The big gash in my right big toe is finally healing up. I should have had stitches but that would have meant a visit to the hospital. So instead – after savagely kicking a plastic Coke bottle off my doorstep and connecting mostly with the jagged ceramic backstop – I limped up 3 flights of stairs trailing blood, doused the wound with alcohol, and then secured the floppy bit of flesh with medical tape and paper towels – thereby staunching the blood flow – before returning to the kitchen to finish making dinner.
That’s the preamble. The last few days have been spent mostly keeping the damn thing protected. The wrong knock or errant step could make the once loose piece of flesh floppy again. And that would probably mean an infection. Which would then definitely mean a trip to the hospital, a longer convalescence and the scary prospect of a medical procedure going awry and losing the aforementioned toe. Which would in turn majorly mess with my running. (When it comes to injuries, I am my own worst enemy. And the injuries seem to suspiciously coincide with cocktail hour. Damn.)
But I have still been making the plaza every afternoon from about 1 – 2 pm. I take my Spanish book of verbs, watch all the gorgeous women as they pass through on their way home for their two hour lunch break and sometimes chat with one of the equally dawdling locals.
My favorite guy is a retired chemical engineer from Mexico City. He’s 15 years older than me but we’ve found that we have quite a bit in common. We talk culture, architecture, and literature. His English is as good as my Spanish so we manage to do a bit of language cross-training during the course of a conversation.
Flavio (a Roman name) has a daughter who is a professora of a science at Cal Tech, a great university in California. My daughter is two years younger and is presently wrapping up her PhD in cellular biology; also a science. So Flavio and I have that in common too.
I ran into Markus, a young Italian guy yesterday. I hadn’t seen him in maybe a year. He is a big huarache guy, writes a huarache blog, and is genning up a huarache company. He is a true aficionado. He likes to tell me all of the things I am doing wrong – like Sahara Sandals is a totally wrong name for a Mexican sandal company – but when I ping him on how his sandal sales are going he will only tell me that he hasn’t started the sales side of his business yet.
Today was another glorious day. A dark Mexican roast cup of coffee at sunrise (I had to put on pajama bottoms and a sweater because it was cold this morning on the roof at 7 am). Then I cranked out 500 words (a page and a quarter?) for my second novel. Ate two hard boiled eggs with generous splashes of a fiery hot homemade hot sauce. Then had some yogurt and granola and a second cup of coffee while pounding out another 500 words before lunch.
Lunch was another roll your own affair consisting of using a cold leftover filet mignon chopped up with spring onions, cold left over boiled white potatoes to which I added some mayo, mustard, and sliced radish for an improv on the good old fashioned American potato salad.
Then another 250 words before getting dressed – cargo shorts, pocket-t, sandals, and a thin fleece vest – to head out for my hour long afternoon dalliance in the plaza.
Then back to the casa for more writing. A bit of reading. Then cocktail hour. Dinner. A movie. Then bed.
It’s a good life. No one shouting at me. No other person’s unhappiness spilling over into my life to harsh my mellow. Just a quiet contemplative life with good food and a few beverages. (We could do without any further injuries. But then again to bang yourself up or get a gash from time to time is a reminder to be thankful – truly thankful – for all those other days when you’re healthy.)