Vignette from My Morning
copyright La Nina de Sus Ojos by NinadesusOjos, 2012 -2013. Any and all unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photographs, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited by law.
I strode into the front room, grabbed and lifted the rickety metal handcart with its two brightly striped nylon shopping bags, placed , one in the top section of the cart and one in the bottom. A wicker paper plate holder blocked the big hole left by some bent and missing cart wires.
Every time I use that cart the wheels wobble so violently I think one will surely drop off while I’m in the middle of walking across Blanco Galindho Highway with traffic bearing down and ten or fifteen pounds of vegetables and bananas in my care.
The short shopping trip went well; I spoke with several vendors, the wheel did not fall off, the outdoor air was cool, the early morning high mountain light had that bright but not yet glaring quality. The vendors’ low, planked saw horses, heaped with small mountains of big red tomatoes, dark green broccoli, giant golden half-globes and wedges of Hubbard squash adorned with poignant beauty the ragged, smelly edges of the open drainage ditch euphemistically called “The River”.
On the way home, I paused on the far side of Blanco Street, waiting for the surge of traffic to subside. The Newspaper Lady and one of her daughters, the child about 11, I judged, sat on the warm greasy cement beside a huge stack of Los Tiempos. The girl lay, half on her mother’s ample lap, while Mom bent low and close over the child’s head of long, glossy black hair, picking out lice and nits with a long black fine-toothed comb and her long strong fingernails. Mom would section off a small neat square of scalp with the fine-tooth comb, then work on it before proceeding to make the next square. Mother and Daughter bantered back and forth in that relaxed, intimate family way, oblivious of and a little bored with their surroundings in the hectic shrill public street.
“I’m going to send you out on the bicycle through the neighborhoods, to sell more papers.”
“Mom, no – 0-0-0-0-0.”