Monday, January 10, 2005

A short respite

I sat in the idling car at the intersection, waiting for the light to turn. A pod of Harley Davidson enthusiasts revved and farted beside me. I could hear them shout friendly exchanges above the din. My window was open. My jacket was off.

Every once in a while, it is a true and complete pleasure to be a southerner. This week it has been in the 60s and 70s, mostly sunny, mild, breezy. It won't last, but it's fun to pretend it will. Endless summer is the myth that southerners live for...the whole reason they (we?) get to lord their (our?) superiority over the silly yankees nowadays.

We spent this Saturday morning at the outdoor flea market among a great congregation of Mexican-Americans, basking in the weather, eating excellent chicken tacos, and exchanging our excess stuff for cash. We outsold our next-door booth neighbors by miles, but only because we had so many things to sell. Our friends J. and F. dropped by and purchased some of the s.o.'s old Tae Kwon Do equipment. A townie hipster type couldn't turn away from the s.o.'s drum machine. A woman just about my age handed us a fiver for my My Friend Mandy doll from the 1970s, including all her little doll clothes. An older fellow stopped in and--to my disbelief--asked, "Do you have any books about rocks?" And it was thus that I sold four well-used college-level geology texts that I had never expected to see a dime from.

I bought our produce for the week from the fruit and vegetable vendors. I chased down a taco with a juicy orange, then was followed by bees until I could find some water to wash my hands with. The s.o. and I insisted that we weren't leaving without buying one of the chickens in the livestock stall, but of course, since we're moving and don't own a coop, we eventually left them alone. They looked a little ragged anyway.

We have decided to put away the money we made for the ultimate southern warm-weather pleasure--Major League baseball spring training in Florida. We hadn't been planning to go this year, since we're saving up for the move. But then again, when will we ever be able to do it again? Florida is ours for one more year.