HERE I SIT on the veranda, just in from the morning walk around the neighborhood plaza, something I do most days to maintain my boyish physique and high humor.
I am an ideal object of envy. No job. No money worries. My health is good. My wife is young and beautiful. The weather is wonderful. Waffles and maple syrup (100%) await.
Birds sing. Burros bray. Horses neigh. Dogs bark. Hogs oink. All within earshot, night and day. And last night till 2 a.m., musicians howled on the plaza, so we slept with earplugs, something that doesn’t warrant envy, alas.
Hereabouts 11 a.m., the sky is blue and white. The temperature is 69. My utility bills are low, and my grass is high, green and damp. My wives are all alive and my daughter too.
I have no dogs, no cats, no outstanding bills, and both of our cars run smoothly though they could use a wash. It’s the rainy season, a constant battle for self-respecting vehicles.
The waffles are ready now, I’m advised. The maple syrup too, the daily second breakfast around the hour of 11.
It’s an enviable position in which to find oneself.
I LIVED 18 YEARS in New Orleans, which is a lot of Mardi Gras beads, raw oysters and Dixie beer.
Fact is that I’ve seen enough of Mardi Gras. I’m weary of it, but here I am living in the most Carnival-crazy neighborhood of my Mexican mountaintop town.
We don’t have parades that rival the Krewes of Louisiana, of course, but gangs of kids and grownups dress up and move through the streets, sometimes accompanied by trombones and tubas. And, of course, explosions because Mexicans never overlook an opportunity to light a fuse.
And there are huge concerts on the plaza a block and a half away. Every year there’s a concert Saturday night, Sunday night, Monday night, Tuesday night and one year, sacrilegiously, on Ash Wednesday night too. They just could not put a brake to it. They were too jazzed up.
I opened our front gate this morning to let a plumber in, and I found not just the plumber but this group of boys passing by. I had them pose for a photo, so I could share with you.
AS PROMISED yesterday, I climbed atop the kitchen/storefront lavatory and shot these photos. Above is our front street. I went for a Sam Peckinpah effect because I wanted it to look like an old Mexico movie.
Of course, Peckinpah’s actual movies were in color to accentuate the abundant blood flow.
Not much in the way of traffic out there, which is normal. This was photographed yesterday around 10 a.m. Sometimes there are men on horseback, plus the occasional burro.
In the distance, you can see trees on the right side of the street. That’s our local plaza, and it’s just 1.5 blocks away. Earth-shaking concerts are held there about eight nights a year. These events are inspired by stuff like saints, virgins and season change. We sleep with silicone earplugs on those nights.
About two years ago, a big blow, quite a storm, uprooted nine trees in the plaza, about a third of those present. It was never reported as a tornado, but I’m convinced it was.
Doing a 180, you’re facing the sex motel next door. I wouldn’t want you to miss that. You can see into the rooms, especially that first one. Those are the bed pillows. A similar direct view is available from the house’s upstairs terraza, and folks occasionally leave the curtains open, to their dismay if I show up.