Wednesday, November 06, 2013

come walk with me

Scores of movie scenes populate the hard drive in my head -- every one of them making up part of who I am.

One of my favorites is from the 1966-1967 Soviet-made War and Peace.  I can still see Pierre Bezukhov and his friend, Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, outfitted in top hats and flowing great coats, walking along a road of Lombardy poplars -- with the road and trees meeting the horizon of the flat Russian steppes.

Of course, they are discussing philosophy.  Tolstoy's philosophy -- that he liberally spreads throughout the dialog of his favorite characters.  Or, at least, his flawed noble characters.

That scene epitomizes friendship.  Being able to walk with a friend and discuss the deepest questions of our existence.

Well, I would like to do that. With you.  We may have to forgo the top hats, great coats, and philosophical questions.  And the poplars. Don't have any of those.

But walk with me in my neighborhood.  As my friend.

You should recognize my courtyard at the top.  The morning shadows always intrigue me.  Everything is so stark.  Even the hummingbirds -- the least subtle of birds -- invite us to an out-the-door experience.

The street that runs in front of my house is not going to show up on a travel brochure.  And that is fine with me.  It is populated with people, who my friends up north would call poor.  But they would be wrong.

My neighbors have jobs.  Sometimes, sporadic.  But jobs.  A place to get out of the elements.  Food to fill their bellies.  Televisions.  Mobile telephones.  Vehicles.  And the occasional washing machine.

At the first corner, we turn left into a street with some of our finer things in Villa Obregon life.  Restaurants.  Small grocery stores.  Family-run hotels.  It is the street of an emerged middle class.

The next corner, we turn right onto an rather non-descript street -- home to a school yard, houses, and an apartment building.  Not to  mention, the home of the newlyweds Steve and Olivia McManus, who we congratulated in yesterday's post.

And, on the corner, one of my favorite seafood restaurants.  The Red Lobster.  Not the north-of-the-border franchise with its surly service, indifferent food, and startling prices.

This is a one-off establishment.  A family restaurant.  And they are spiffing up the place with a reconstructed palm frond awning for the coming onslaught of northern diners.

As we continue on,you may think we have just entered the Champs-Élysées -- with its elegant wide boulevards, landscaped division strips, and antique street lights.  But it is just one (can be read as "few")of Villa Obregon's better pieces of infrastructure.  And one of my favorite places to walk.

To keep everything in perspective, if you look to the right at the first corner, this is what you will see.

I  call it not-quite-Paris.  But-almost-Venice.

Near that corner is the coffee shop of Ben and Alexa -- two young members of our church congregation.  La Taza Negra.  The shop is not open yet.  And there is a story there.  That I will tell soon.

Our final destination was going to be my doctor's office.  Dra. Rosa -- my personal physician since I arrived in Mexico.

You may have noted in several of my posts that our area has suffered a series of personal property thefts.  One of those thefts was the propane gas cylinder from the kitchen at the Indian school. 

I am not certain what type of person steals equipment from the poorest of the poor -- leaving them without cooked food.  But it happened.

I had come to set that matter right.  After we completed our transcation, I mentioned my Friday morning irregular heart beat (death taps lightly).  She suggested an EKG in her office.  Fine, said I.

The results?  It appears I have suffered some form of heart attack in the past.  The EKG shows the tell-tale spike of an area of the heart that is firing blanks instead of current.

As most of you know, there is no certain way of knowing when such an event occurred or why.  There is an EKG in my medical file (which may or may not be mine) from 2009 showing the same abnormality.  To add insult to my new0found injury, my blood pressure was worryingly high.

Dra. Rosa sent me off to the lab to check my cholesterol and triglycerides.  I told her I already knew they were high.  She asked how high.  I responded -- somewhere between cardiac arrest on the low side and cerebral hemorrhage on the high side. 

She was unwilling to take the favorable odds I offered her in slapping pesos on the table concerning the results.

So, tomorrow morning I will be lab bound to pickup the results and take them to Dra. Rosa.

You may be wondering why I have, to use my newspaper jargon, buried the story.  Because I know what well-meaning and proper advice she is going to give me.  As will the rest of you.

The holy trinity of all physical maladies human.  Lose weight.  Get more exercise.  Eat right. 

Oh, yes, there will be some talk about additional medicine that will enter the conversation.  A conversation that is not new on these pages. (dew, docs, and dusk).

I talked to my brother and mother yesterday afternoon.  This is not the news they should first read in my blog.  Neither of them slipped into the usual list of don'ts and chatter of limitation.  Instead, my brother and I spent more time discussing our participation in the Baja 1000 in just over a week.

I haven't told you about that?  Well,that is another walk we will need to take.



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