Monday, December 12, 2011

finding quiet

Quick post. It's naptime here. Quiet. Quiet: I can here cranes and hammers and saws outside. Apartment buildings fly up six or seven stories, as long as it takes to lay concrete blocks one on another to divide rooms and make windows. I can look out the window and see men across the way shouting down to the ground, directing where the loads of rods or blocks are placed. The owner of our building bricked off part of the courtyard and is building a secret. There is a single storey building and the next lot is filling with palm trees. Sometimes you can hear a man sitting at an electric saw running bricks through, cutting them in half for the face of the outside walls.

Yesterday we walked to our local grocery, more of a bakala or cornerstore than a grocery. The road in front of our apartment extends further now and we can guess how the other roads, when they finally arrive, will meet ours. Piles of dirt disappear, reappear. Holes are dug, holes are filled. Justin thinks our road will get streetlights soon and I think soon means another year or two. I finally got Claire not to pick up so much junk from the ground when I said, "People pee and poop out here. Leave that alone." The entire desert is not a toilet, but we've seen enough men on their way across pause by a building or squat at a rubbish pile.

I ate breakfast out this morning. I took a book and some school work and sat at a great little place, had an omelet and hash browns. On the drive there, I turned off the radio and sat at a light in silence. I looked to the left and saw an abandoned building, an old salon. Salon was spelled correctly, instead of "saloon," which made me think a Westerner owned the place. There were no window panes, only yawning black of the inside rooms, empty. The front gate was shut but I wanted to go in and see the place. I wondered what I might find. It's cold here so maybe strays found the rooms away from wind. Maybe an old cupboard, hairbrushes, a bottle of dried nail polish. Shadows where mirrors hung. Wires where fixtures were. In the building next door, laundry hung from a balcony. You see that a lot here: the laundry hanging from windows and balconies. You can guess lives by the laundry. In our neighborhood there are a lot of men, so I like seeing the balconies with tiny sweaters and pants pinned to lines.

We hang our own laundry on lines Justin put up in our little laundry room. It dries quick enough. A friend of mine used her apartment rooftop's lines; in the summer, her laundry was dry in an hour. Winter is dry enough here it would probably be not much longer. Justin talked about getting a dryer or fixing an old one, but I like our lines better. Though a nice warm towel, or tumbling a sweatshirt on high for a minute or two: that would be nice right now.


Joie said...

Thanks for these lines of thoughts. Always a pleasure to read and wander around your life with you through your descriptions. I enjoyed reading this.

Angela and David said...

"People pee and poop out here. Leave that alone." Not a line I've used with Zach before to keep him from touching things but I like it. Who cares if it's not necessarily true on most of the streets around here.