The silk scarf

JAECI MASHED the mushrooms into the river water with a smooth stone, and he drank.

He was wearing a white silk scarf he’d found years back in the jungle near where he sat this evening on a rotting kapok trunk astride the border between Brazil and Peru.

With the scarf he looked as if he’d be sitting in a P-51 cockpit instead of atop the old kapok as night fell.

He waited.

Moments later, he fell off the tree trunk and thumped to the ground as an unseen hand pushed the throttle forward, and he rumbled down the taxiway.

On reaching the far side, he veered left or right, saw the runway straight ahead as the throttle touched the end stops. The engine roared, but it was not a P-51 after all.

It was an F-22.  As it rose off the runway, Jaeci felt the tires fold into the wheel wells, and he smiled. The silk scarf whipped in the wind.

If only he possessed a pilot’s license.

He felt a stag beetle creep across his left leg just seconds before he became a black-winged heliconius.

An utter calm

Fan palm towers behind the sour orange bush.

ROUNDABOUTS noon on a spring day is the perfect time to sit in the yard with an electronic book.

If the natives have nothing to celebrate, which happens often enough, you’ll find a smooth calm. The air will be cool. The sky will be blue. The breeze will be blowing stiff enough to wiggle the wind chimes hanging in the nearby veranda.

Bottle brush

At this hour the hummingbirds will be dining about the bottle-brush tree and so will butterflies. Sparrows will be chirping.

I’ll be sitting in a mesh chair next to the glass-top table, and I’ll be shaded from the sun, which grows a bit brutal in spring, by the big brown umbrella. It’s a good mix altogether.

Two things might disturb this scene. One is that I doze off, which is common, no matter how engaging the book. This does not affect the calm. It simply renders it moot for moments.

The other is that a freight train will blow by, but this lasts no longer than 60 seconds, and the calm returns. The butterflies and hummingbirds don’t seem to notice.

Even on a calm spring midday, I like the passing train especially since it’s brief. It sounds of vagabonds, a life that appealed back when I was very young.

This midday peace is broken when my child bride comes out of the house and says she’s ready to go to the restaurant.

She looks very pretty.

Twelve things

  1. After two miserable weeks, my cold finally cured itself, and I’m my usual vigorous self. I wonder if these things hang on longer as one ages. Probably.
  2. An insane woman has been walking our neighborhood for a year or two. She seems to be in constant motion, and at times she lets out an angry, blood-curdling scream.
  3. We’re deep into miserable Springtime. Campesinos set fire to the countryside, an annual event, and black soot descends on the Hacienda. It’s a constant sweeping challenge, and sweeping soot is like herding butterflies.odds&ends
  4. We have two definite restaurant days: Thursday and Sunday. That doesn’t mean we can’t eat out on other days too because we can, but we usually don’t.
  5. There is one exception to No. 4, but I don’t really consider it eating out. It’s more of a convenience. On Saturdays, my wife is quite busy baking for her afternoon pastry sale. Before we head downtown with the goodies, we eat roasted chicken at a very humble place near the Hacienda.
  6. Heidi Cruz won’t be First Lady next year. Dang! Seems the Slovenian hussy will be. Or Slick Willy. Lordy!
  7. Former Mexican President Fox said nasty stuff about Trump a few months back, but now he’s apologized and invited Trump to Mexico to get to know us better.
  8. May is the final month to prepare the yard for the summer deluges. I’ll be hiring Abel the deadpan neighbor in a few days to cut and haul lots of stuff away. I want the yard in fighting trim before the floods arrive.
  9. Spring is the only good season for short-sleeved shirts. My pants, however, remain the same all year. Blue jeans.
  10. I’ll be 72 this summer. I’m noticing an occasional unsteadiness in my walk, wobbly-like. This is relatively new, and I do not like it one little bit.
  11. With every passing year, I like Mexico more. Not having been in the United States for seven years now, and not having lived there in 16, I’m forgetting what Gringo life is like. From what I read, perhaps that’s for the best.
  12. According to an article in The New York Times, bilingual people are less likely to get goofy with age. ¡Bueno!