Seeing Is Believing

Each waking morning, after pushing the button on the coffee maker, I seem to gravitate towards the tinted window in my apt. that overlooks the street below.  I hear roosters and I hear school kids.  I hear dogs and I hear buses.  I hear surf and I hear tortilla salesmen.  Once I go to the tinted window, I can then put a couple of eyeballs onto the sound-scape.  

This particular morning, after pushing the button on my coffee maker, and after hearing all the usual sounds, I naturally gravitated towards the tinted window, yet the only thing that my two eyeballs could picture was the pretty yellow bird that lay dead on my street.  I remember asking myself why God would want me to bare witness to this lifeless beauty.


Two hours later, I decided to head out to The Mercado.  While I was waiting below for some public transportation, a lady with a pamphlet came my way.  She was Mexican.  Maybe 35 years old.  Her pretty blonde co-worker kept her distance.  Out of respect for her being of Mexican blood, and because they opted not to four-leg me, I decided to play fair.

As many of you may or may not know, my history with these people has become very well documented.  This is the time of year when a bunch of blonde haired, blue eyed, surfer missionary men and woman walk around Puerto and try to talk Jesus shop.  Last year they hit me up at the wrong time of the month, and the shit hit the fan.  This time would be different.

Our 6 minute Conversation

How’s your Spanish going?  ¿Hablas Ingles?

Yeah I speak English.

Well my name is Juanita, and that is my friend Christie over there.

Hey.  How’s it going?

Another day in paradise…

Where are you from?

I live here, and have lived here in Puerto for 20 years.  I am originally from Acapulco.  Christie is from Brisbane.

Nice.  So what’s up?

Well, we are just walking around the community, speaking with as many people as we can about Resurrection.  Do you know what Resurrection means?

Not really.

She handed me her little pamphlet.  On the top it read, Can the dead really live again?  On the bottom read, Would you say Yes, No, or Maybe.  In between this loaded question there was a picture of a man and woman.(presumably husband and wife)  The woman had her right arm around the waste of the man, and her right ear rested on his left shoulder.  The picture was of their backside.  Why their backside?  Well I will tell you.  So that in the foreground of the pamphlet, the reader could also see how the (presumably)sad parents were looking at pictures that hung on their family room wall of their (presumably)dead daughter during (presumably)happier times.  Another perfect example of a religion using fear based tactics right out da’ gate.  I twitched and bit my lip.

What do you want from me Señora?

Do you believe in life after death?


Well the bible does.

I’ll be damned.  

Would you be curious to know what the bible says about life after death?

Lay it on me.

Fact #1:

God is the Creator of life.  The Bible calls Jehovah God “the source of life”.  The One who gave life to all living creatures is certainly capable of restoring life to someone who has died.

Fact #2:

God has resurrected humans in the past.  The Bible reports eight instances of humans–young, old, male, and female–who were brought back to life on earth.  Some had been dead for a short while, but one had been in a tomb for four days!

Fact #3:

God is eager to do it again.  Jehovah HATES death; he views it as an enemy.  He has a yearning to conquer that enemy, to undo death by means of the resurrection.  He longs to bring back those who are in his memory and to see them live on earth again.

What do you think after hearing those facts?

I’m curious if God can bring back animals.

You mean like a horse or a cow?

He can start with a couple of dogs if it’s easier.

I’m not sure what the bible says about that.

Look Lady, how can I best say this?  OK, You see that dead bird in the street?


Can you, or your blonde friend over there make that bird fly again, or is that bird out for the count?  Because if you can make it fly again, I will go to Central on the next bus, buy a pair of long pants, get a clean shave, buy a pair of shoes, maybe a leather briefcase, and I will walk these dirt streets in the hot sun with more God Damn conviction than Jehovah himself.

[she chuckled]  I can’t bring that bird back to life.

I didn’t think you could.  And nor can your boy Jesus.  That bird is dead.  And all the birds that are still flying around, like that one, and that one; they aren’t the least bit sad that one of their own is lying dead in the street.  In fact, one or more of them may even come back later and steal some feathers if a tire tread doesn’t get to it first.

But birds aren’t what we’re…

Wrong again Juanita.  That bird was just as important as you and me.  It was just as smart as you and me.  It had a heart that beat life just like yours and mine do.  It deserves everything and anything that you and me deserve.  That dead bird right there spoke a universal language more in tune with the soul of our world than you and me could ever even dream up.  So if that dead bird isn’t included in the resurrection lottery, then I’m going to have to pass tambien. 

OK, well you have a good day.

Que le vaya bien..  

Captain Fantastic

I would say she is in her mid to late 30’s.  My best guess is that she is from Spain.  Maybe Morocco.  Could be from anywhere actually.  It’s tough to know sometimes.  Puerto is Oh-So-International.  I suppose I could ask, but I never understood why anyone would need to know where somebody is from?  She’s probably from Venus.  How’s that?

One thing is for sure, this young lady is a professional musician.  A bit of a Diva around these tropical necks.  She’s pretty committed to her art.  I had heard that she can instantly play by ear, PLUS read music.  She plays a variety of different instruments.  She writes and sings in three languages.  She can sit in with anyone, anywhere, anytime.

On Thanksgiving afternoon, while I was busy doing absolutely nothing, I heard someone using what sounded like my Mexican doorbell.  So I stopped what I wasn’t doing, went to my tinted window, and looked down to the street below.  No frigin’ way!  The Diva was whistling up like Juliet might have done back in the day.  I was blown away.      

“Hi.  Was that you playing piano real early yesterday morning?  I heard it from way down on the beach.  The offshores must have been carrying the sound.  It sounded like Still The Same by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band.  Am I right?  That’s one of my all-time favorite songs.  Might you be interested in playing together sometime soon?”    

Well I uh..well you know things are uh, you know I’m not too sure that uh, i don’t really normally, it’s sort of tough to, i kinda hafta take that thing to the place, and you know my piano weighs a ton, and right now the internet is uh, ehh why don’t I text you when my schedule opens up.  What I’m trying to say, is that I probably ain’t your guy. 

She wondered if I could make tonight work, but I knew I needed more time to outthink this project.  We agreed to meet the following Monday.  She asked if it could be at 10pm.  I’m thinking..who comes over to someone’s house at 10pm?  I told her that she would have to wake me up, but that Yes, we could meet at 10pm.  To Be Continued…

In Crowd

If you have what it takes, The Red Taxi system is the ticket.  I have what it takes.

A mile later, I said Aqui Nada Mas, and handed him 10p.  He handed me 5p back.  There was a hint of salsa verde on my 40 cent coin.  The Big Woman let me out.

The kid with the cast got off at The Crucero.  A woman appeared, and handed the driver an order of tacos.  An old lady with a cane and a basket full of orange flowers slowly made her way into the back seat.  I stayed focused and memorized my line.

The perfume and cologne combinations were working perfectly.  Somebody in back spoke on what was probably a refurbished Iphone3.  A ton of everything goes down in the morning hours, and this morning was no different.  Action and Energy were peaking.  The sun low.  The hope high.  By 1pm, it’s usually time to duck & cover.

Five minutes down the way, the driver pulled over for The XL Woman, and her pregnant friend, who also was carrying a toddler.  I had experience making this kind of split decision, so I quickly ran the scenarios and scooted over.  As I figured, the pregnant lady with the little one got in back, and Queen Latifah squeezed in the front seat with me.  My left kneecap was directly in line with second gear.

No more than 50 feet into my ride, he stopped for a young mother with two kids.  One kid she held in her arms, the other was a uniformed kid with gel keeping every hair in place.  They were walking to school.  The five year old conversed with the driver as if they were related somehow.  It was pretty cute.  At the top of the hill, the driver stopped in front of the schoolyard and all three got out.  They paid nothing for the lift.  One other young man got in.  He had a cast on his left arm.

Back to Red.  So I jump in the front and say Buen Dia to the driver and the person in back.  It was 7:45am.  The driver had the radio on loud.  A little bit about the driver for what it was worth to me.  He looked just like Larry Bird.  But with black hair and dark skin.  Unlike Bird, both his thumb & pinky nails on both his hands were an inch long.  Creeepy!  His reason for doing this seemed like none of my business.  Jesus trinkets dangled throughout the dashboard arena.  The Red Taxi has a playlist of horn sounds; Each sound has a different meaning.  Pay attention!

The Red Taxi sounded.  I looked back and gestured Yes.  I did a quick survey and hopped in front.  I am new to The Red Taxi system this year.  In the past, when the time came for me to hail a cab, it was always The Dark Green kind.  The Dark Green Taxis will personally drive you just about anywhere around town for about $2.  Anything you need to take with you can either be crammed in, tied down, or hung out a window.  You can bring your pet into this taxi.  You can bring a bag of cement in this taxi.   I hear that if you go directly to the morgue or cemetery, you can bring a dead body in this taxi.  It’s basically your automobile for the taking.

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Good Girl*

Sit.  Siiit.?  No, Sit!  Siiiiiiiit.  No, Down.  Bad Dog!  I said Sit!  SIT!  Down!  God Damnit, SIT!  Ouch, stop, STOP!!  Now Sit.  Good Girl. No, NO.  Stay.  Down!  SIT.  Sit the fuck down dog! Sit!  Siiiiiit?  OK..Stay!!!  No, Down. Sit.  SIT.  Dowwwwn?  Dowwnnnn. Down Damnit!  STAY!  Staayyy?!  NO.  NO!!  Down!  Down!! HEY..GET OVER HERE!  COME!  No.  OK Down!  Good Dog.  HEY!!!  NO!! God Damnit Dog, NO!  COME! Good Girl..NO.  NO, OUT OF THERE!!  GET OVER HERE!  SIT!!  Sit the FUCK down Dog!!  Good Girl.  NO..BAD!  Good, Bad! Now Sit!!!  NO.  Down Bitch!  SIT, No, Good, No, Down, BAD, Come, STAY, NO!..That’s a Good Girl, Good Gir..God Damnit, I said STAY! No, Yes, Bad, COME, UP, DOWN, SIT?!


Full Time Job

It was the Monday morning after The Texans had collapsed to Andrew Luck and The Colts.  I had gone to bed counting money.  The early news made me want to puke.  

The show had to go on though.  I walked 20 minutes uphill to the highway.  I rode a Collectivo for another 15 minutes, before embarking on the final 10 minute walk. 

I noticed the hole in the yard had been dug deeper than I remembered it being.  New to the crime scene was the futon having been shredded like cabbage.  Where to begin.  

It really is a complicated story.  Too weird to explain the situation I put myself in.  In fact, it’s not to be believed.  It involves a young dog, an old lady, and of course me.