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A Santiago Sunrise on a Manzanillo Morn
By Tom Clarkson
Another glorious day began at its regular time for me of 7:00. Gingerly, I gently (read “creakingly”) rose through comfortable somnolence to a state of wakeful awareness. As has been the case for many, many years, no alarm clock was necessary. Years ago, barracks routine and military discipline had instilled a mental wake up ability for whatever time was sought. And 7:00 AM seemed sinfully well past those uniform clad, early morning formations, PT drills and double-time runs commencing at 0500 hours!
We’re retired now you know, and I say, “Let the sleeping dogs of war lie” – to badly mix my metaphors!
Finally, having made the transition from comfortably horizontal to moderately upright, through still sleep filled eyes, I surveyed my surroundings. Still slumbering by my side was she who had redeemed us moderately at the poker table by finishing the evening nicely on the positive side. Through the fully open southern side of our bedroom and beyond its terrace came the repetitive and quietly reassuring sound of waves reminding of the idyllic conditions in which we ex-pats in Mexico live.
Our rooster neighbors (from whence they come I know not as, to the best of my awareness, our neighbors have no roosters) heralded the day with crowingly enthusiastic zeal. They’d, obviously, already been up for a while judging by their almost frenzied fervor to awake everything above that of a single celled amoebae in the entirety of the State of Colima.
Given their passionate commitment to this cacophonous task, one could but wonder if, already this morning, they’d put their little peckers into some cracked corn well laced with high strength caffeine – a chicken cappuccino, if you will.
Momentarily, I speculated as to if these loud mouth fowls were the same ones - with their “time to crow” clocks somehow severely askew – that clarioned with such zeal mid afternoon and around bedtime each night. Whomsoever these foul- feathered fellows were, I suspected that they were in cahoots with that poor beagle, boxed in a tiny pen, several physical blocks away but mere nanoseconds by sound, that sometimes bayed his trapped - and much repeated but very justified - ire about his incarceration to the world.
With such ponderous thoughts mulling through my mind, I limp staggered down the stairs, badly in need of my morning coffee. (Those individuals with knees that had been a party to innumerable and painfully arduous miles of forced marches trudging in combat boots, hundreds upon hundreds of kilometers run in practice for or employment in 10 K races, or squatted and kneeled working with thousands of ground level plants will well understand a “limp stagger!”)
The new – clearly Fascist – coffee pot, we’d recently purchased to replace our long used and always dependable one, had chosen to once again leak, spew, spit and mechanically upchuck water and coffee grounds all over the counter. I stepped in a puddle of gritty light brown and then hopped to fetch a paper towel – first to clean my foot and then address the counter top. (By the way, I don’t recommend caffeine via osmosis through lower limbs!)
Surely such a mess was not the fault of we who pre-prepared the coffee late last night having stayed up well past midnight at our weekly poker game! That event, to continue with governmental epithets, may have been of the Socialist genre as I certainly remember liberally spreading my limited wealth out and around to the working masses, with better hands, who sat around the table!
Muddled puddles eliminated I strove to refill the pot with fresh tap water only to ascertain that but a minimal amount dribbled forth. Inspection in the guest bathroom revealed that the stool innards – flushed at some point last night by beer swilling pals – had chosen to not properly seat itself and, hence, had run, unabated all night... at least our septic system must be well washed. . . along with my foot!
Waiting for the coffee, I stepped outside, sat down in our dining palapa and took in the magnificent vista. Off to the southeast, the sun was just beginning to pinkly peak through fluffy clouds; below us stretched beach, bay and rolling waves; behind me, a cool evening mountain breeze still gently wafted down from the mountains.
Following a deep breath of fragrantly scented air from flowers in our tropical garden and a slow and thoroughly enjoyable stretch I pondered the day ahead.
Even on the worst of days, here, life is good!