Notes on Noroeste / Measuring time

I’ve lived here long enough to see retama seeds spitting out of their pods again. The hottest days, a crinkling sound when they’re ejected. All different ways to measure time.  Julio’s starting to do the old dog sign for happiness.¹  Admiring his new ability to lie down and rest anywhere. I lowered Micael to him for a good sniff but he limped off  behind the futon. It’s alright brother, we’re all relearning our places, always. The other night Lau and I fought until we realized we hadn’t actually talked in 24 hours.  No need to mention laundry / diaper / sleepless-night cliches. After we shifted to just talking I realized there’s no word in English for that point in a fight where both people return to ground level and suddenly remember: what did we have to get done again for tomorrow?

The next morning Layla said something about a raton. I followed her out. Its body was in the crook of the wall. A long rat tail, no head.  Muchacha got him; it’s just what cats do. They’re hunters.  Felt grateful for shovels and soft ground. Layla saying chau chau lindo raton.

Later at the carpa we saw clowns from Buenos Aires. I went for seats up in the bleachers, somehow knew they’d be pulling people onstage. It had been raining all day but wasn’t then. I wanted it to hear rain on the circus tent. Micael looked up from the baby sling in hyperpresent-tense. Layla wanted to climb to the top row. Watch out baby it’s a long way down. I Put my arm around her and noticed someone had sharpie-d the word NOROESTE on an orange patch above our heads.  The clowns were acting out Snow White. When they called for dwarfs the up front rows of kids rushed the stage.  After they finished Layla ran down and sat with them. Whoever had written it had got it right: this was the Northwest side. Later, beerdrunk, I held Micael, told him I was trying buddy, you just came from there and for me it’s been a long time.

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¹ pulling front paws slightly off ground in alternating /  heavily-weighted-looking movement that coincides with slow tail wagging due to hindquarters being too stiff / sore to jump up  anymore.

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