On a tip from Pat, at seven thirty this evening, Alan and I pile into a pulmonia and tell the driver – “Dolphina’s por favor …”
We are taken, for fifty pesos, to distant communication towers rising into the sky to the south of us. During the daytime these towers are unlit and stick up like red toothpicks waiting for a green olive. During the night their flashing red lights serve notice to drunk ship captains that land and rough rocks are waiting if they don’t leave women alone at their helms.
We don’t know where the dolphins are but you have to trust your driver in a foreign country. Our driver is a short man with glasses and a military haircut. We round the south side of a rock fist, partially hiding the towers, and see dolphins illuminated on the Malecon.
“When you go back?,” our taxi driver asks.
“I pick you up.”
The dolphins are spectacular with lights and jets of colored water sprayed the length of the pool. Mexican families are posing for pictures and street vendors are cooking by the roadside. A kid dressed in a clown outfit entertains a loud attentive crowd by the dolphin fountain. His shoes are ten sizes too big and he wears a little green bowler hat that goes with the bold colors of his green outfit. The audience laughs at his chatter and that is his claim to fame. If you can’t hold your audience you have to get another line of work.
Seeing another crowd forming, we walk towards a tall rock by the ocean’s edge and watch a young man walking on top of a fence railing .
An English speaking Mexican promoter jumps on a wall in front of us and introduces his friends – cliff divers traveling to Acapulco.
While he promotes, a second tiny diver ascends stairs to the top of the rock, takes the single torch from his friend already there and lights another for his left hand. He then walks on the fence railing using both torches to guide his way. He creeps to the edge of the railing, stops and balances himself, then finally jumps out into space, holding his two arms out with a torch in each hand.
He disappears into the dark water, out of our sight. We look for him to surface but don’t see him as the crowd disperses when the dive is over.
The next time we see this performer, he is wrapped in a towel on the street asking for donations from a busload of gringos.
True to his word, our taxi driver is waiting for us when we start looking for him.
Divers and dolphins, on the same night, is two for the price of one and a reliable taxi driver, in Mexico, is almost an oxymoron.