Hand in hand, we turn left at the first corner.
Passing the Abarrotes Gonzales, we come to the track just as the train arrives.
Walking near, we feel its warm wind. It is dark, and we see the last car swaying uncertainly in the dim distance as it manages a corner, barely.
There is no flashing light nor descending barricade. Only us two.
After the train thrills subside, we cross the tracks. The street is dark and quiet. The roof dogs are dozing. It is Monday night, the quietest of the week in our rinky-dink town.
On the left, abutting the rail line, is a house under construction, quite elegant for our barrio. It is dark, so we sneak in for a tour. I tote a tiny flashlight, always.
Surprisingly, we find a big living room with vaulted ceilings and a rock fireplace that rivals our own at the Ranchito.
Heading back toward Vieja Street, we hang a left. The street lights are new but dim.
Another block brings us to the Plaza. We circle the new clay-tile sidewalk. It is big, beautiful, silent and still this evening. Nobody but us. There are autumn leaves.
On the southeast corner of the Portales is an ancient room where we hear the music of perpetual practice. It’s a band of trumpets and drums. Probably a tuba too.
The recently renovated, wrought-iron bandstand is lit and lovely. We stop at the ancient church and peer up at the bell tower.
No bats, but the moon to the left paints a postcard scene.
As we pass the Plaza’s corner, retracing our steps, a couple of women suddenly move into the street and curse loudly at one another.
One calls the other a pinche cara de culo! Oh, my.
No matter. We continue homeward, my lovely wife pausing momentarily to pinch a little vine that is falling over an old rock wall toward the street.
Ladrona de plantas. A plant thief in the shadows.