At dusk, I descend into the lake and begin the swim across as part of my day’s workout at the forest retreat. A seemingly feasible task at first, the waves become larger and more ocean-like at the half-way point, where to my despair the other bank looks as far away as it did when I began. Turning around, I am much more overwhelmed by the current and worry I won’t have enough energy to make it back. (How did those guys in Gattaca do it?) Yet, at dawn, I finally reach calmer waters and see the sign welcoming people to the area. It is the only visible manmade object in the grove of Joshua trees, which point towards an inlet where I can beach.
Once I arrive at this beach, a white smart car, driven by a yuppie-ish twenty-something white male in a blue polo, is driven right into the water and enters an amphibious mode to navigate the Bay of Tamaulipas. As he makes way out to sea, he says something to the effect that he is on a journey to discover himself. Exhausted, I make my way inland and surmount a steep embankment consisting of very fine bleach-white sand. I see my friends off yonder gathered near a circular arrangement of marble benches.
The President is holding a community gathering here in order to hear the public opinion about the crises in the Middle East. He shakes the hands of the two friends on my right, and as he seems to acknowledge that I’m here with an expression of disappointment, he does not shake mine, and enters a reclined position as the first testimony is given. This one comes in the form of song, recorded in Arabic by the friend to my left and played from a Walkman. The embellished crooning takes a life of its own and fills all of our ears with the despotic injustice being experienced by his family. The President is not impressed and ask for the next statement.
The second testimony comes from the Hispanic friend on my right, also in the form of a song, this time recorded in Spanish. It is played from a device that has a switch that can transition the music into the English language. This performance is not as well-produced, and my friend’s embarrassed face seems to acknowledge this. This does not help our leader’s continued disinterest in the public inquiry, forced upon him by his PR committee…
I drive the dark blue BMW above eighty miles an hour on the far right lane on the 91, paying no mind to the concrete barrier that could potentially cause major damage to the façade at the slightest misstep in steering.