Farewell, my dearest sister, fare thee well:
The elements be kind to thee, and make
Thy spirits all of comfort! Fare thee well.
Shakespeare, Antony & Cleopatra
After the Los Locos parade
A girl of four or five stood at a street corner opposite the fancy hotel crying for her father and the surge of people kept moving past her. She was sobbing, scared. I, too, was about to walk past as I thought “surely her father was nearby,” but I turned around and stood near her. Being tall, I looked over the moving sea of bodies but saw no distraught man who might have been looking for a daughter. Then two Mexican families stopped, talked to her and I felt it safe to move on, as she was with families.
I set out to find La Pulga, a somewhat high-end fleamarket of sorts. Its website said it is held the last Sunday of the month and had a map of its location. The calendar of San Miguel events stated it was held the third Sunday of the month, which is what I remember Carmen as having said. A second map showed a different location. I didn’t find it.
I went to the bakery early and bought two sweet rolls for Marius and Maelis for breakfast as well as bolillos for sandwiches. It was on the way back from the bakery that I passed an elderly gentleman talking to the women who sell refreshments at the corner of Cinco and Las Moras. I said hello to the women as I always do and the gentleman replied with today’s post title – and that put a little bounce in my step.
Then Maelis and I made chicken sandwiches for the family to take on their 4+ hour trip to Mexico City. We made hot chocolate and Maelis and I talked about jacaranda seed pods, horseshoe crabs, her great aunt, peacock feathers, her grand parents, dolls, mayonnaise, how to dye your hair blue, and as many other things an eight year old girl can think of. Marius gave me a peacock feather as a gift. Then we sat outside and talked until the van for Mexico City came, a half-hour early. That made goodbyes rushed and easier, I suppose as the build-up and anticipation were kept to a minimum. It was still difficult … us standing in the street saying goodbye after goodbye.
Sadness and tears came wave after wave throughout the day, much like the rains that started a few hours after their departure and that turned Las Moras into a torrent of water and mud.