The summer flood

IT WAS A lovely day as had been so many in that time between the Last War and when they let the Islamists in.

The European sky was clear and blue as he sat at a sidewalk table outside the historic bistro with a well-constructed cappuccino and a plate of sweet biscuits.

Water began running in the street, lightly at first, but the stream grew, widened and rose. In short order, he, the table and the chair, which was wicker, were lifted from the swept sidewalk, and off they floated, slowly at first.

Velocity increased, and the waters widened more. Within half an hour, he had passed completely from the large, old city and was floating swiftly through the countryside.

The river was perhaps now a half mile wide.

The water was neither cold nor warm but as you would wish it in a jacuzzi on a soft summer night though it was still day, and he could see the shores on either side.

Over there, all was green. There were tall trees and flowers. He heard songbirds in spite of the distance. The other side, however, was dark and dead, scraggly bushes, toppled trees, and he spotted a hungry beast standing stock still, staring.

coonHe was not the only floater. A wooden raft passed on which sat a frightened raccoon. Other people sailed by in the distance, some flailing but many just floating quietly like himself, perplexed.

Cars bobbed by with water near the windows. People were inside. Some were terrified, but others smiled. One car contained three children alone. It raced by quickly, and moments later he saw it submerge in the distance.

tigerTime grew fuzzy as he floated. He wasn’t much of a swimmer, but he treaded water well, and he felt downright good. He thought about this flood and wondered how it happened without rain.

A tiger floated by.

Ahead he saw a curve in the river. It had been a straight shot till now. The curve grew closer, and around he went with a smile on his face, the well-constructed cappuccino and plate of sweet biscuits being the last things on his mind.

Good and green

summerSUMMER STARTS on June 21, so we’re still in Springtime or, as my Mexican paisanos call it, Primavera.

We step outside each morning with long pants and a light jacket. It will be about 60 degrees. It’ll soar to the mid-70s at midday. Invariably I think of folks I left behind in the sweat pits of Houston and New Orleans.

We sleep at night with only half of one window open to avoid having to pile blankets atop us. We have no air-conditioning, of course, because that would be downright silly. Not much heating either.

Most of the greenery in the photo was planted by me a decade back, and they were just little tykes. When I planted little tykes in Houston, they usually stayed that way or died. I’ve yet to figure that out.

There is some horticultural magic in the Mexican air. You expect that on the tropical coasts, but it seems less likely here on the cool mountaintop 7,000 feet above sea level.

Most spring and summer mornings are similar. I eat a bagel and Philly cheese. I sweep the terraza and pick up the cursed peaches that have fallen overnight from their tree. I wipe dew or rain off the glass table and web chairs that sit on the yard patio, and I hoist the umbrella like a flag.

I take a deep breath, smile and walk back inside to wash the Philly cheese off the ceramic plates we purchased years ago in Dolores Hidalgo. Maybe do a little laundry. Take a shower, get dressed.

Life doesn’t change much. Nor do I want it to.

* * * *

While the above is a typical morning, I detoured a bit today.

At 8 a.m., I was parked outside the little lab downtown as the young nurse opened for business. It was time for the twice-yearly peek into my blood vessels and veins, to see how the old coot is getting along.

I check my cholesterol, blood sugar and triglycerides.

No appointment is necessary, no doctor’s permission. Just show up, fork over 18 bucks (would have been 10 if I’d waited for the sale next week), step into the adjoining room, roll up my sleeve and wince.

The results will be available this afternoon. I’m feeling fine, but you can put in a positive word with the Goddess on my behalf. It won’t hurt.