Monday, May 16, 2016

Waiting For The Bus

Waiting For The Bus
            “Just think,” my cousin Nancie said, “We are re-creating out lives.”

            I pondered her statement. I decided creation is a vastly over-rated and messy business.

            Take a piece of graph paper. Beginning on the bottom left-hand corner, draw an arrow straight toward the upper right-hand corner. Label this page, “What I planned.”

            Take a second sheet of graph paper. Begin your arrow at the same bottom left-hand corner. No straight line this time. Squiggle and curve it in all directions. Label this page, “What happened.”

            In the background (it’s not Muzak!) the gods, the saints and the angels double over with laughter at my attempt to make sense of my life. Finally, I laugh along with the crowd. If you should see an occasional tear squeak through, well, yes, that too.

            Frankly, I was perfectly contented with my quiet, contemplative, monkish life. Peaceful. Untroubled. Routine. Predictable. Regular. Ordinary. Boring.

            No, no, no! Scratch that last word! I didn’t write that last word! My fingers did it without my input. Contented, I tell you, contented. I figured a couple more years of living in Mazatlan and then I’d move into the Little Rockie’s Home at the Senior Center. Peaceful. Untroubled. Routine. You get the picture.

            I have no idea how I ended up where I am today. I’m a firm believer that everything, and I mean everything, in my life today is a result of a decision I have made. I’m unable to backtrack to this day. It’s not important. I am where I am.

            Where I am today is standing with one foot in a mess of boxes, newspaper for wrapping, and complete chaos in my Mazatlan apartment and my other foot in my relatively empty shell of a house in Etzatlan. What do I keep? What do I throw out? What do I give away?

            Last week I spent two days with garbage bags and trash cans, emptying my new casita, shelves, drawers and cupboards, of the debris of the former owner’s lives. I kept three glasses and two cups. Everything else went to the landfill, twenty-eight years of their accumulated odds and ends. I’ve yet to clean the place, a monumental job when I return with my own odds and ends.

            I hear a familiar voice at my door. “When do you leave for your new home?”

            “I don’t know. I’ll finish packing. And I want to leave the apartment clean. I’m waiting for a third moving bid. I’m sure I’ll go sometime in the next week or two or three,” I say standing in my kitchen with open cupboards, a cluttered counter, full garbage bags on the floor, my hands black with printer’s ink. “I’m dependent on the mover’s schedule.”

            “You are so lucky. You get to create a new life,” my friend said, parroting my cousin.

            I looked down at my dirty hands. My truth is that I am excited and terrified, in fluctuating measures. For reasons I cannot fathom, I seem to have a new lease on life. For today my monkish life is on hold. Who knows what tomorrow might bring my way.

            I wake in the night and mentally pack, re-pack and unpack. Or I design the new wardrobe Josue will build for me. Last night, in my mind, I dug scraggly English roses from the west flower bed (Roses don’t flourish here.) and planted rosemary, oregano, mint and basil. Sleep is vastly overrated, I tell myself in the morning, with my third steaming cup of coffee.

            Meanwhile during the day, I continue to sort and pack, taking my time. In Mexico, in keeping with local custom, I have all the time in the world. After all, I’m waiting for an unscheduled bus.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

March 10. 2016

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