Cuento 6: “A la Futura!” (830 words)
Now, mi amigos, after café, I’ll show you to the servicios out back. Three ensure one empty, in case I scarf too many mangos at once. Ha! This is dangerous fruit for taste-obsessers, especially if juiced fresh —Ay, yi, yi! Dulce Maria! But, oi-vay, once, en la pasada, I . . . oh, well, queridos, that might be “TMI”: few words could adequately express the unending direness, excepting “Oi-vay,” moaned very low in the gut, with cramped yet explosive inflection.
Ay, Diós mío! No más!
Now, caballeros, look at what we’re doing on the north side of palomas! I’m so excited!
My new private rooms at palomas, built this trip by my brother Denís, for $1200, from adobe blocks handmade on “Tierra Mia,” will triple my personal living space. I’ll now have a 40’ wing of my own. My current hand-built cuarto (12x20) has served me just fine for eight years, but it multi-tasks as an office, my bedroom and closet, as well, my somewhat private sitting room. Very minimal, it feels too cramped, now, for entertaining on “Tierra Mia.” When my new wing is finished, I’ll have a private sala off the front of palomas, for receiving my don-dom’s guests in more comfortable surroundings, complete with suspended ceiling fans.
La sala nueva will connect, via a new door, to a light room (6x20) with a potable water tap, up through the floor, giant screened windows with wrought-iron theft guards at each end, topped by a clear plexiglass ceiling, for starting plants and indoor flowering greenery without insectas: I’ll be writing in an airy greenhouse full of orchids when I’m here next year.
Then, to continue the enfilade, another door opens to my new bedroom and rainy season office (18 x20), one with a needed lockbox closet (3x3) and shelves for mi chunchas—my desktop publishing empire, my Nicaragua clothes, mi libros and art supplies in Rubbermaid boxes —so I can travel more lightly in the future. My new bedroom/office will be locked, cerrado, draped in dust cloths, sagrado, when I’m gone, las chunchas triple-tight in their boxes in that padlocked closet: I’ll have the only keys to my sanctum sanctorum tucked in my travel drawer with my passport when up in the States, ready to return.
Those chunchas are just too much temptation, even for my sister Marta, very honest and devout, who once wore my clothes all winter, I’m sure, and, then, feigned surprise at their mouse-ruined condition, even though I’d left them in a belted metal case in my room. “Must have been los muchachos,” said she, though, of course, no one else but she might have worn them, with a belt or sash. Maybe it was the Arcángel , needing warmth in the night, who left them out for los ratones to shred for their nurseries? Only in Nicaragua would a Guardian Angel shape-shift to a Gap-dressed, lovely matrona and madre, una campesina eleganta, blaming it all on her innocent-ángel-looking kids! Mentira! Mentira!
It’s a fun game of life here to catch people you trust in their “little white lies.” It keeps vida more finely tuned towards both the truth and sublime comedy. I couldn’t care less about the clothes—“End-of-Season-Sale” in Silverthorne, 90% off, from 2003, they’d tent the new-skinny-me--but the “mouse-eaten-ropas” story evokes merry guffaws over the fire in Marta’s cocina every year, when I bring it up, yet again, Don-Rickles-don-that-I-am, just to tease her.
Still wearing the darned-patched-cinched Gap shirts I gave her in 2005, she blushes, demurely, smiling. Everyone points to her flush, giggles behind fists, Betancos in love with mi hermana, La Capitana Marta, Guerrera Sandinista de Nicaragua, 1980-87.
Out the western puerta of my new bedroom, will be my veranda, sequestered from family activity by a clump of bananas and café, fronting a square court of brick pavers and gardens. On the north, there’s a clump of coco palms and Semana Sancta palmeras, already planted, surrounding a cistern—pila--where I’ll plunge in hotter weather, with red and white Butterfly Amaryllis and indigo-blue Lilies of the Nile, my little patriotic cooling-off corner.
West of the court, a white garden visible from my office window will shine in the moon like polished silver with waxy Peace Lilies, white Datura and Brugmansia trumpets, and Peruvian Daffodils, like giant icy-spiders under white camellias y gardenias.
We’ll see how it all plays, for one very happy visionary-don.
Ay de mi! I have too many projectos on “Tierra Mia” already, prior claims, to fret about La Doña’s pasture: la casa de palomas is also getting a new roof in March, already paid for. And a proper dovecote for my white roller pigeons, as well as the canary and parakeet aviary in the garden room. Palomas just keeps growing like Topsie, ever larger, one room or concrete floor at a time. I hope I’m not importing too much Disney World, but I’ve rampant visual greed, in developing Nicaragua.