I’m always surprised, but not really. Deep inside each of us must be an insatiable need to be heard. Researchers say women tend to use about 20,000 words a day and men around 7,000. I suppose life circumstances either help people use up all their words every day or leave them with a surplus. I ran into a man this morning who was either trying to get all his in before noon or had spent yesterday mostly by himself and had some left over.
I was heading back to the room in Cabo San Lucas after a sunrise walk on the beach with coffee. It’s not hard to remember everything there is to be grateful for in a setting like this. I usually take the stairs on vacation so I can justify everything I eat and when I rounded the corner in the stairwell I looked up to see a man with an excited smile, “Hola! How’s that Spanish?”
“Good job,” I answered. “Buenos Dias.”
“Wow,” he said seriously. “That’s really good.” I felt like this was a set up for Candid Camera.
I started for the next step and he said, “How long are you here for? When did you arrive? Isn’t it beautiful here?” I didn’t know which question to answer first so I literally said, “Branson, Missouri, Monday, and yes.”
I smiled and before I could put my foot on the next step he said, “We started coming here in ’04. I was widowed for 9 years and my kids thought I would never remarry. I shocked them. I wish I knew an easier way to get to stay in the building we want to stay in. If I have to grease someone’s palm with a little money then so be it. My wife can’t stay above the second floor. She has vertigo and migraines. Her migraines never really go away. She's had several husbands. The last one was an alcoholic and she tried to help him dry out but it just didn’t work.”
I most likely at this point was in a blank stare. Trying to figure out how to leave without being rude I said, “Well you have a wonderful day and turned toward the next step.”
“Say, do you know about Villa Serina? You go down the highway to the first place you turn over the bridge or maybe it’s the second one, no it’s the first one. Anyway if you make it to the P Mex you’ve gone to far. Go down to where it says trailer park and restaurant and follow the signs. You won’t be sorry, the food is great. Then there is Momma Royale’s downtown. Best breakfast you can find. In the evening it turns into Felix,” he said.
What kind of a place would that be I wondered, mentally picturing a man on a ladder changing the neon sign at 5 o’clock? “Well, gotta run. Have a good one,” he said and disappeared down the stairs.
I stood there for a minute to let my brain rest. I had just encountered a man who had used more words faster than any woman I’ve ever talked to.