I’m having a relationship with an iguana who is pretending to be the Buddha. Or the Buddha is pretending to be the iguana. Either way, it’s weird.

This is the iguana who lives on the wall next to my Mom’s house in Puerto Morelos (a/k/a Casa de Colores).

More specifically, this is his head.

To be honest, I don’t actually know if it is a “he”.   Nor do I even know if  it is really an iguana.

But for now, I’m assuming it is a male iguana.

He’s a total peeping tom (see him staring into my living room window?) but I haven’t named him “Tom”.  In my head, his name is “Sue”.

Probably because when I look at him it seems like he might have a lot of issues, not unlike that guy in the Johnny Cash song “Boy named Sue” (“My name is Sue,  how do you do,  motherfucker….”)(OK, Johnny Cash doesn’t actually say ” motherfucker”, but it’s implied… he was super-pissed.)

He’s always like “yeah, I’m an iguana and this is my wall.  Fuck you, transient human beings.”

It’s totally his wall.

He’s been living there for several years.  Maybe a hundred years, I don’t know.  He seems ageless.

Nothing bothers him.  Nothing alarms him.  He doesn’t react to anything.

I can’t win a staring contest with him.

He’s totally focused.  Zenlike.

He meditates a lot.

It’s like he’s mocking my inability to meditate.

He’s all “Oh, look at that human being flailing around and reacting to shit while I just sit here on my wall in perfect, peaceful silence… clearly she has no spiritual life.”

He’s also some kind of ninja iguana.  I can watch him for HOURS and he doesn’t move a muscle, but then if I blink or look away and then look back all of the sudden he’s got like one little leg up in the air.  Just one little green front leg.  Just holding it there.  Acting as if it had always been that way.  No big deal.


He thinks he’s the Buddha for chrissakes.

I’m sure he’s here to teach me some spiritual lesson.

Because God knows I haven’t had any kind of challenges lately.

And of course he is an IGUANA.

Remember how I went to Portland last spring, to Rally! with Havi?   Havi teaches/talks about iguanas kind of a lot. 

In Havi-world, iguanas are the [stupid, crappy, annoying] things you don’t feel like doing.

I didn’t realize how perfect Havi’s metaphor was until I became more familiar with Sue (the iguana.  not my friend Sue, who I’ve never met in person, but who is totally lovely and not iguana-like at all…) 

Iguanas are prickly (and not in the cute hedgehog way, FYI) and scaly and ugh, not cuddly at all. (No offense to the iguana-lovers out there, if there are any, which I doubt….)  Moreover, they stare you down.  You try to go about your life — la di da — tra la la — and there they are, peeking in your windows, invading your privacy and staring you down.  My iguana, Sue, is not even that big, but I’m still totally intimidated by his unrelenting stare.

(Note:  I just opened my back bedroom door and there he is, staring at me from a new place on the wall…Ack!)


To recap.

  • I’ve projected a personality onto this thing that may or may not be an iguana.
  • On one hand I feel he’s pretending to be the Buddha (or the Buddha is pretending to be him….see how that works?) and although I think he is kind of judgy in his Buddha-ness, I also think that I could probably learn a lot from him re: mindfulness.
  • On the other hand, he represents all the shit I am avoiding (little things like my finances, my career, where I’m going to live…) and all the issues I don’t want to deal with, but can never get away from, because, ummm, they are mine.  So they sit out there and stare at me wherever I go, whatever I do.
  • I’m not in therapy right now.


It seems the only good news here is that I’m ACTUALLY WRITING.




p.s.  The non-memorial party for my sweet mommy was amazing.  I haven’t been able to write about it yet and I’m pretending that is because I haven’t received any of the pictures from the party to post to the blog, but that is probably bullshit.  Maybe I’m just not ready.

p.s.s.  In my defense (ha) I had a house full of guests from last Thursday to this past Thursday and all of that was wonderful and also pretty challenging for someone who recharges by being A-L-O-N-E.  I spent Friday completely cloistered in the casa (which was crazy because it was a ridiculously gorgeous day) and then ended up spending most of yesterday at a committee meeting (yes, there are committees here in paradise!) and then with friends, so this is really the first chunk of time I’ve had to write in awhile.

p.s.s.s.  Actually that is all true and also probably bullshit.  I’m sure I could’ve taken some time to write if I really wanted to.  I mean, if  I want my job to be “writer”, then it seems perfectly acceptable to say “hey, I need to go write for awhile” to guests/friends.  Maybe I don’t want my job to be “writer”?  Ugh and Heavy Sigh.


Filed under grief, Writing and Not-Writing

3 responses to “I’m having a relationship with an iguana who is pretending to be the Buddha. Or the Buddha is pretending to be the iguana. Either way, it’s weird.

  1. I once stared down a cow for an unknown period of time. I think the cow won.

  2. Sue T

    “Nothing bothers him. Nothing alarms him. He doesn’t react to anything.”

    So true of metaphorical iguanas, too, they are so annoying that way. Those kinds of iguanas just don’t care if I’m concerned (or freaking out) about whatever I’m not getting done. In my experience, anyway.

    Hmm, it suddenly occurs to me I could use pictures of a real live iguana to post on certain piles of ignored paperwork, as reminders that those piles are currently the most important ones to confront. E.g., “If you don’t care, well I do!” Epiphany! Thanks, Kim!

    Looking forward to the non-memorial pics. Whenever you’re ready.
    Glad you are writing.

    P.S. (blush) (if that was me)

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