The morning bird

Our mornings do not vary, but they have varied from, say, a decade ago when I would depart bed in the dark around 6 a.m., leaving my child bride in place, sleeping. They say that as one ages, one needs less sleep, but I’ve gone in the other direction. Perhaps it’s just laziness. I’m in bed now till after 7, and we get up at the same time.

I go into the living room where I slip my feet into the Crocs that I always leave in the same spot the previous evening. I continue to the kitchen to take biscuits from the fridge and place them at the ready inside the mini-oven for a hour later.

I take grounds and filter from the coffeemaker which cranked up at 6:30. I put plates on the table. I pour a glass of water, and break off a piece of ready-made toast, the kind you don’t normally find above the Rio Bravo in supermarkets, or at least you didn’t decades ago. Maybe you do now with so many of my new paisanos lurking there.

Today, looking through the window above the kitchen sink, I saw a solitary bird, just sitting. He was on the Garden Patio roof. I walked into the living room to get the Canon, thinking he’ll be gone when I return, but he wasn’t. He was waiting for me.

I took his photo. It’s not a black-and-white shot. It’s color. That was the color at that early moment on this chilly, July day.

This is Smoke Street

Smoke is a major downtown drag, but it doesn’t seem so in this photo. Of course, the street does not have an English name. The real name is Calle Ahumada, which means not Smoke Street, but Smoked Street, one letter more. I prefer the name with one letter less.

Smoke Street. It has a certain pizzaz, redolent of sin and vice or Comanches cooking  jerky after a hard day on horseback.

Scalping the palefaces. And hauling their women to the teepees.

This is the traditional main drag coming into downtown. You can also get to El Centro by hanging a right on the Libramiento outside Bodega Aurerra, but entering via Smoke Street is more fun.

Smoke Street is not very long, and there is far more vehicular traffic than pedestrians. Before it becomes Smoke Street near where the slaughterhouse once was, it has another name: Lázaro Cárdenas.

And after Smoke Street gets to the Plaza Grande, it becomes something else again, name-wise, but you can get your map out if you want to follow its route past the plaza and up the hill.

Businesses along Smoke are mostly not for tourists. There is the phone company, a beauty parlor, a well-off lawyer, a barber shop. Eateries that foolishly open on Smoke usually go up in smoke.

As you can see, there is no parking on Smoke because it’s too narrow. Folks do it sometimes, crunching the curb, causing problems, but it’s not a viable parking option for more than a minute or two.

There once was an Italian restaurant with a genuine Italian chef. But it shut down years ago. It had really good pasta.

And you can see the unimaginative color scheme, red and white, stamped in the local legal code. I find it boring and prefer the rainbow colors of a place like San Miguel de Allende.

But this is Smoke Street — dressed in red and white.

Plants, birds & plugs

This morning.

After assaulting three arrogant bougainvillea bushes and two of their allies with sharp clippers early today, I rested on the downstairs terraza, atop a rocker, and enjoyed what remained of the morning. As I sat there with a juice my child bride had made, a black-vented oriole landed on the edge of the birdbath for a sip. I did not have my camera.

He flew away.

I remained on the rocking chair. A few minutes later he returned for more water. I still did not have my camera. I cursed my luck. He flew away. I remained on the rocker. A few minutes later he returned and sat on a bougainvillea near the birdbath. Still, no camera. I cursed. He flew away. I stood up and grabbed the Canon which was on a table just inside the front door. I sat on the rocker again. The bird never came back.

Also this morning.

Spring has been strange. After about a week of warmer, stuffier weather, which is normal for spring, it changed its tune and got cool again, so my wife caught a nasty cold three days ago because she was dressed at night for a normal spring. She’s feeling better today.


And now, a plug

Few passersby notice, I think, but there is quite a list of links nearby to other fascinating elements of The Moon. It’s to your right on a PC, but I suspect fewer people use PCs these days, favoring phones and tablets where those links are less obvious.

One in particular that ran as a series here years ago but now has its own website is The Old Marbol, which is the name of a hotel in Dark City. Many strange people work at The Old Marbol, people like Billy Lancing who’s a red-headed negro; Lenny Slick, a dim-witted desk clerk addicted to phrenology; Maxence, a retired mercenary who loved Chloë Jomo-Gbomo; and Beauregard Lee Johnston, a gay guy from the Old South.

Most importantly is Kristanbel Wasoo who was born bad, beautiful and heartless. She loves dark ale and bloody roast beef sandwiches. She murders people. Here is a full cast of characters. I used to write short fiction, but I have stopped because my well ran dry.

But the Old Marbol Hotel lives on in Dark City.

Good Friday road trip

Dishwasher in the restaurant.

We took a drive this afternoon and ate in one of our favorite restaurants on the northwest side of our huge, high-mountain lake. I had a plate of fried shrimp and my child bride ate mojarra. She deemed it great, but I never order things that come to me with eyeballs.

The restaurant overlooks our lake and, as we were leaving, I took this shot.

There are worse places to live.

Returning to the Hacienda, about a 30-minute drive on a two-lane, rural highway, we passed some interesting places. Outside a town called Tzintzuntzan — can you say that? — is a business of stone-cutters. And then farther on, a business that sells wood stuff. It’s fun to look at these things and see how imaginative people are, especially the stone workers.

Now that’s a lot of rock. This shows about 15 percent of what’s there.
Not sure I’d want this fellow in my yard, but there’s someone over his right shoulder who’s praying for him. This guy looks like I felt when Trump “lost” the election.
Wood, wood, wood! I like wood, but I like stone more.

There are lots of these types of businesses in our neck of the Mexican woods. It’s one of the many reasons to live here. Plus big plates of fried shrimp and mojarra.