I live in a treehouse of sorts. I am just realizing this as I’m wanting to describe to you, my dear reader, what my little casa looks like. You know how some tree houses require a ladder, perhaps with uneven steps and questionable strength? The stairs I climb to get to my second floor abode are outside and questionable. Not questionable in strength, but questionable in safety. There are 20 steps, about four feet wide and there isn’t a railing on either side. It’s high up, I’d be at eye level with Tarzan if he lived in a tree here. The stairs freak me out, especially because the lock to my door often sticks and I have to put my entire body into turning the key. I unlock it with a series of pushing and jiggling motions, the key is slightly bent from my Herculean efforts. It’s almost as though, whoever built the stairs got tired of the whole endeavor and didn’t bother with safety aspects. It was probably one of those hot days here where slightly wiggling one finger causes your entire body to bathe itself in sweat. So the stairs were done and it was just too hot to bother with a railing. There are a lot of stairs of this caliber here though so I think perhaps it is the norm.
There are several large, green, lush trees lounging about the yard. Two palm trees stand guard near the gate like a butler welcoming you home. There is a big hibiscus bush currently with only one bright red flower. In the center of the yard is a huge tree, maybe ficus, but I’m not sure. Tropical philodendron-ish plants climb up this tree, vining around the trunk. There are flowering trees all over Tulum with bright fuchsia flowers but I don’t know the name. One grows next to my window so I have a nice bough of fuchsia greeting me when I open my shades every morning. Thick branches hang over the roof of my room so even on the hottest days my space actually remains cool and four windows on the four walls creates a cross breeze that is necessary. When it’s not noisy out, which is very rare, I can hear the wind weaving through the trees and it’s comforting.
(Side note- Tulum is noisy. On par with New York City kind of noisy. Allow me to list the sounds I hear outside my window on a 24 hour basis. We’ve got roosters crowing and chihuahuas barking next door and across the street sometimes for an hour at a time. Every day I silently wish spontaneous combustion on those pesky diablos. There is never a lack of loud music. In fact, just this morning I had the pleasure of hearing Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” which caused me to reminisce about the hit movie, “The Bodyguard.” If Kevin Costner could save her in that movie can he save my sanity from high pitched, incessantly barking dogs? There was a fair going on here for almost two weeks several blocks from where I live. Live bands rocked the town every night and the concert felt as though it took place in my room. My mattress shook slightly with the sounds of the bass. Cars with speakers on the roof blare advertisements with annoying Spanish jingles as they drive slowly down one street and up another. Men on bikes with carts selling bread squeak a cartoon-like horn nonstop. Then there are other men hawking some other kind of food and I can’t understand what they are saying but it sounds eerily familiar to the line, “Bring out your dead,” in Monty Phython’s The Holy Grail.)
My little home consists of an extremely uncomfortable bed, probably 40 years old with every spring digging into my very bones. The icing on the cake though, is that it’s bowed in the middle. When I sleep on my back I sleep at a slight angle towards the middle of the bed. Imagine when you accidentally set your tent up in the woods on a small incline unbeknownst to you until you crawl into your sleeping bag and it’s far too late to rearrange your whole camping situation. That’s what it’s like. Except instead of the sounds of the great outdoors lulling me to sleep, someone close by is blasting shitty techno music. I have three blankets folded lengthwise under me to ease the pain of the springs. It either works to a certain extent or I have just gotten used to it by now. I attempted sleeping on the grey and blue hammock strung up across the room but it reeks of mold so that lasted for about five minutes my first night here. I also can’t figure out how to sleep on my side on a Mexican hammock without having my head and feet higher than my midsection and feeling like the position I’m in is just fundamentally wrong for sleeping. Sleeping on my stomach on a hammock is out of the question. You’re body forms the shape of a skydiver, belly low and appendages high. How one sleeps in a hammock remains a mystery to me. It now lays in a pile on the floor folded into itself to collect more mold in the humidity. A pungent present for the next renter.
A small couch made out of wood and leather is next to the dark wood door and in front of a sliding glass door that leads to nothing. Perhaps a deck will be built at some point? The couch is also really uncomfortable, most likely because the “cushion” is just a folded up rug. Next to the couch is a little table made out of wood, the top is literally a slice of wood from the tree. There are lots of tables like this here, I love this bringing of outdoor objects indoors. On top of the table is a piece of purple reef that you can find in a lot of places along the beach. Two cider blocks hold a board for a makeshift table with a brightly colored cloth covering it. A lamp sits upon the makeshift table and it is the only light source in the room. It’s a soft amber light which is wonderful until I read a book before bed and have to wear a headlamp because my eyes are so bad in dim light. I never thought the day would come where I would need a lamp and headlamp to read a book, but it has and it causes me slight concern. Two shelves hold my clothes, jewelry, books and camera. I have my own bathroom, which is convenient as my bladder is the size of an apple seed. Better the bathroom be in my room than having to walk up and down the stairs in the middle of the night, praying I don’t fall off the edge.
The shelves are on a little partition wall providing a corner of privacy where the sink and bathroom are. Since I live by myself, I don’t require privacy from anyone, however, you can see into my room from the street so it’s a barrier from prying eyes down below. And I worry abut these things because I am that girl that looks into other peoples windows at night when their lights are on. In my defense I’m not a creeper, I like to see how people decorate their homes. And if your lights are on and your curtains are open you’re asking for it! I have a blue and white tiled counter and sink. It lends a certain charm to that corner. Across from the sink is a step up into the bathroom. The walls are a brick red, the floor has white and light green tiles and the door to the bathroom was built for hobbits. It’s fine when you step up into the bathroom but when you step down, unless you are a hobbit, you whack your head violently on the frame. Many headaches and swear words accompanied me out of the bathroom my first week of here.
In the middle of the room, hanging from the ceiling is a ball made out of what looks like hemp, it’s looks like a big ball of yarn missing its innards. From the ball hangs a brown and white feather. Because I collect feathers, I took it as a good omen when I first saw the room that I should rent it. As I sit on my bed and look around, I know I can be content in my little treehouse for a few months. Uncomfortable bed and couch, treacherous staircase aside, it’s good enough for the winter.