Wednesday, July 22, 2009
we open in venice
During the early 1970s, I lived in Laredo, Texas. And I would, as Johnny Cash sang: "Walk out on the streets of Laredo."
The streets of cowboy lore did not differ much from those of the Nixonian era. Dust is dust. And they were dusty.
But no dustier than the street in front of my house in Melaque.
We have gone for weeks without a drop of rain. And this is the legendary tropical rain season.
Well, legends, like Disney dreams, do come true. And we had a visitation from a very angry rain goddess on Tuesday afternoon.
Actually, I think it was a battle of the immortals between Matlalcueitl and Thor -- with a guest cameo appearance by Calypso (not the Juan variety).
It was a ripper of a storm. The lightening forked several times right over the house. But the most spectacular were the strikes in the bay -- right off of the beach.
With the lightening that close, the thunder was immediate and loud. Destroyer shelling could not be louder.
I usually like storms, but this one touched some primordial fear. I suppose the brilliant flash of lightening through the full house might trigger some survival instinct in the amygdala. (Or, for you modernists, "the prefrontal cortex" -- but that sounds downright Kansas, doesn't it?)
And when the sturm und drang were done, you can see the result at the top of the post.
We have moved from the streets of Laredo to a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers. The Duke of Plaza-Toro (good name that) could easily have said: "I should have preferred to ride through the streets of Venice; but owing, I presume, to an unusually wet season, the streets are in such a condition that equestrian exercise is impracticable."
The Duke, of course, was merely aristocratically ignorant. But the result is the same. Our streets were wet.
Some of you have asked about Jiggs's health. He has recovered nicely from his tumor removal surgery. The stitches came out on Saturday.
But he did not handle today's storm very well.
As a young dog, he loved fireworks. If he heard them going off, he would pester me until we would go find where they were being displayed. After all, he is a gun dog.
Somewhere, age changed that. I suspect that as his hearing has failed, loud noises have become painful to his ears. Several years ago, I noticed he would almost wince when he heard loud noises.
But he has never been afraid of storms until we moved to Melaque. One difference, of course, is that we have a front row center street to the full production. He has never been exposed to lightening in any form -- and certainly not the Wagnerian percussive force of Mexican thunder.
He spent the entire storm looking for a sanctuary from the light and noise. Even my presence made no difference. I suspect he knew that I was no match for one of those thunderbolts.
When it was over, we went for a two hour walk around the neighborhood. He was Mr. Congeniality to everyone.
But when we returned to the gate, he refused to go back in the house. I had to pick him up. I suspect the place will never again seem the same to him. Perhaps, he has PSTD -- post-storm traumatic disorder.
I know it is a bit serious because he refused to eat his dinner tonight. Instead, he followed me from room to room.
I hope that by Wednesday morning, the storm will be as distant to him as Laredo is to me.