More bloodletting

Another dark evening in the living room.

There I was again, a diminishing day, Friday, sitting alone, just like the previous evening, on the scarlet sofa while my child bride works out in the gym. I took another photo, but this time I lit the metal masks that adorn the far wall.

Just as Thursday, I am reading my Kindle, trying not to think of this week’s bloodletting. Some will recall my hospital overnight on Sunday. I wish that had been the end of the bloody story, but it was not, not even close. An ear-nose-throat doctor cauterized the blood source in my right nostril before I left the clinic on Monday. She gave little additional instructions, and I thought the problem was solved.

No way, José.

Seems there are two ways to cauterize my problem, chemically and electrically. The chemical method is a lighter touch, and that’s what I got Monday. Wednesday morning arrived, and so did another geyser from my nose, but I’ve learned how to halt it by squeezing the nostrils very tightly together for 10 minutes.

It’s not easy, not fun, but it does work.

I was able to make an appointment with a different ear-nose-throat specialist at a different clinic on that same day. He recommended I do this, that and the other. I won’t go into details because it was a useless routine. Yesterday morning, another geyser of blood flew all over the place while I was sitting atop the bathroom throne.

I phoned Star Medica Hospital in the nearby state capital. I know of a superlative ear-nose-throat man whose office is there. He, luckily, was available three hours later. We ate our biscuits, drank our coffee, showered, dressed, and hopped into the Honda. It’s only about a 40-minute drive down the four-lane highway.

The doctor in question is a graduate of the military medical school, in his case, the Air Force. Military doctors are highly regarded in Mexico, thought to be the best, and if this guy is any indication, it’s well deserved. I’ve used him previously.

He gave me a thorough exam with high-tech, camera equipment, showing me the inside of my nose quite nicely. I also got a tour of my ears, all projected onto a large computer screen. He gave me a nose injection of anesthetic. Then he cauterized the offending nose fountain electrically, but I felt nothing due to the anesthetic.

Since I was there, I requested an ear cleaning, which was done with high-force streams of water. Some gunk fell out of both sides, and I can hear my wife again.

The cost for all this? The peso equivalent of $33 U.S.

I must not fool with my nose in any way for a week. Not going to be easy, but it will be easier than not touching my face, one of the common recommendations to avoid the Kung Flu. Try not touching your face for any time. It’s impossible. But I hope I can ignore my nose.

I’m taking medication and spraying my nose lightly every four hours.

I must do no exercise, so my daily walks around the neighborhood plaza, and pumping iron on my home gym set, are out of the question. I am going to relax. I am going to beat this thing. I’ll have more time to read my Kindle while home alone on dark evenings.

Hoping to bleed no more. This is getting old and depressing.

An evening alone

View from the scarlet sofa.

I’ve been in this house for over 17 years, far longer than I’ve lived anywhere.

As happens most weekdays, my child bride headed off last night to one of the two gyms she patronizes. Last evening, she was at the closer, more elegant, one only about two miles down the road, leaving me home alone like MacCaulay Culkin.

When she left I went outside and watered yard plants with a hose, the first time this season. Then I came inside and sat on the scarlet sofa with my Kindle. I’m currently plowing through a strange book titled Vagabonding Down the Andes by an oddball named Harry Alverson Franck who in the first decade of the 1900s walked from Panama through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and, well, I don’t know how far because I’m only about halfway through the 1,000-plus-page book. The guy must have been nuts, but he writes interestingly.

Did you know llama is a word from the original Inca tongue, and it means simply “domesticated animal”? Before the Spaniards arrived, the llama was the only domesticated animal in the Inca world, so that’s what they called the beast.

There was still some daylight as I started reading, but night fell, as they say, and I did not turn on the living room light because the Kindle has its own light. It got darker and darker. I looked toward the kitchen where a light was lit in the stove hood. The only other light was what passed through glass bricks that abut the stairwell.

I wonder how many more nights await me. It’s an issue as you age.

Saturday morning in the barrio

Abel at work today.

Saturdays are pretty routine as are the other six days of the week, but Saturday morning is when Abel the Deadpan Yardman comes calling with his weedeater. I provide the mower and gasoline for both machines.

Why do I call him deadpan? Well, he can smile. I have seen it, but not often. He’s been cutting the grass and doing the occasional other yard chore for years, ever since I got too shiftless to do it. He has never said a word to me beyond responding to a question.

Nary a peep.

As mentioned some weeks back, he’s more a musician than a yardman, specifically a trumpter with a local noise band.


I did some yardwork before he arrived at 10. I cleared out a small area that was filled with both sweet alyssum and weeds. The latter was getting the better of the former, and they could not be separated, so out they went, the whole little zone.

Next I watered the potted plants on the downstairs terraza before resting on a rocking chair with a glass of green juice and collagen that my child bride whipped up.

The sky is overcast, and it’s cool. says my new Kindle and its cover will arrive today. I hope so. It left San Miguel de Allende a bit after 6 a.m. I don’t know why it was in that Gringo-infested burg since it started its journey my way from Mexico City.

Climbing rose crept into the datura bush.

And that reminds me. There’s a big encampment of people in Mexico City’s Zocalo, citizens who want our megalomaniac president to resign. I hope they are successful. Someone in the opposition PAN party has introduced legislation, or something, to have the president’s mental faculties examined. Makes sense to me. He’s a whack job.

The encampment in Mexico City. Power to the people!

We’ll be having chicken, beans and rice for lunch today. I hope the Kindle arrives soon because I want to go downtown this afternoon and put my feet up for a spell.

I deserve that. I’m verily pooped.

Another move south

For years I’ve been moving my entire life south of the border, little by little. That is to say, if I can do it down here, why should I continue doing it from up there? That is what most Gringos living in Mexico do, it seems. They have many lifelines, or rather that’s how they think of their continued connections to the United States.

Some examples of my American disconnect is that I have no U.S. driver’s license. I have no U.S. bank account. I have no U.S. mailing address if you don’t count a mail drop I’ve kept for almost 20 years in Miami because, at first, I needed it, but I’m needing it less and less, and I anticipate canceling it in two more years. The only reason I need it now is to have a U.S. address on my IRA account at The Vanguard Group, a necessity.

Vanguard had no problem with my correct address here in Mexico till 2014 dawned, and the FATCA law was dumped on us by the inept Obama Administration, a move intended to crack down on drug dealers and money launderers but which hosed retirees living outside the United States more than anything.

Long story short, my U.S. bank, a California branch of Mexico’s Banamex, summarily canceled my account, and Vanguard looked like it was going to follow suit till I provided the Miami address. We opened an investment account at Mexico’s Actinver in my child bride’s name and, to minimize the tax blow, I’ve been transferring money little by little since 2014. I’ll be done next year, and the Miami address can be canceled along with the Vanguard account, which I’ve had for over 35 years.

Another move south? Says the headline up top. It’s a biggie for me. My Kindle committed suicide a couple of days ago, so I went to the U.S. version of Amazon to order another, which is what I’ve done since the dawn of Kindle. I’ve had about five Kindles, plus I also order my digital books in English from the American version of Amazon.

They balked at shipping the Kindle I wanted to my Mexican address in spite of initially saying it would ship to Mexico. Well, darn! I turned to the Mexican Amazon. I knew Kindles are available there, but would I have access to the thousands of English books for sale on the U.S. website? I suspected not. I was mistaken.

So my new Kindle is en route from Mexico City, and it will not only get to the Hacienda quicker, the e-reader and accompanying cover cost less than the same order from above the Rio Bravo even if it had been shipped to a U.S. address. This all puts a smile on my face. Another departure from America and its increasing craziness.

It will arrive on Monday. “Guaranteed!”

Amazon opened its Mexican version five years ago.