Monday, May 16, 2016

Those Evil Twins, Despond and Despair

Those Evil Twins, Despond and Despair
            When I first visited Lani in Etzatlan, she made me welcome, but came close to threats, bribery and mayhem to convince me I should move to her town. Well, Heckle and Jeckle, I had been in Mazatlan only three months. I loved Mazatlan.

            Many trips from coast to mountains later, I caved to wishes, friendships, economics and knavery and bought a beautiful little casita which needs love. No surprise there for what I paid. The house is sound, all the services in good repair. My pleasure lies in making creative cosmetic changes.

            Meanwhile, in Mazatlan I faced the job of sorting and packing. It’s a dirty job made dirtier by wrapping my precious objects in El Debate newspaper. El Debate is liberal with ink.  My fingernails someday will outgrow the black scimitar outlining each fingertip, which no soap will obliterate.

            In five days I packed, but not without sleepless nights and the help of those evil twins, Despond and Despair, who insisted on questioning my every move. One perched on each corner at the foot of my bed, like vultures. “Are you sure you are doing the right thing?” (It’s too late to think about that now.) “You’re getting old to be gallivanting around the country, aren’t you?” (I’m the same age I’d be if I never left the rocking chair, you silly fools.) Then the idiots argued over whether dishes should go in cardboard boxes or wooden crates. (They weren’t the ones packing and hefting.) So went my nights.

Never-the-less, bleary-eyed and limping, I finished, hobbled three blocks up the street to see Sergio, my neighbor who owns a moving service. “When you have a truck ready, Sergio, I’m ready.”
            “Let me check with dispatch and I’ll call you,” he replied. I figured I’d have at least three or four days of leisurely reading, resting and recuperating. I needed time out.

            Bear with me now. I’m trying to make sense of the next two days.

            Nobody makes fun of “Mexican Time” more than the Mexican people. Manana might mean tomorrow or next week or some elusive future day.

            An hour later Sergio called, “Manana.” In my confusion of mixed languages, I heard that the truck would be at my door to load up at midnight the following day. Didn’t make sense, but not much about my life does.

            Carlos picked me up at 9 a.m. next morning to cancel my phone/internet. You have to be there in person. Heaven help if you died.  

Sergio phoned before we left the Telmex office. “The truck will be at your house to load in an hour.” Wait! It’s hardly mid-morning. Hurried back to my casa where I pointed to what got loaded and what stayed. Three strong men cleared my apartment in an hour.

            I called Carlos for more help. “Take me to buy a bus ticket, por favor.” By habit I started to purchase a round trip ticket. Carlos reminded me I was traveling one-way, a moment of sadness.

            The world is full of fools who mouth such platitudes as “some things are meant to be” or “when you’re on the right track (whatever that means), the details simply fall into place”.

            It’s pretty to think that way. I’m from eastern Montana. My life has been defined by good old-fashioned virtues of struggle and survival.  So I’m having trouble making sense of all this.

            At least, I optimistically speculated, I’ll have a few days to rest up before my furniture and boxes arrive. 

            Leo and Ariel met me at the bus. “Hurry. Sergio called. The truck rolled through Tepic an hour ago. It will arrive about the same time we get home.”

            What happened to Mexican Time? I want to know.

            I’ll tell you what, though, those evil twins, Despond and Despair, haven’t shown their ugly faces.

And I’m beginning to be frightened of making a wish. I didn’t want to move my king mattress. No sooner had the thought formed than I sold the mattress. I wanted a small dining table and chairs that didn’t take up “eye space”. I turned a corner and stumbled onto a wrought iron set that’s perfect. Little things like that seem big at the moment.

I used to dream of having an east-facing house. I’m sitting on my patio, basking in the morning sun, watching yellow/orange birds flitting through stunning blue trumpet-shaped blooms. Behind me, a mountain of boxes is piled helter-skelter.

            I’m in Mexico. I’ll unpack manana.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

March 17, 2016  

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