There is so much to write about. I have - or rather had, as Lila has eaten half of it - an ongoing list of vignettes to record and celebrate. I want to talk about the kids who hang out on the construction site, of the first deposit for the solar system, of the name of the house, which floated my way from the pages of a beautiful book, of gently falling in love with it too, and of what's happening - and not happening - with the water treatment plant, I want to talk about the magical window I found .... and so much more.
Days pass and so much happens even though sometimes it seems to happen slowly. It's a weird paradox, this Mexico time thing.
But right now it is 5 am and I have been up for a good while, partly due to the Frappuccino I drank yesterday afternoon and partly because... holy smokes.
Monday morning. Oh, Monday mornings.
This one was particularly edgy because it came on the heels of Sunday, May 1st, a holiday. Jorge had checked in with the guys and yes, they were going to work. Rigo and Cata both had worked really reliably the last two weeks, making up for Jorge and Anselmo taking care of their families' medical needs. I can't say that things were happening fast but I can say that they were happening and happening smoothly. Which felt nice and ease-full to me.
Jorge and I were to be at the house early morning to reconcile our money books and also to meet with the famous and elusive herrero, the welder who is making the metal doors and windows.
I arrive at 9 and find Jorge very much alone and not looking chipper.
Que pasa? I ask. They're not here, he responds.
The guys aren't here. It's Monday and they're not here. It's also now May and we are both aware that this is the month we - and the budget - are slated to be our final month of construction.
But there is something else. I can't quite put my finger on it but I can feel it.
What else? I ask.
I'm going to look for a new team, says Jorge, in his eyes a blend of frustration and sadness.
Whew. And there I had been plotting a nice little thank you fiesta dinner for our team, complete with photos of each guy doing its magic and maybe copious amounts of Sopa de Tortillas and Coronas.
He suggested pausing for a week while we re-grouped. I declined, petrified that if we stopped, my casa would become one of these ever-present not-quite-finished houses that are so frequent here. Not to mention that I am pretty sure leaving the house alone for a week, unfenced and with a bunch of building materials is not a good idea. To that, Jorge nodded his head.
He and I spent the next hour talking and sharing our experiences of work and friendships and the complications that can happen when the two intersect. Just the day before I had read part of a letter the singer Jewel wrote to Zappo's Tony Hsieh days before he died where she had said: “When you look around and realize that every single person around you is on your payroll, then you are in trouble. You are in trouble, Tony.”
Well, here we were. In trouble.
While Cata had said at 8 that he was on his way (I am writing this on Wednesday morning and he never did), Rigo was simply not answering his phone. And Jorge was hurt.
Waiting for the welder to arrive - he was already an hour late - we both shed tears sharing stories of betrayal but also deep kindnesses. Jorge seems pretty tender these days, I am guessing some worries about his tiny grandson combined with something I am not privy to, I think.
It was quiet over there, and sweet. And we had a pickle on our hand. So much left to do and less and less money to do it.
As we heard the welder's car finally send clouds of dust our way, Jorge turned to me and said: "The thing is, Rigo has the work truck and all the tools."
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