A song of the Caribbean fading and a rusted burned out car shell laying under the sun in a lot of weeds behind the house. A fly buzzing around my head but too lazy to bother me much. A fly will meet his spider eventually, they always do. And a hammock swings in the breeze and a cat hollers on the roof. Everything is still. An afternoon of suspended animation. Six o’clock now and the sun is going down out over the jungle as the rest of the world and my room is growing dark with shadows. The rumble of life outside the window… life… like clockwork the battered doors slide open and voices are raised up to the heavens as if in defiance of the great approaching starry net. Not just any day, either, but semana sante. A time for bravado and broken bottles. Quick blows of celebration shattered against the walls of time and forgetfulness in the morning. So it must be and the music will go on all night in this slow port town and we’ll all be drawn to it like moths. We’ll come by bus, truck, boat and crawl right up out of the jungle. Como no?
It’s ten o’clock and the beat is so strong now. It’s been going on for a couple of hours. A strong funky Caribbean beat with a soulful beat-up sounding saxophone wailing out the same beat-up staccato riffs as last night like some churning little Mexican blues machine. The singer’s up on the bandstand and he’s wailing out some old 1950’s rock n roll number in Spanish while the crowd dances and surges around and around like a tide trapped between some rocks, then the net will break. The dancing that’s already robotic will grind to a stop around the edges and bodies will start to fall out of line running out to crowd around and watch two men who are fighting. The crowd grows thicker around the fight like hungry insects and the Mexican blues machine churns on. People in the middle of the crowd look a little confused as they move around in their robot death dance. They know something’s happening but not quite what. A well dressed young man dismisses himself from his date politely and as soon as reasonably out of sight runs to watch the fight, but it is over by the time he reaches the diminishing tension and in the morning it will all be okay.
Copyright Jonathan Shaw 2011