Tuesday, May 26, 2015

XIX. Desde el Balcón, la Mañana del Martes

From the Balcony, Tuesday Morning

Doors of the Axixic gallery, with the disconcerting face of
La Mestiza next door. We have yet to figure out if the gallery
has regular hours, or if it's even ever open for business.
Sipping strong coffee, sitting on our balcony our fourth morning in Casa de Luz, we have begun to discern patterns among the more distinctive walkers on the sidewalk across the cobblestone street, in front of the gallery that rarely seems to open. 

The first we notice is a trio of mom with baby in carrier—the infant with the same knitted pink cap as yesterday—preceded by a young boy, perhaps kindergartener by the looks of him, studying a sheet of school work as they all walk east, as far as I can see, along Calle Constitución. Yesterday—Monday—the boy was all decked in white, pants neatly pressed; today, still well-turned out, the pants are black, the short-sleeved shirt red.

A few minutes earlier I had spotted a small, slender woman carefully dressed in an old-fashioned manner with her steel-gray hair pulled back, walking slowly from up toward Colón. Yesterday, she had made the same trip carrying a black plastic trash bag to the mound of basura waiting for pickup on the corner. Today, though, she crossed to our side of the street and turned north up Castellanos. A quarter hour later she returned, looked up at us and returned the smile of my sociable spouse. I had the binoculars to my face, trying to catch a glimpse of what I took to be a mourning dove in the hummingbird tree in the garden behind the gallery, so just caught the tail-end of this friendly gesture.

There are others we will come to know: a made-up and plump-breasted young woman whose ample haunches are tightly encased in black or, occasionally, leopard-skin tights, carrying a to-go cup of coffee as she hurries to work somewhere on Colón; the impossibly skinny man with the Indian face who braves the cobblestones in his bicycle, and is sometimes seen with a twenty pound bag of dog food slung over the handlebars...others to come.

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