The final fan

art

ESTEBAN URBINA has died. He was the face of our town. His deadpan mug appeared in art galleries and on murals.

But, more than anywhere else, on the sidewalk, hawking.

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Urbina fan

He made a living — loosely speaking — by selling straw fans on the streets.

Though I’ve watched him for many years and even purchased a couple of his wares long ago, I only wrote about him last September in a  post simply titled The fan man.

If his fame ever earned him a single peso, you couldn’t tell it by looking at him. He always looked precisely the same, like he’d awakened in the morning next to a garbage dump, reached in the pile for his attire, dressed and headed downtown.

The sombrero says it all. See below.

He reportedly died of a heart attack. His age is unknown although I read one report that he was 104, which is patent nonsense. Due to  his disheveled physical and sartorial state, his age was hard to guess. I’d put him between 65 and 75.

Years ago, he was followed around by a younger fan vendor who resembled him in attire. It likely was a son. And the son was only a slight bit less unkempt. I have not seen the son in a long time. Maybe he went on to better things.

Perhaps he’s sporting a coat and tie in Guadalajara and selling time-shares or pork futures.

Urbina will be missed. R.I.P.

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Esteban Urbina, ????-2016.

Dying to music

noteWALKING THROUGH the living room the other day, the FM station was playing a nice classical work, and I thought, “That would be good to die to,” and I envisioned falling forward onto the ceramic floor, dead as that doornail.

I was in a good mood when the thought struck me, and dying in a good mood is desirable. Dying to music is common in movies, but I wonder how often it happens in real life. Not much, I think.

A sudden death, which is how I want it, would reduce the chances of dying to good music, something that likely requires planning. Which is best? Dying suddenly to no music or a prolonged demise to good music. The sudden death wins out because you want to go fast, music or not.

Good mood, fine music, healthy and sudden. That’s how I want to sail away. Of course, a sudden death contradicts the notion of healthy, but let’s imagine it was an unknown heart problem that brought down the curtain. Just thinking you’re healthy till the final moment is enough.

But if a sudden death isn’t in the cards, I would like some good music playing on Departure Day. Kitaro’s Light of the Spirit is the top pick, something I’ve loved since the late 1990s. Downing some ecstasy and turning on that Kitaro tune is a religious experience in itself.

Try it. You’ll see.

A close runner-up would be one of a number of songs by the appropriately named Dead Can Dance. A real standout is their Host of Seraphim, a fine piece to shuttle you off into that distant space where resides whatever God or Goddess you put your money on.

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(A close runner-up to Host of Seraphim is Yulunga. About the 3:18 mark on the video, it moves into high gear visually, going multicultural in a spectacularly fine way.)