I’m flying back to the states in less than two weeks now. I’m anxious to return to Costa Rica even though I haven’t even left.
Why am I leaving the country? Costa Rica only issues 90-day visas for US citizens (I think it’s the same for most other nationalities). I had planned to just take a bus to Nicaragua for the day and come back. However, Zach’s graduation is in early June. So I’m going to the states for a little over a week.
When I come back, I do not yet know where I will be staying. I’m going to move to a different part of the country, though. It’s very likely that I’ll move into a more mountainous region inland. I like the idea of being more isolated.
And here I’d like to say that even though my isolation is sometimes choking the life out of me, I’ve decided to embrace it. Give it a big warm hug and befriend it. Because it’s just the two of us, after all.
I wrote the above the night before my internet connection failed me on the 17th of May. I’m now in the US, wired to the civilized world. That Friday morning, however, Windows automatically installed some updates which managed to destroy my wireless adapter and, in effect, my connection to the outside world. After a couple of days of agitated fiddling and faddling with technical settings, uninstalling and re-installing this, that, and the other, I gave up. I accepted (and simultaneously became unconcerned in the slightest) that my life was now disconnected. I would reconnect when I would reconnect. C’est la vie. Pura vida.
As a matter of coincidence, a few days prior to losing my internet, I had apparently pocket-punched my phone into a lock-out so that I couldn’t use it.
Why not just take the laptop into a shop to get it fixed, Scott? Because I was kind of trapped. I was waiting for a contractor to come out to the house to do some repairs. I had to be there for him. When he would come, I didn’t know. Unfortunately, he never came. Only the rain came, day after day.
So I spent the vast majority of May in relative isolation in Costa Rica. I was solidly down to speaking ten words a day (en español), mostly with the person behind the register at Super La Amistad, the local corner store, when I would quickly run up there. At least, I was down in conversation with others. With myself, dialogue was more free-flowing. Reasoned out loud a bit. Spoke to the birds, the insects, the spiders, and the lizards, advising them on actions to take and locations to move to in order to either 1) keep the balance in our happy coexistence, or 2) to attempt to gain their trust so I could snap a photo. (My attempts to gain trust were pretty much all for naught. I think the animalia in Costa Rica only speak Spanish.) Sang often. Mostly the refrain, “All the monkeys aren’t in the zoo, every day you meet quite a few.” Became bummed that I hadn’t met any actual monkeys.
Venturing out from the yard to even the little green space filled with butterflies just down the road became an impossibility out of fear I would miss the contractor. I was left with myself. And while for a lot of people the thought of spending some time alone with Scott is something that causes butterflies in the stomach, for me it’s a feeling of queasiness.
I’m not going to bother getting into the details of the 50 shades of crazy I turned. But I logically reached the conclusion that, at this stage, isolating myself even further by relocating deep into the mountains for a three-month stretch would be a horrible, horrible idea. It is not what I need to do right now. Though I do know I could do it and it would most definitely be productive from a creative standpoint.
In Costa Rica, one learns that there are numerous expats that are batshit crazy. I think isolation does it to them. The vast majority of expats arrive alone, carving out their retirement or whatever life they’re living. They find each other and they socialize, sure. But ultimately, to some degree, they’re still alone. Humans are communal species. We’re not meant to live in solitude. And while I do enjoy alone time, I truly do love people and being around them.
There were a few positives to my isolation, one of which was that I was able to focus on some much older photos and videos that I had never gotten around to completing. (In fact, were it not for photos and videos of friends and a nearly completely worn out book of short stories from Nabokov, I may have gone more mad than I did at points.) Some videos had me almost in tears of laughter at their absurdity.
Other things happened. I did a good bit of writing on things that were important to me. By hand. I began keeping a more regular journal.
Over the next few days, I’m going to try to catch up on the backlog of media and whatnot. When I return to Costa Rica, I’ll be relocating to Jacó. At least for the next three months. It’s the most logical decision. Not into the mountains. Not now, anyway.