How can we know the dancer from the dance?
William Butler Yeats from Among School Children
The days have been warm, the nights cool, typical high-country weather and, except for one cloudburst, there’s been no rain. The casita has been a tad ornery: Sunday I had intended to go to the UU service but the hot water burner’s pilot flame had been extinguished by a breeze, so there was no hot water. You might think I would rough it and take a cold shower, but you would think wrong.
Yesterday there was no water pressure on the second floor of the main house and the casita, and the water pressure was low on the first floor of both as well. Today Jesús came to water the plants and he had plenty of water pressure; there is now no water pressure and/or water in either building. I checked for leaks wherever pipes are visible and there were none. I don’t know whether the house is supplied by city water, by city water and a tinaco (water storage tank), or by just a tinaco that’s on the roof of the main house.
While walking to the supermarket last week I found a bankcard on the dirt near the now-vacant field that was once a campground. The card had been issued by a Mexican bank and, certain that I didn’t know its owner, I thought I’d return it to the bank during a trip downtown. Just before turning it in I looked at the name and saw that it was someone I knew! She’s an American woman of color married to a Mexican. So yesterday I took it to her and she spoke at length about her worries regarding the future for her and her husband, for Mexico, for the U.S., for the world. She said they are likely to close whatever financial accounts they have in the U.S. out of fear for what the future U.S. president might do.
While I was away from San Miguel two women, at different times, rented the casita. The first, who stayed the longest, was annoyed by the school children and the sounds that come from the schoolyard—shrieks and squeals of chases, the shouts while dodging a ball or another child: sounds, as I’ve often mentioned, that bring joy to my soul. These begin about 7 a.m., sometimes serving as my alarm clock. There are recesses during the day which mark the day’s progress and one can learn to distinguish the peals of a mid-morning recess from those later or earlier in the day. So the woman moved on.
The second woman said the casita was too dark, too cold, too … whatever. Two weeks after moving in she wanted to sublet the casita to others through AirBn’B or some such service. The owners said “no” and so I was able to return to the casita. And its quirky water supply.
One or the other of these women left behind a partially consumed bag of cat food, which I surmise was fed to the cats who roam our privada and scale our walls, pee and poop in our gardens and patios, and procreate almost everywhere. The casita’s owners have done a good job of landscaping to make life difficult for these cats—who happen to be well-fed by the owners of a pet supply store at the corner of the privada and Las Moras, so it was another instance of well-meaning norteamericanas interfering with the balance of nature without learning the local rules and habits. Please: no hate mail from animal lovers as I’ve just finished caring for four cats that live at my son’s house.