The cloud bank rolls toward you, pushed by the wind from a storm far away…inevitably, sadly…rabbit and all, running across the setting sun. A soft, moving wall that lifts your thoughts and there is everything in front of you, everything that is no more. You have followed the campesino’s finger to the top of the hill where the 16th century miner’s camp rests, pebbles worn from stones, a ruin of ancient thoughts. The hole is jagged, only a small rip in the dirt at the base of a boulder. You sit and lean against it and feel the humid, black opening which is played out now and only home to scorpion and snake. Your dog lies beside you and looks down upon the valley below. You convince yourself that this moment is special, like an advertisement.
You imagine that you share your breaths, your feelings with those who line your history. That seems doable, much more so than sharing time with your dead, the ones floating around in your dreams and so you begin a defined dance with the bodies and faces of living friends and relatives. The sheets of rain in the distance capture your gaze; they are motionless in the air, like black veils or something very old, something frozen above the lake. Connie sits, lost and alone, with her husband and children. She thinks about having an affair with a neighbor or maybe filling her pockets with rocks and wrapping chains around her ankles. Clint tries to beat the Chinese at their own game and he relies upon his schematics of artificial intelligence. Your sisters are in flight, moving, talking, and thinking about their children and the pain and joy they cause. Vivian sits in her darkened room, waiting for sleep to come. The glow of the soundless TV reaches out and she misses a good night’s sleep more than happiness itself. Pete checks his perimeter fence with a pack of Rottweilers, his shotgun strapped across his shoulders, while Bea is in the kitchen bent over the firewood. Keith opens a can of sardines down by the pool. He offers one to a Sudanese woman standing in the shallow end. She says no thanks as all around them the country burns. Leland hammers a nail into a board and calls to his son to please turn the trout over in the frying pan. Bobby thinks about walking in traffic, Steve is about to take a drink after a few months on the wagon, and Constance has missed her meds once again and she feels the consequences in her lungs as her breathing becomes shallow and panicked like someone running away from an accident.
For an hour you sit this way, communing with people you know and it is the best you can do after all these years and you notice that the sky is turning yellow, pink, red, and blue; everything in full circle over your head and you wonder why these moments are not seasons unto themselves like winter or summer, even September or June would do, and it all stretches around you, breathing and alive. The story colors so clear and true.
The birds are coming in for the night now. Doves glide in for a landing, humming birds turn up their engines in front of final flowers, chichi birds twist around like whips in the wind and your dog’s head turns with every sound and opportunity to take a bird out of the air. You hear the ringing of a bell from below and you remember it is almost time for the Grito de Dolores: Viva Mexico.
Mexico is so much better than any other country. You are an expert on such things. The people here are almost unique. They have developed the art of being happy while confronting madness and pain. Mexicans suffer better than most people. Africans can give them a run for the money, but in your book Mexicans will win. The Mexican blood still carries art and poetry, polite language and the dream of honest romance. Somehow they smile when all is lost. Fatalistic humor is part of their thinking, and they have carried the absurd joke down through the years like a baby on their back, and you understand that although you can never be a Mexican, it doesn’t hurt to try.
It is almost dark now and you call Missa Him to the trail and it is barely visible as the moon hides in the clouds. You must get home in time for the Grito and a few toasts with your one-legged neighbor, the one who used to work for the Mayor of New York and went to all the Yankee games for free. He loves Americans, since, well, he’s an American too and then you give out a short grito, just beneath the hearing of Missa Him.