All entries for Wednesday 14 September 2005

September 14, 2005

Eustorgio

Follow-up to Mexican Independence Day from The Midnight Heart

Eustorgio, our guide in the Sierra Norte, was a cheerful man and extremely patient. When we reached a crossroads between the hard and easy routes, he advised us to take the easy route. Instead we chose the difficult and although he shook his head, Eustorgio led us upwards and helped us in places where we needed to climb. We complained of tiredness and he simply told us that the long walk back would be three hours at least.

Eustorgio showed me the flowers and plants of the mountains. Rosa de la Montagna – a kind of thistle. Mushrooms that were good to eat. Plants to cure eye infections. Herbs that would cure certain illnesses.

Eustorgio had two daughters but never mentioned a wife. He was raising a fish farm on a piece of land on the mountains. He showed us the fishfarm on our long walk back. Without telling us that the land was his, he disappeared inside the cabin and walked over to the pools a pregant dog on his heels.
-Is this your cabin? I asked.
-Yes, he replied.
-Itīs pretty, I said.
He was scattering food on the waters so the surface became a tumult of fish.
-Do you eat all these fish? I asked.
-Yes, he replied.
I must have looked startled because he began to explain that the fish would be his food in winter.

Eustorgio led us all the way back to the town. Once there he left us at the comedor to eat chicken and chilli stew. When we had eaten he led us back to teh cabins and built a fire. He painfully wrote down an e-mail address and said that he would not be there in the morning. He was driving to the city. He sat in silence for a few moments as if unwilling to leave.


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The Midnight Heart

“Zona de plagas donde la dormida come / lentamente / su corazón de medianoche” – Alejandra Pizarnik


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