Well, made it to the dentist; eighty miles there and back. Drove to the post office, 10 miles, got a ride from a horse owner friend, I trade with, she had ta do her laundry. All went really well; I read her some a these stories along the way, got right in on a cancelled appointment; emergency, for which, I am generally taken, first glance, no questions. Great new doctor, funny and kind, very thorough; great, great, great, great, grandson of an old Basque Sheepherder, came over in the early 1800's, run sheep in the mountains north a Santa Fe. Wink and a smile with the bill; nothin' on it 'cept one "removal", despite all the time and trouble, x-ray and exam. $20! Felt so rich and famous, I bought lunch for me and my friend; two, one dollar, green chile, double cheese burgers and a one dollar hot fudge sunday, we split. Mac Donald's may be a lotta things, but those cheeseburgers are soft and affordable. Listened to "Rusty, the three legged horse", on the way home; had a good laugh at our cryin'. Pretty fine for a trip to the dentist. And, so, back to "The Angels".
Well, with Ricardo back in the house, I surveyed the yard, a little more thoughtful. Spotted Tubby, as far as he could get from the discussion, sensin', no doubt, all was not well in "Denmark"; his butt in the corner of the yard, ears at full attention, eyes wide. I picked my way over, still stockin' foot; give him a hug and a rub. Wasn't his fault, he'd got buddied up with a "daft" old cowboy and we'd make it right, move on ta "greener pastures".
I went back in the house, got my boots, hat and vest, and headed out; see if I couldn't get 'er back on track, 'fore Ricardo come out a the bathroom, where I imagined he'd gone, wash off the first a the mornin'. I got a halter, gathered up Mr. Tubbs, lead him outta the yard and tied him to the back a the truck, parked there, top a this hill, 50 mile view, every which way; west to the Jemez Mountains , north to the Taos Pueblo, east to the Sangre de Cristo and south to the Manzano's. Got a bucket give him a drink and put a couple a flakes a hay on the tailgate. Life was good, hay was good and he nosed in, takin' a big bite, liftin' his nose and shakin' the hay at the sky, one eye on me, just ta make sure "happy" was alright.
Well, it'd been about an hour and the yard was startin' ta look fairly proper. I'd found a shovel, a rake and a broom, scooped the poop and added it to the compost pile around the side a the house. Cleaned up the broken flower pot and swept the patio, set the pieces by the trash, laid the broken walkway light on a table under the patio, case it might be fixed, raked the grasses and paths and figured that was about all I could do; what was ate, was ate and it'd just have ta grow back.
"Jon, you want some breakfast?", a voice rose from the front door. I'd called myself "jon" when I drove truck, as it seemed, as invisible as I was, gratefully lost in the faceless crowd of truck drivers, highways and truckstops; six or seven years, a bust, no more, head, shoulders and a hat, set up in the windows of a large truck. Never really present for more than the time it took ta pass one on the road or aisle of the mall, truckstops had become; never seein' or talkin' to the same person twice fer months at a time. I was hungry, that "milk and cookie" 'bout all I'd had, since pretty much, same time yesterday. I headed for the house, a little timid, but reassured some by the seemin'ly casual tone a the invitation. Ricardo met me with a smile, one hand on the door, the other a welcomin' curve, back toward the kitchen, "come on in, there's a plate in the kitchen.". I took off my hat and headed that a way. There were two places set, on the marble island, middle a the kitchen, a nice old spanish stool in fronta each. Beans, eggs, potatoes and chorizo, a hot Mexican sausage, a glass a water, cloth napkins, a basket a hot tortillas in the middle, surrounded by a butter dish, hot chilli jelly and cream. Ricardo did come from one a the oldest families in New Mexico, least on the European side, and one thing folks figured, it seems, over the years, hard as it was in the early days, however ya might disagree and however a day shaped up, everybody gotta eat. And even, as things got "civilized", families established, fortunes improved, kids got education, some a that appreciation, endured, in the very bones of the children, of the children, of the children, a some a the first folks that came here from Spain, all those years ago, walkin' the "King's Road" north outta Mexico, with little but hope.
More man~ana, have a great day!