A Balloon in Cactus
For a change, this year I’m not going to fool around with a list of resolutions to alter my behavior, resolutions that have always been elasticized by my characteristic rationalization. There’s always a way around those things if you can only justify your case first to yourself, and then try to fool everybody else.
For instance, it took me eight years to quit smoking, which had been my Number One New Year Resolution for, oh, about 20 years or so. I could always find some way to justify continuing such an enjoyable, though nasty, habit, even though my spouse at the time told me my hair stank like a garbage dump and soon I’d have seagulls circling my head mistaking it for a barbecue. You know me — I kept on smoking anyway and got rid of the husband instead.
So I figure New Year Resolutions are a bunch of phony items we want others to think we’re serious about, because we know we’ll break them left and right, usually by the second week in January.
Wishes are different. They last forever and can make or break a relationship with kith and kin. Speaking of kith, if Webster makes a list this year, he should consider just saying relatives and friends from now on. Who ever heard of saying “I’m going to the theater with a couple of kith.
So this year, I decided to make a list of five things I wish for, even though I know full well nobody can grant them, not even the Big Man Upstairs. Well, maybe He could if He felt like it but instead, He gives us memories. They’re like DVDs in your head. Here are the wishes for 2009, the days in Mexico I’d like to live all over again:
- The first day I saw the beautiful hacienda I would rent for some years. It was a dream home and I wish the owner had not razed it and built a bunch of smaller, commercial establishments where it once stood in splendor.
- I wish to relive the first fiesta we had in that place, the one so brilliantly catered by the great Lorraine of my second-best-loved place, the Nueva Posada. Such food as one can only dream of. Even Wolfgang Puck cannot hold a candle to what we feasted on that night. And there were fireworks galore, some in the form of the Mexican flag and others flashes of colored lights and brilliant rockets shooting across the night sky. Enrique, the gardener, had laughed hard earlier that day when he caught me spraying green paint on the lawn’s brown spots (souvenirs left by my relieved and happy dogs).
- Friends had come down from the U.S. to enjoy the Christmas holidays that year and lustily partook of a fantasy meal prepared by my beloved Josefina, the cook, who had perfectly replicated meals from Frida Kahlo’s own recipes. I wish I could eat that meal again.
- Joining Josefina for my first Christmas posadas celebration, which began right outside the door and continued all the way to the Church in San Antonio. Stopping to sing at each chosen casita along the route to pray before the nacimiento was an experience that I wish I could have again.
- I wish for another death-defying ride in the yellow taxi that fought the traffic as a bullfighter fights the bull. The driver, who owned the taxi, lived next door, so it was like being really rich and having your own chauffeur. The downside was that the windshield wipers didn’t work so he would hang out of the driver’s window and wipe the heavy rain off with a greasy red rag. This resulted in windshield smears of such proportions, it was like driving at top speed with Helen Keller at the wheel.
Next time I see a star sparkling in the sky and make a wish upon it, I’ll be really well prepared.