Driving down the road towards the Naval Base, I ignored the clouds, wispy and pink-hued, because I was talking on my cell phone. About what? Empherea, surely. The stuff of nonsense, so insequential that I cannot recall it a week later.
I do recall seeing a policeman pass me on his motorcycle, as I tossed the phone on the seat. I drove, a slow and steady 50 kilometers, listening to the purr of the engine and my pulse in my ears. When the road turned to the left, he flashed on his blinker, and his partner, also on motorcycle, guided me to a stop.
So busted. I handed over my driver’s license. I considered playing the “No Spanish” card, but he helpfully held his hand to his ear and said, “No Movil.”
I pulled away with a fine for one hundred euro, heavy on the seat beside me.
The day continued. The designer wallet, which I bought from some guy on the beach, inexplicably broke. You just can’t count on knock-off goods anymore.
Picked up the kids, did the normal routine. That evening, I ventured out to buy school supplies. In order to survive the experience I have blocked most of it out, recalling only flashes….a baby crying, the acquisition of a recorder, an ungodly amount of euro, and thirty thousand people in the space the size of a closet.
And yet, throughout it all, I didn’t feel that overwhelming sense of anxiety, like an iron parrot perched on my shoulder, as I did last year. Sure there were some problems and confusion. But time and language have done their jobs.
The parrot has flown away.
Yes, she occasionally shits on me. And yes, there are struggles. Which I write about. Extensively.
But I want it to be on record, for the boys who will someday read these pages. Despite it all, life here is good. Really, really good.
Parrot shit and all.