hadn’t read the book.