Where Do You Want Your Bed?
I was wondering if today would be a workday, given the events of yesterday.
Early on though, I got a text from Jorge asking me where I wanted my bed.
I was surprised. We have no furniture yet. Nor a roof. Nor a floor for that matter.
But I am way past thinking I know the chronology or sense of things, so I answered: under the window, in the middle.
For a bit, I had considered the idea of asking them to build me a concrete bed, the way many are in Mexico. It would be strong and clean and I would not have to buy a wooden bed. But as I toyed around with the thought, I came to the realization that I may want to move it around at some point, and so, no concrete bed. Which made me mildly wonder about the question.
I made my way over there, happy that they were all working, and even though I could feel the grief hit my chest the second I stepped out of my car, there was something soothing about the water-to-gravel-to-sand-into-concrete steps.
Jorge was way up above, filling the long wooden forms so that the beams would be nice and cozy.
I sat down and took it all in. Music was playing, they were working, making concrete, and carrying it up to fill the forms. Water, sand, cement.
Arms, legs, skills. Rhythm. Building a house. Sin luz.
Catarino was quiet and moving steadily. There was nothing to say and even though it wasn't completely comfortable (it often isn't) I knew that sitting and being was what was I was going to do for a while.
Sitting on the front edge of what was becoming my bedroom. On this piece of land that already held so much history for me. Near the river, the mango tree, the jungle. The questions, too.
Finding a stopping point, Jorge came to me and took me to where the bed would be, asking me about plugs and light switches. Aha! That was the reason. Wow... we are talking plugs and light switches, now. Which is extra fun considering that we do not yet know where the electricity is going to come from.
Where do you want them? Do you want them horizontal or vertical? Something about that simple question made me feel like a queen. I get to choose if my light switches are horizontal or vertical?
Then we talked about building a small bodega/storing area for things like a surfboard and the machete I have committed to buying, I am amazed at how he always holds the final vision in his mind, even as I pivot and make changes. In some ways, I think he sees it more clearly than I do. And it's possible that the other guys do too.
Now that we are starting to talk about details, it's as though the project both got smaller and bigger at the same time. Smaller because we are looking at tiny parts like light switches and counters. Bigger because well... this is going to be a HOUSE!
While we were talking, the gentleman whom we paid for water but never delivered walked towards us with a piece of paper to sign. Per his habit, he addressed Jorge, barely looking at me, although there was some indication that for the first time, he has noticed that I exist. He spoke to Jorge about the road being hurt by the big trucks of the highway construction crew and he wanted him to sign. I stood there, wondering if he would ask my signature also, and having had enough of the whole thing I let my somewhat adequate Spanish spill out, making eye contact with him and holding on to it.
Within seconds we were talking about the colonia, the water, the electricity, what he saw as a lack of leadership - and more. I signed his petition and told him to let me know if I could help in any way.
As he walked away I turned to Jorge who seemed impressed (relieved?) that I had not mentioned the 2000 pesos. I guess I am learning.
There was one last widow to "punch out," the one from the now-shower and it was just as exhilarating as the first one.
Once more I am aware that within the frustration, the heartache, the questions and, the doubts, there are bigger threads of awe, gratitude, and sheer thrill that get woven into this tapestry.
Back home with the assignment to come back on Monday with a definite-ish design for the kitchens.
A plate of warm homemade cinnamon bunuelos for dessert made it all that much sweeter.
Tomorrow is Sunday and "descansamos." We rest. Week by week I find myself falling into the rhythm of Sundays being off, being of a different flavor.
I am ready for it.
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