Song and Dance

It rained every day but we barely noticed.

We waited between downpours under the overhangs of unattended bodegas on Boxing Day.


We walked past a cemetery and took pictures of goats tied to graves. I told Nancy that if anyone asked, we would say we were taking photos so we would remember to pray for the dead when we returned to America. Having grown up a Catholic, I am aware of superstition, the possibility of misunderstanding and the appearance of a lack of respect.


The pelicans don’t care about the rain… they dive for fish all day long and into the night.

Four young boys sing us Christmas songs, one keeping time with a shaker. Ironically, it’s a tourist shakedown. We give them one dollar (US) to make them go away. But under the influence of rum, I decide we should follow them. For half a mile, they look back over their shoulders trying to figure out why we won’t go away. Turnabout is fair play. At the end of that half mile, I thought about asking them to sing again so we could film it. I didn’t ask, knowing it would have blown their little minds wondering if we were going to continue following them and asking them to sing from time to time.

The rum brought out the ghost of my grandfather. He would have asked and followed them into their homes demanding more songs and commenting on their pitch and timing, telling them they should practice more and maybe get matching outfits.

N would have never let this happen. But for me, it is often just as fun—if not more fun—to imagine the what ifs.

The rain has stopped. My shoes, socks, pants, shirt and paper are moist. But in 85 degrees, it hardly seems like a problem. A bird sings a song I think of stealing until at last I have forgotten the melody.


The locals set up speakers in the street outside the bar. The bass thunders across the entire island. It would not be possible to hear or think anything else. The bottom is big and tight.




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