The Valentine Meatloaf

Leo

THE SEX MOTEL next door is offering a Valentine’s discount this week, two hours of heavy breathing and howls for 100 pesos (about $5.50 U.S.), the price of a sleazy hooker in West Virginia. But here it’s BYOP, bring your own partner.

Valentine’s Day has additional meaning for the two of us at the Hacienda. It was on Valentine’s Day in 2002 that I first overnighted with my future child bride in her condo in Mexico City. We consider it an additional anniversary, the other being the official one when we legally married here in April of that same year.

That first Valentine’s was a night I’ll never forget in large part due to the godawful supper she served up. Not knowing my culinary preferences at that point, she figured she couldn’t go wrong with meat. Men want meat! What she plopped on my plate that night resembled a Meatloaf from Hell. And I ate it.

It was dreadful, but we laugh about it now.

My stomach was churning the rest of the night, which rather put a damper on the other activities I had preferred to focus on. Oh, well. It was worth it.

Thinking back …

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YESTERDAY MORNING, after hard work in the yard, I was sitting at the dining room table after second breakfast, cereal. My child bride had returned to her pastry workshop, so I was alone, gazing out the window toward the distant Alamo Wall.

With elbows on the table, I placed my face into my hands, closed my eyes and thought. What a high pile of memories.

Three-quarters of a century of breathing combined with an adventuresome, sometimes reckless personality lead to all kinds of crap, most still alive in the cranium.

Three wives, two countries plus a Caribbean island, two languages, planes, parachutes, motorcycles, hot-air balloons, mind-altering materials, a number of jobs but only one of any duration. I did stick with that, which was good, and why I’m here right now.

Dancing in clover.

I wonder about people who live in a more linear fashion. Finish school, a real profession, marriage, have kids, grandkids, buy a home and stay put for decades. Take vacations every year to places like Paris, then head home again.

Yes, I know far fewer folks live like that these days, but many still do.

I ponder if I would have preferred that. Some moments of my life have been pure terror. Try two divorces for starters. Once I had a small plane spin out of control, but it got leveled off. Once I flew into a cloud bank with no training on how to deal with that. And once I overflew a rural runway and ended up in the weeds.

Drive a motorcycle drunk? Count the times. Other stuff so absurd I’m not even going to share. Yet, there I sat at the table, full of cereal, low-fat milk and chia seeds while my child bride was baking brownies, and the sun was shining in a cool, blue sky.

The winning hand

THIS MORNING WAS cold, so I stayed beneath the goose-down comforter even though I was awake, and it was almost 7 a.m., time to begin the day.

My child bride had not said a word, usually an indicator that she’s asleep because if she’s awake, she’s talking. No matter. I reached over and held her hand.

She has sleek, soft, beautiful hands. It’s one of her finest features, and she has lots of lovely features. Her skin is like silk. I made a mental comparison right then and there between the hand I was holding and the hand of my previous wife.

55438_hand_lgThough, oddly, I do not recall the first time I held my child bride’s hand, I do remember the first time I held the hand of my last wife, the second ex, over 40 years ago. We were walking down Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans.

It’s a big step the first time you hold the hand of a person you’re “seeing.” I remember thinking that faraway afternoon on Esplanade Avenue that her hand was a bit pudgy, which was unusual because she was not pudgy at all. Quite the contrary.

It was not unpleasant, but it was slightly pudgy. I’m guessing it’s a European genetic carryover she brings from St. Louis, Missouri, and, even further back, rural ancestors in Alsace-Lorraine. She was a pretty woman, and she had a spectacular butt, which is likely what caught my attention in the first place.

Men are like that.

But my child bride wins, hands down, in the hands department. She also has beautiful legs. I always wanted to be married to a woman with gorgeous gams, and now I am, even though she’s 59 years old. Legs are the last thing to go, she’s told me.

She has slightly Oriental eyes too, which is not rare in Mexico. Probably has to do with those long-ago Chinamen who crossed the Bering Strait, heading south to better beaches.

But I could not see her slanty eyes this morning in the chill, near-dawn darkness under the goose-down comforter. I could only feel that hand, sleek and smooth.

It was so nice.

Home alone

macMY CHILD BRIDE has gone off and left me, at least till Monday.

She hightailed it this morning at 8 a.m. to visit Guanajuato with two sisters and three nephews. I could have gone, but decided not to, so here I am, abandoned.

But I’m not completely alone because the house painter is here. If I fall down and break a leg or have a heart attack, he will haul me to the hospital, I hope.

The first thing I did after she departed was to enter the downstairs closet, climb atop a frayed, wicker-top stool and clean off the top shelf which harbored junk from many years ago. I’ll toss that trash into a dumpster this afternoon.

I found a machete up there. I bought it years ago, put it on the top shelf and forgot about it. Machetes are scary. Don’t remember why I bought it. Not going to throw it away, however. You never know when you might want to maim someone unpleasant.

At 1:30 I have a dental appointment downtown. I’ll leave the painter here alone while I do that. He’s applying red, waterproof paint to the roof of the kitchen and dining room. After the dentist, I’ll do lunch at a restaurant, then come home.

About 5 p.m., I’ll head out again with the aforementioned trash, pass by the dumpster, which is actually a parked truck, then head to the plaza for my usual afternoon café Americano negro and some down time with the Kindle.

I’m reading a bio of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Don’t tell Antifa.

Later, as the sun sinks beyond the Yuletide-festooned plaza, I’ll hop into the Honda for the drive back to the Hacienda. Only then, I suspect, will my abandonment hit me hard. It will be dark and solitary. I’ll likely eat an egg sandwich instead of the usual salad.

The king bed will feel like a soccer field where I’m the solitary player.

I prefer a team of two.