ONE ASPECT of being mostly homebound is that I’m learning a bit more about my ramshackle barrio.
My child bride mentioned this morning that the birds start singing at 6 a.m. and the roosters at 7. Of course, this has nothing to do with being homebound because we’ve always been here at dawn, but I’d never noticed the fowls’ different singing schedules.
Yesterday I mentioned to her that there seem to be a plethora of garbage pickups. She replied that it’s more noticeable because we’re here all day, unlike before. We don’t put our garbage out on the street because that’s not how it works.
Garbage trucks, some municipal and some private, pass by randomly, it appears. They all clang a cow bell to announce their presence. You grab your garbage and rush outside to hand it over and leave a tip. But I rarely use that system. Too much hurry.
It does not suit a lazy man.
When trash accumulates, I toss the bags into the Honda and drive to a spot behind a municipal market on the ring road. A dumptruck waits there from 4 till 6 p.m. It’s primarily to collect trash from the municipal market, but anyone can leave garbage.
The driver/trash collector is a fine fellow, always smiling, who doesn’t seem to mind being a garbage man. It’s an honorable profession, I think. Underappreciated.
I always tip him 20 pesos, and last Christmas I gave him 100 pesos. It occurred to me later that a bigger bonus would have been better, and if I’m alive in December, I’ll give him 200 at least, just for his smile. I detoured from that routine a few days ago, and lugged trash out to a passing truck behind the Hacienda. Another 20 pesos.
This morning was interrupted by a haircut, mine, the second homemade trim in the past few weeks. We have clippers, and I sat on the upstairs terraza while my child bride refreshed my buzzcut. Meanwhile, the full beard continues to grow.
I’ve not sported a full beard in 30 years, just a large goatee, which a late friend told me looked pansy-ass, or something like that. I don’t care. Here’s how full coverage looked 30 years ago, a passport photo.
In my mid-40s and already turning gray.
My father had the same issue, so I inherited it.
I did some nasty business this morning. While my child bride was inside knitting, not paying mind to anything else, I was out in the yard delivering discipline to the loquat tree that has the audacity to start growing again.
It was a major trash tosser before I had it drastically wacked back last year, but like the monster bougainvillea, it’s feeling its oats again. Many of those oats now rest out back in the wheelbarrow. I’m the boss around here.
The neighborhood rhythm today will include green pozole for lunch. My child bride makes superlative pozole. Were we not in quarantine, I would offer you some.
See you down the road somewhere.