The air is on the verge of nippy, but the end of the porch is bathed in golden sunlight, warm to the touch. I sit on the steps with my cup of freshly brewed coffee and a few gingersnaps- the kind that you age in a stone crock- and the sun beats on my head, seeping into my sleepy bones and waking me up slowly. The turkey buzzards perch on our roof, warming their hideous wrinkly heads and inky feathers in the warm sunshine and their toes on the tile roof. The muffled sounds of the street filter in through the gate beside me; I can hear the shoppers going to and from Doña Amanda’s with their groceries for the week, and the truck selling mantequilla and milk roars past, blaring its wares over a loudspeaker.
Soon I will finish my coffee and head out to market myself, because today is Saturday and we can stay at home all day. Maybe I’ll buy a few green mangoes, or a cup of arroz con leche, or maybe the jocotas are in season, filling the market with their sweet, orange scent. I’ll buy a bagful, which pop delightfully under my teeth, dripping juice everywhere.
The day stretches before me, long and empty and ready for adventure. There will be a long walk around town, just to hear and smell and see, and maybe I’ll spot a few friends and chat for a bit, since my walk always strategically takes me past their houses. We will eat a lunch bursting with fresh vegetables and new potatoes, since the refrigerator is freshly stocked for the week.
Tonight I think I’ll go down to the high school and see if anybody is playing basketball. I’ll sit on the sidelines and watch, or maybe join in if I’m feeling particularly ambitious, and I’ll stay until dusk comes, driving us all home. My friends and I will walk home together, slowly, slowly ambling down the streets at a speed which I had to learn as a fast-paced American. It’s all about the walk, after all, not about getting there. As we part ways one by one, they all promise to come over after dinner.
Before long the living room is crowded with friends and laughter and the smell of mint tea and popcorn, which they’ve come to expect at our house. We play Dutch Blitz, (I’ll bet the inventor of it never imagined it traveling to the mountains of Honduras) and my friend Dani pounds the table when he finishes, yelling, “Como se dice?!” because the word “Blitz” is a bit hard to remember. We discuss life and cultures, and they teach us Lenca words and we teach them how to make popcorn.
Late at night our friends straggle out the door, leaving us with promises to do this again soon. The night air is chilly, making my bed feel especially good as I sink into it. The opossums scuttle about in the ceiling above me and the street noises slowly fade as I drift off to sleep. It’s been a good Saturday.
A year ago: Tirzah Joy