Division of Heart

Right now the rain is coming down in random drops. It has been diminishing for the last six hours since the downpour started. We get a torrent which tapers off into a long soaking rain which then tapers off into a random sort of drizzle and may continue indefinitely. Downstream from us is a world of water. We had a good 24 hours of rain last week and are probably set to see more.

It is times like this when I never want to leave. I can walk along the wet streets and buy a whole chicken and enough potatoes to go along for not a whole lot. What’s better than having cold chicken on hand? Not that most of you realize how good the potatoes that accompany the chicken here are, but what indeed is better than those? The hot sauce that they freely bundle in? And how many other places in the world can I go and get so much rain? And with the jungle in the city’s subconscious lurking . . . the jungle and hot weather growth and swollen rivers in the loud darkness only a lurching bus-ride away . . . who could ask for more?

Not the cleanest city, not the most organized, but still full of city people, you know? City people are my people, after all. I am convinced that living in the country is not something I am even keen ever to try. And where else do you get coffee so abundantly and cheaply? The city is a walking city, full of interesting places and all kinds of coffee shops. Not that there’s a good variety of coffee, and that’s something I miss.

That’s what makes the consideration much more difficult. Not only the coffee, but the books. The availability here is really dismal. One makes do, one has one’s own excellent library—and let me tell you, mine is—one finds surprises, one even reads in the deadly Spanish language. But one longs for the Anglophone world a lot, an awful lot, and living speech and real readers who binge and read in measurable quantities. And one remembers the used book stores of the USA. And one thinks of the restaurants with atmosphere, the sausage there, the hash browns, the pizza, the chips, the pickles.

I realize that once I am not here, the things here that were convenient and congenial will rise like remorseless wraiths to taunt and torment me. And I will truly sorely miss the green, green mountains.


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