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2014/10/18 / tocovava

What Best Intentions?

Years ago I spent a few hours wandering around Guadalajara looking at stuff about which I knew nothing: buildings, food, people. Without any forethought I ended up in the Plaza de Armas. Banda de Musica del Estado de Jalisco plays concerts every Thursday at 6:30pm in the kiosk there. search

The plaza was crowded. A soused lady caused turmoil with a beer bottle, high heels, and a dirty skirt. Grandmothers sat in mesh lawn-chairs. Parents pushed strollers back and forth not necessarily in time with the music. A kid sketched figures in a spiral-bound pad. Someone came around with a basket asking for donations? (Did this happen? If making it up – why not a sombrero?) Trying to avoid looking like a tourist but unable to look like a local because I didn’t have any pesos, I dropped in a dollars worth of quarters. The person handed me a program. photoAt some point I found a seat and apparently dozed off because I was startled when someone touched my shoulder. The woman next to me was standing. Everybody was standing. As I stood the program floated to the ground, but I caught it. The song was Bagley’s “Emblema Nacional.” It didn’t sound patriotic to me, but what did I know? Then the music left the air, the bland screed of city sounds re-asserted themselves. Instruments were packed into cases. Sheet music straightened, set in folders, and zipped up into satchels. The band came down from the kiosk.

Using some sort of memory map (I think I saw that building on my walk to the plaza…didn’t I pass that newsstand earlier?…there should be a money exchange place around the corner) I ended up a taco stand across from my hotel. I kept the program away from the plate because…because?…I some great intention to do some thing with it. And those plans would be marred by the droppings of three perfect little tacos. What were those plans? Well, at the least, I would keep up on the concerts in Guadalajara, maybe mention them on my radio show, maybe even play the music Banda de Musica del Estado de Jalisco played. But I did nothing of the sort.

Back home I stuck the program in a wooden box full of scraps of paper meant to be useful resources for now-unremembered projects, probably a collage or glued into a notebook with time, date and place entered in a faulty hand. The box went under the TV, and there it stayed as I watched my life pass by in bounce passes, corner kicks and double plays; parental guidance sanctioned sex-scenes; comedic banter enhanced by camera angles; hammer-blunt clues to fictional deaths; celebrity gossip; weather updates; and, breaking news that never really meant anything to me. Well, at least now, I did something with that program before it is deposited into the wood-burning stove.

I   t o o k   a   b l u r r y   p h o t o   o f   i t .

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