Sunday, June 30, 2013
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Help yourself to a cold one, we scraped enough together, after all, for the doce (and a pack of ciggies) and know that what's said tonight, exaggerations or outright lies though they might be, are honest expressions: the world, according to us, in our own words, for the first time and, the way things are going, perhaps the last. On our lips, a smile that is pleading and earnest: there's something I have to tell you, there's something I have to tell you, there's something I have to say.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
"I bet you have nice things at home," she said, "so you can make yourself up and look real pretty."
I muttered a rebuttal, but she wasn't listening. Instead, she fumbled with her haphazardly painted toenails, which squeezed out of her tattered leather sandals.
"Today's my daughter's birthday party. Everybody's going. But not me."
Now she was crying, right in the middle of the park where the only other sounds were that of a few chavalos kicking around a soccer ball noncommittally and the periodic thump of the heavy avocados crashing down from the trees.
After a few moments, I finally asked, "Why?"
"It's at my sister's house. She said I can only go if I show up looking nice...not like this. And..." she wiped her face, looked up from her toes for the first time, and said (in a tone that clearly indicated that this next part was not an explanation at all), "...and I need to bring her a gift."
Sunday, June 20, 2010
After a few false starts, we took the cab to the main bus station in Mérida, took the bus to Chetumal, transferred to Belize City, then caught the next coach to San Ignacio. Total travel time was about 12 hours, the cost was about $30 bucks.
San Ignacio was not like Belize City at all, and I was grateful for that. Perhaps on a sunny day, Belize City is a nice place. But when we arrived, the skies were gray, the taxis unmarked, and the buildings and streets bearing still the wounds inflicted by Hattie nearly half a century before.
If Belize City was necrotic, San Ignacio was cancerous; in that damp stink of the jungle, the plants sprouted and blossomed in an almost exhibitionistic manner. They grew from the ground, from tiny cracks in the walls, and, in the case of the epiphytic black orchid, (the national flower of Belize, pictured at left), from pits in trees, deviating in the most peculiar way towards the ground instead of reaching for the sun as a common flower would.