In life, we either play the role of Fortunato or Montresor.
You know them. The antagonist and protagonist in "The Cask of Amontillado."
The wronged and the wrong-doer. The labels shifting from character to character with each paragraph.
Yesterday, I had no doubt which role had been allotted to me.
Apparently, I had decided to test my "live and let live" time attitude we discussed in searchin' in the sun for another overload. I thought I was meeting friends from Guadalajara for dinner at 6:30.
At 6:10 my telephone rang. "Where are you?" Dinner was at 6. The group had northern sensibilities.
I did a quick recovery, telling them I was on my way.
When I opened my gate to take out the truck, I discovered which of Poe's roles I was to play. No doubt about it. I was Fortunato that evening. Bricked up alive for the "thousand injuries" I had committed.
There is never any doubt when my Mexican neighbors start a construction project. Because Mexican homes usually fill the entire lot, all building materials are left in the street. And they stay there until the project is completed. Days. Weeks. Months. Just another obstacle in the street to avoid.
And that is what happened directly across the street from me. For the past few months, my neighbors have been improving their property. Yesterday a load of bricks arrived and were stacked in one lane of the street.
The arrangement leaves enough room for traffic to squeeze between the brick pile and the trees in front of my house. But my comings and goings are restricted. Getting in and out of my gate is a close-run thing under the best of circumstances, due to the angle of my courtyard and my complete lack of depth perception.
Pulling forward, I was able to get out barely grazing the bricks. The trick was putting the truck away when I got home. I almost felt like one of those professional stunt drivers when I reversed the truck through my gate without damaging my bumper on the bricks or scraping paint on the gate posts.
The chief reason I came to Mexico was to get up each morning having no idea how I would get through the day. Mexico has kept its side of the bargain. Each day I am given an opportunity to appreciate the peace at the center of every moment.
And, unlike Fortunato, I have more days to learn something new.
At least, how to be a better driver.