IT RAINED LIKE a motheroo last night. I awoke at 2:30 to the pounding of horizontal water, thunder and my child bride closing the bedroom window.
The rainy season got off to a spotty start about 10 days ago. It blew in big-time one evening, then rained two or three times more. Then nothing for six or so days. Till last night.
I went back to sleep, but awoke about an hour later to the near silence of a calm sprinkle. I got up to open the bedroom window again. Then back to dreamland. It was easy. The air was cool.
Just before 7, I opened my eyes to a gray dawn through the window and the gonging church bell on the plaza 1.5 blocks away.
Someone had died. Death is marked here in the barrio by a slow, dismal gong that continues for hours, often all night long, and it’s done manually. A guy is up there in the bell tower pulling the rope about once every 10 seconds.
Not an enviable task.
Sitting down at the dining room table for bagels and cream cheese at 8, I saw the downstairs veranda under a lake, water that had blown in from the storm. The upstairs terraza had a lake too, but a far more modest one, so I decided right then to install at least one more canvas curtain up there, closing four of the five sides.
The sort of storm we got last night, blowing so much water into the two terrazas, is rare. Last summer it only happened two or three times during the daily, five-month monsoon.
Less rare is a neighbor’s death and the slow gonging of the announcement.
Not being a Catholic, nor even much of a barrio participant, I will not get a gong when I die. That’s too bad. I would like that sort of sendoff, especially if accompanied by lightning, thunder and flooding tears from heaven.
Drama and death suit one another.
I wonder if it will rain again today.