Friday, December 3, 2010

Riding in the Evening with Mason

Mason and I were driving home from a friend's house, down a steep, steep cobblestone road with the sun setting before us, over the presa and the surrounding mountains.  Light, that sunset light that makes all the yellows so golden and the reds so rose, funneled up the street, making the faded houses on both sides shine and look nearly new.  We made the left from Cuesta San Jose onto Tecolote, an alley so narrow and sharp that the walls are scarred and chipped left and right.  Another turn onto Pepe Llanos and there before us was a wedding at the San Francisco church, the mariachis out in the square in their best white suits, the crowd humming around the church entrance in the dusk, waiting for the bride and groom to emerge.  Music bounced around the square, in and out of our car windows, riding on the warm air and the evening light.  It was one of those magical San Miguel nights, unexpected and wrenching and lovely.

Mason, dipping a candy stick into a three-sectioned bag of chile powder, lime, and sugar, kept up a little patter of random thoughts:  "You know, I am used to the spice of Mexico.  I am used to the heat of Mexico.  I'm used to Mexico.  But not the sour.  That's what I'm going to have to get used to next."  And right on the heels of that, "Did you know some people are smarter than others.  Some people, if they had two jelly beans, say a grape and a cherry, would eat the one they like most first.  But if you were smart, you would save the one you like most and eat it last."  And then he went quiet and I presume was dipping away into his little bag of salts.

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