Monday, February 11, 2013

Momentito Guatemalteco 1

11 febrero

Hi everyone!

I've been reading a very light book recently that Mariah leant me to give my brain a break just before I go to sleep (since I made the mistake of doing homework right before bed one time and had dreams in poor Spanish).  The book is written in time stamps, since it all takes place within a week.  This, combined with my singular mastery of the present tense, made me think that little snapshots or "momentitos" might be a fun format to describe some of the details about my experience here in Guatemala.  Here's one from today.


Monday, 5:32 am

I look at my clock and see that it is 5:32 am.  There are many possibilities for what has awoken me, none of which are my alarm.  I am cold, huddled in a fetal position on my right side.  My host mom cleaned my room and changed my sheets a couple days ago and I am pretty sure I have at least one fewer total blankets now.  I miss the red and white wool one with thousands of little balls of wool that I picked off with a meditative and obsessive gusto until I had accumulated a fist-sized ball of red fuzziness which I then tossed into the trash can with some embarrassment.

My legs hurt.  Like the rest of me, they are cold, my lower calves are exposed where my scrub pants have ridden up under the covers.  With my quads pressed up against my belly, I feel a deep, achy discomfort on the sides of my knees and hips.  I know it's my IT bands, which are peeved after 12 hours of walking, of bracing my calves against rocks, of stabilizing my knees and coordinating the efforts of my skeleton as my feet planted and planted and planted down slopes slippery with melted frost.  I extend my legs to relieve the pain but that makes me colder.  I think about the ache and the cold and the email Tyler and I sent yesterday to the program where we hope to do residency.  My brain is heavy and sluggish with it all and is incapable of deciding which is preferable between minor cold and minor pain.  Decisiveness has not been my strongest attribute of late.  Superimposed is a louder-than-normal booming noise that echoes off the mountains, which I think is thunder, until I appreciate a man-made crescendo.  It is probably fireworks for holy week, which are different from the fireworks of every other day in that they come in singlets and are louder.  A lone rooster answers them without fail.  Soon the pop pop pop pops of daily firecrackers join in and, inexplicably, the noctural dogs that howl and fight and mate through the night are silent this morning.  

My mind skips between sensations - heavy thoughts and cold body and sore legs and loud noise - landing on none until my actual alarm goes off at 6:15.  It is time to study direct and indirect objects. No quiero lo hacer.

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