There must be something in the water—the water that has to be boiled and then filtered to be safe for drinking, the water that has to be heated on the stove and poured into a bucket for a shower, the water than comes and goes with no apparent pattern—that water. Something that converts my usual catalog of annoyances into nothing more than gnats that can be swatted away with the swipe of a hand.
Or maybe it’s the presence of two women, years older than me, who ride every wave of hardship and scarcity with a shrug. It’s not that they don’t complain—they talk of nothing else than the meat that is NOT available at the carniceria, the towels that fall apart in the washing machine because they are una porqueria aka garbage, the shoes that come apart at the seams after only a few months because they are…you guessed it…una porqueria.They complain but they don’t stop…and they adapt to whatever the wind blows through the door.
Five people they weren’t expecting stop by for a visit—they have to be fed and food is found and prepared. An aunt arrives from Holguin and needs to stay a few extra days to resolve some paperwork at the embassy—space is made in the bed, on the couch, at the table. It’s hard for me at times, introvert that I am and used to so much space and privacy. But it’s a lesson in resilience and perseverance that always lifts me up out of my petty woes.
My back hurts, I shrug. My leg is bothering me, another shrug. It takes twice as long as I am used to to accomplish simple tasks…there’s no water this morning…there are twenty people talking in the living room while I’m trying to write…oh well. Nothing to be done but carry on. So I do.