When we first met Plastic Trash Man he was wrestling a wild conch atop a post on the edge of the shore in northern Ambergris Caye.
I spotted him as I was walking down the coast toward home and, well, why not, I took a photo. Hey, it was found art on a well traveled path. Or maybe it was just good theater, frozen in time, waiting for a script.
The picture made it into an early April blog post, sharing space with a lizard sitting on top of an abandoned motorcycle helmet.
It was kind of a weird walk.
I traveled that same path about a week later and naturally the conch and Plastic Trash Man were gone.
I did not take a picture of the bare post.
And thought nothing more of it.
Until last week.
Yep, up the same path — there really is only one path to walk on northern Ambergris Caye that I’m aware of. You go up the coast; then you go down the coast. Sometimes the tide is high and you must get off the sodden path for a bit. Sometimes the tide is low and you just keep on walking over a fragile spit of sand, driftwood, plastic trash and seaweed.
It is a far more pleasant experience than it sounds because you also must factor in gloriously swaying palm trees, beautiful coastal birds, shimmering blue-green water and a sky so blue there isn’t quite a name for it. There are lots of iguanas giving you the stink eye, daring you to disturb their sunbathing regimen.
And people. Sometimes you pass people.
There are pale people who have just arrived on the island and look at you warily, wondering if you are about to mug them. There are New York City people who refuse to make eye contact. There are strangers utterly in love with the island and anyone they pass and greet you like an old friend. There are friends who greet you warmly — and locals, who do the same if you make eye contact and smile.
There are boats galore and workers raking the shore. . . .
But back to that previously empty stump.
It wasn’t empty any more. Several weeks later, Plastic Trash Man was back.
An intriguing piece of driftwood had been placed atop the post and it looked like Plastic Trash Man was struggling to scale the slippery heights. Yes, struggling. I never ever said he had super powers. In fact, I’m only referring to Plastic Trash Man as a “he” out of habit and convenience. There could very well be a woman beneath that helmet, gloves and suit.
As much as I wanted to, I did not think it was my place to assist Plastic Trash Man in his struggles up the driftwood mountain. This was, after all, someone else’s theater project. I’ll leave it to that person to determine his fate.
I can’t wait to see what happens in the next exciting chapter of The Adventures of Plastic Trash Man!
Do me a favor, will you?
If you are hiking up past the Grand Caribe Resort and somewhat before you reach the dormant Capricorn Restaurant, take note of any sighting of Plastic Trash Man. Take a picture if you can and pass it on to me. I don’t want to miss a single exciting episode.