The place I’ve stayed in Merida is called Casa Bowen. It’s this sort of beautiful, but crumbling old place that I’m guessing used to be a residence. I’ll attach 6 more photos of this odd place at the end of this post, to show what I mean. It’s clean, reasonably comfortable, and definitely a bit eerie… but in a creepy good way. ;)
Can’t remember when I first stayed there. Must be coming up on at least 15 years ago, likely more. And, it’s still pretty much the same as it was back then… just a bit more broken down with some patchwork done to keep it mostly rentable.
Back then there was this burly Mexican man who was kind of suave with a deep gravely voice. The owner rarely made himself visible, but we ran into each other every now an then, especially when he started caring for his elderly mother who still lived on the premises.
A few years ago I started noticing that he never seemed to age. I mostly wrote it off to good genes. After a few more years he not only didn’t look like he was aging, but looked as if he was actually getting younger! Very odd.
Hadn’t seem him in the last few years, and learned his mother had passed away. Until this last time, he was there. I tried to get his attention when he was emptying the garbage or squashing plastic bottles to recycle. Each time he’d scurry off before I could get to him and say hello. Mostly I wanted to see if he was aging or getting even younger… Dorian Grey style.
When I finally caught him by surprise I was taken aback. Indeed, he looked like he was aging in reverse. I studied his hair that was very coarse, but mostly looked real. Searched for evidence of surgery or makeup. Nope. No clues whatsoever.
We chatted some small talk for a few minutes, but I was having trouble finding words due to the distraction of his appearance. Finally, I asked him if he remembered me from like 15 years ago… thinking that maybe I was confused and this wasn’t the same guy. Maybe a younger brother? But no, he confirmed that he knew me from way back and thanked me for my continued patronage of Casa Bowen. So strange.
During the few days prior to this encounter I heard what sounded like an old woman screaming and it sounded like it was coming from the room below mine. Each time I passed that room to climb the stairway up to the second floor, I hoped I’d catch a glimpse. The door looked like it had extra locks on it too.
The same day that I finally caught up to the proprietor, later in the afternoon, or maybe it was closer to twilight.. I heard the screaming again. Only this time the door was open and the proprietor was in the room with an old woman in a thin white smock and a black eye patch. She was wailing again and he was yelling at her. I couldn’t tell if it was aggressive, or just that maybe she was nearly deaf and he had to yell in order for her to hear.
He glanced back at me in the foyer looking and quickly shut the door and bolted locks. Again… so strange.
I saw the old woman sitting in the foyer the next day on a weathered leather covered sofa. She was just sitting there in the same basic thin smock of a dress and sporting the same black eye patch. When our eyes met she simply smiled and said, “Buenos Dias”.
Some places I’ve stayed are often conducive to bizarre and vivid dreams. For me, Casa Bowen is one of those types of places. I don’t know if it’s ghosts, or the experiences of past guests that are kind of etched into some kind of ethereal memory. If you sprinkle in some odd daily occurrences, the imagination can really get going in full gear.
That night I dreamt that the old woman was really a teenager that the proprietor was really centuries old. He was keeping her locked up and sedated while he drained off some of her blood, or youth essence so that he might continue his immortal aging in reverse. He hoped to finally become once again… unborn.
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