BACK IN 1999, just before I packed two bags and moved over the southern border for good, an artist and gallery owner acquaintance who sold my stuff in Houston told me he had lived a spell in Puebla and that what most stuck in his mind was the light.
He had the Gauguin eye.
I’m not sure the light is any different here, but at moments it’s more noticeable than at other times. We’re approaching the rainy season right about now, and that should diminish the blinding sun of springtime, which is mostly a good thing.
I need to haul the lawnmower to the shop for servicing.
Tuesday was a breakthrough day for us here in the Plague Year. We barreled down the mountainside to the nearby capital city, and we ventured farther afield than just Costco, which has been our sole destination, along with the Chedraui supermarket, since early March, maybe even late February.
Those two stores are on the relative outskirts of town.
We went to a bank. We went to a Soriana supermarket in a shopping center to buy lemon-pepper spice, which is a nightly salad essential, and we ran out last week. Not available at Costco or Chedraui for some reason. While my child bride was in the bank, I entered a monster mall to buy vitamins at GNC. For the first time, I had my temperature checked with one of those pistol things, and I was declared free of Kung Flu.
The day’s high point was going back to our favorite drowned-taco eatery, Las Ahoganitas where we downed four each, accompanied by the best horchata you’re gonna find anywhere in this life or the next.
On returning to our hardscrabble neighborhood on the mountaintop, we noticed it had rained. Perhaps there is some urgency in getting that lawnmower serviced and running. The lawn rejuvenates rapidly with just a few good gulps of rainwater.
SOUNDS LIKE a chapter title in the Kama Sutra: Oiling the cat.
But it’s something more mundane in this case. The cat — a panther, actually — has posed on our front door for almost 17 years now. And the cat, like kitties everywhere, requires care, something I’ve put off too long.
I cleaned him this morning, the entire door too, and then applied a coat of 3-in-One furniture oil. The cat’s coat was dull before, but now he’s nice and shiny.
Cats like that.
The door design was my idea, and it was made by an artisan hereabouts during the Hacienda’s construction in 2003. There is an identical design on the inside of the door, but not being subject to the elements, the inside looks almost like new.
The inspiration for this was a panther vision I had under the powerful influence of psilocybin in 1997. It stuck with me, and now I see it daily.
MUCHOS MEXICANOS, yours truly included, are incensed at this painting of my father as a raging queen astride a horse with a raging woodie.
That this exists is yet another example of corrupt Gringo culture and mindset filtering south of the border where most of us do not want it.
Shockingly, this painting is on exhibit in the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City where it has been the focus on plentiful protests. Good.
That it sits in the Palace of Fine Arts instead of a privately owned gallery, which would be bad enough, puts the government Seal of Approval on it, which is pathetic, but we have ignorant left-wing regimes now on both the federal level and in Mexico City too.
A CANADIAN who goes by Kris because that’s his name mentioned on another blog today that he does not have a blog because his life lacks events that are sufficiently interesting to merit a write-up. Truth is, you can write about anything.
It’s often not so much the topic but how you present it.
Steve Cotton who lives inexplicably in Casa Cotton in the sweltering, insect-infested, Mexican beach town of Melaque often writes on potentially boring subjects, but his manner of writing makes it interesting. I’ll return to this theme down the way.
* * * *
Steve’s latest post was not on a boring topic. It was a death.
Yesterday, Steve wrote about Ken Kushnir, a first-generation American whose family hailed from Russia and who retired to Mexico many years ago from California with his Honduran wife. Ken died a few weeks ago.
I knew Ken, and I liked him. He was always smiling.
Ken, like Steve, like me, wrote a blog. His nom de internet was Tancho. His is the latest death among a group of Gringo bloggers who moved to Mexico in the last 20 or so years.
Another went by Sparks, but his real last name was Parks. And there was John Calypso who wrote an interesting blog dubbed Viva Veracruz which has been taken offline. Also, not long ago, Michael Warshauer died of cancer. The focus of his blog, My Mexican Kitchen, was, not surprisingly, on cooking and eating. He was a retired baker.
It seems we’re dropping like those proverbial flies.
Ken Kushnir, R.I.P. And, a tad tardy, Michael Warshauer too. Another good guy gone.
* * * *
But back to the topic of blog-writing and how having an interesting life is not required, though it surely helps. A bit of imagination can put, with luck, a fairly engaging spin on most dreary doings. Let’s look briefly at my fascinating day so far.
I noticed recently that the motion-sensor light attached to the outside of our bedroom was not coming on when I walked up the Romance Sidewalk from the most critical direction at night. I climbed a ladder to adjust it this morning. Can’t test it till tonight.
I do incredible things.
(Update: The adjustment worked! Just so you know.)
Also today, I stopped procrastinating about trimming the bougainvillea you see in the photo. It’s one of four bougainvilleas in the Hacienda yard, plants I wish I’d never installed here way back when, about 16 years ago.
I went so far as to skip my customary exercise walk around the plaza this morning in order to adjust the light, trim the bougainvillea and write this blather for you. I did complete my gym routine at 7:30, however. I have a gym set here upstairs, and I use it.
The Canadian Kris (see first paragraph) used to leave good comments fairly frequently here, but he decided to stop when I took issue with a positive comment he made about the communist dictatorship of Cuba. Quite a few Canadians seem to have a positive view of Cuba, incredibly. Commenters come and go. It’s an interesting phenomenon.
Kris is welcome to come back. But Canadians are oddballs.
You never know who is reading your stuff. I recently heard from my daughter after a very long absence. She used to read my website years ago, and maybe still does. And she’d leave comments on rare occasion, sometimes to cuss me out.
Yes, I am a defective dad. As was my father before me.
She said that she’d uncovered some of her paternal grandfather’s artwork tucked away in her home. My father liked to paint. And she noticed for the first time some were reproductions of famous artists. Like my father, I also was an artist of sorts.
About the same time, I received an unexpected email from my last ex-wife. Aside from the occasional birthday greeting, I never hear anything from her, so this was a surprise. She wanted to know why I am a Trump fan. She seemed genuinely mystified, and she asked politely, as most Trump foes do not, so I sent her a reply that went something like this:
Trump thumbs his nose daily at Political Correctness, a movement that is quite literally destroying Western Civilization.
He knows the need for borders, and is doing what he can about it.
He’s fighting the Regulatory State and making headway. I don’t recall any other president even mentioning the growing threat of the Regulatory State. Do you?
My response to her was a bit more detailed on those three points. Of course, there are numerous excellent reasons to be a Trump fan, but those are the three I mentioned.
I also mentioned to her the #WalkAway campaign, a movement of former Democrats like me who have abandoned that nefarious party. It’s most visible on YouTube.
Here’s a thoughtful video by a woman who worked in the Clinton Administration. She states why she’s abandoned the Democrat Party and is now a Trump supporter.
I’ve long wondered if my ex-wife reads my website, so she does. I’ve never mentioned my Trump love directly to her. I invited her to join me on the Trump Train because there is room for her. We do not discriminate. We’re a diverse bunch of cheerful folks.
Some of us make moonshine and marry our cousins, but most do not.
It was strange that I received communication from both my daughter and my last ex-wife in the same week. It’s always nice to hear from them, rare as it is.
I think our chat has come to an end. I probably should pack my bag for Guadalajara.