We’re in Guadalupe, a tiny town shared by Native Americans and Hispanics, in a desperate bid to find a rubber duck piñata. I know, I know, don’t they sell them EVERYWHERE? As it turns out, not so much.
We’re in our favorite little store. They have bull piñatas, donkey piñatas, star piñatas, clown piñatas. But no ducks. Mo asks the nice woman if she has ever seen one. The nice woman responds in a mix of English and Spanish that Mo somehow translates to “Party City.”
But that’s not the best part.
A little girl is in the store. She’s sprinting from the front of the store to the back, apparently trying to get in her 200 repeats indoors because it’s cold out. I lose track of her and become increasingly fearful I’m going to knock something off a shelf (I’m non-functional before 11 a.m., so I go out to the car. And there she is.
She has a tub of colored chalk. She’s drawing in the parking lot, perfectly content. Does she not have school? Is she not aware of video games? Is there not a TV in the joint? Can a kid be content in modern times to just use her imagination to entertain herself? Apparently so. I momentarily pretend there’s hope for the world after all.
We give up the hunt and settle for a rubber duck in a pilgrim costume. I raise the point that a duck should keep a low profile around Thanksgiving. Mo posits that a duck would be wise to disguise itself as a human, since you don’t hear about that many cannibal holiday meals. That seems to make sense, the advantage of Mo being heavily caffeinated. Oh, well. Rubber duck duty complete.
Today’s outing is in the afternoon. The track is open and empty. I go around in my little loops. I wonder why a sane person would choose to walk on a track for 6 miles, given the many more scenic options in our area. This is a moot question given that I’m not sane. But I guess it’s like the girl with her chalk. You create your own little world wherever you are. You’re limited only by your imagination.
I ponder ducks and illness and whether I could actually live somewhere that drops occasionally below 60 degrees and coyotes and softball players who hit off of tees and how many founding members of a band need to be in the band for you to still call it the name of the band and whether you need to say “vanilla cone” at McDonald’s or if just saying “cone” would suffice and if you do it every day could you hit the point where you could just point and wave a dollar and why SHOULD Trump have to include Acosta in his news conference and do we move to Oregon or Corpus or Washington or stay here forever and if you weren’t supposed to eat doughnuts then why do they exist and the cruel knowledge that running and run-on sentences are not the same thing. And then I’m done.
I guess the trick is never to put down your chalk markers. Keep drawing, keep walking, keep imagining.
I get back in the car and turn on the heater (IT’S BELOW 70!!!!) and head home. The doughnuts are calling …