It’s 6:00 p.m. on Christmas eve in El Refugio. The fireworks have been going off since this afternoon and will continue to the early hours of tomorrow. Duke and I got back from a long walk earlier looking for any signs of Christmas other than the whistle of rockets and the explosions or fizzles of the other noisemakers. I can honestly say that the spirit of Christmas I am familiar with wasn’t on our route.
Margarita slept while we walked on streets and through neighborhoods he’d not traversed before. Duke met a big dog at the soccer field. I thought he’d jump into my arms a la Johnny Carson with Ed McMahon. But he lunged a few inches toward Goliath straining his leash and the big guy backed off. I don’t know if that’s because like everyone else in El Ángel he knows me or if my young pup is a potential mauler.
We passed a little church, Iglesia Voz de Dios (Voice of God Church), where a woman was singing. As we got in front of the open double doors, Duke leaned into his collar pulling me past the small building until her voice was dulled. I felt the same way.
Then he met a cow and her calf grazing by the roadside. Duke watched the larger animal as if he were studying her. I guess he’ll grow up to be a teat man.
I brought him home and took my shower as twilight approached. When I came in Margarita was up and about, moving slowly, checking the boiling pot of beans that had been on the stove for the past four days or so. I looked out the front door through the iron grille and listened to the firecrackers as I recalled Christmases past. Looking through bars at Christmas is not new to me, nor is the sound of fireworks. But I’ve been trying to avoid the thought that I will be doing nothing with anyone this evening. And tomorrow? Nothing that I know of.
Margarita is in bed belching and softly grunting. I don’t know what either of those activities indicate. I’m sitting at the laptop on my desk near the foot of the bed with the one light on and feeling guilty that I might be keeping her from going back to sleep. But there’s nowhere else to go. I’ve become a TV recluse of sorts. I refuse to sit in front of the giant eye until I can’t keep my eyes open just because it’s there. I was surely not going to leave Margarita home alone while I bike up to Casa Blanca to be with the kids. I haven’t had any messages about them missing me or this house. They don’t seem interested in the presents I have for them.
7:30 and the noise is in full swing. Margarita was up for a few minutes and is now back in bed. I’ve turn the light off and put Duke outside with fresh water for the night. I’ll spray for mosquitoes and go into the living room to see if there’s anything I can watch on the TV. Merry Christmas to all…well not quite.