It’s 7:45 p.m. on a Monday that was almost disastrous for me.  I went to the church to help remove some concrete so we could repair a leaky pipe in the cooking area.  Hno. Santiago was cutting it with a hand-held machine that used a disk to slice through the surface.  He showed me how to use it and I cut a couple of feet in a straight line before I realized I was catching the cuttings in my face.  I was set to reposition myself laterally to the machine rather than behind it when Hno. Santiago took the cutter to show me the better way.  I stepped back several feet and watched how he did it.  In the twinkling of an eye I saw something flying toward me and felt it strike the inside of my right knee.  Then I noticed the disk had shattered and the wedges were strewn about.

I rolled up my pants and saw a slight cut on the lower patella and a very bruised spot where the hard object had struck me.  I told Hno. Santiago that I’d better go home and put some ice on it.  He agreed.

Margarita got some ice in a cloth while I removed my jeans and laid down on the bed.  I also took a Meloxicam for the pain.  My knees have been giving me trouble for months and this blow just added to the pain.

While I was resting and telling myself I was not to get angry with God for smiting me while I was attempting to help in His work, I became aware of the incoming ash wafting through the ceiling/roof tiles and landing all around and on top of me.  I know Ash Wednesday was last week.  The Catholics have been singing and parading ever since.  So now I’m in pain and receiving ashes five days late.

Nurse Margarita’s love made my boo-boo feel better as the day wore on.  We had our second chicken for lunch in a delicious soup with noodles and vegetables.  Very tasty but this chicken was a bit on the tough side.  It was a white one.  The first one was a red.  So I may have learned something.

This afternoon I worked at the computer “fixing” Microsoft programs that shouldn’t “break”.  But I was cool with it.  I kept in mind that whatever hit my knee could have hit a part of my head as easily.  I am thankful.

I had some more chicken for supper along with peas and pineapple/guava juice.  I played with Adriana and got all sweated up, so I got ready for my shower.  I noticed Duke’s water dish was low so I went to the spigot to fill it.  Little more than a trickle before it stopped.  Isn’t this always the way. 

Why is it that whenever I want to shower or Margarita wants to hook up the hose to water the flowers and trees the water ceases to flow?  I hate when that happens.  I’m sweaty and have ash smudges on various exposed parts of my frame.  I want to call someone and vent my anger at their lack of consideration.  I want to ask the chief water valve operator if he’s got any idea why people on the crowded microbus stink to high heaven morning, noon, or evening.  I want to probe if he’s got some interest in a cheap perfume company so that bathless women can convince themselves they’ve covered up their body odor.  I want to know if he’s got any savvy about bacteria and their relationship to sore throats, clogged nasal passages and petrified lungs.  But I haven’t a name or a number.

In the shower stall on the patio is a six-gallon plastic bucket that I keep full of water.  It now also contains ashes and bits of the remaining plastic that once covered the roof to protect us from rain, hail, dust, and ASHES.  It’s what I’ll have to use if I want to feel clean for bed.  But if I ever catch the guy…

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, when I’m able to vote in El Salvador I’ll vote for the man or woman who can keep the water flowing and who will paint over the gang scribbles on the park apparatus.


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