Toward the wary end of a scattered, heat-gripped city week, the quiet balm of a portal-shaded cantina table beckons.
It is a summons that is something more than merely that of a rough, rural tavern rich with the musty aromas of spilled hops and styptic maguey juice. It is the unequaled promise of far-reaching mountain-scapes filtered through lemon light; of a somnolent pueblo pulse burnished by the hot spring of the Jalisco highlands.
In the simmering late afternoon on the empty cantina terraza, I sit at a tip-legged tin table that supports a single chill, sweat-sided bottle of beer, quietly praising the shaded aromatic country magic that has silently made a number of things disappear: The rush and seethe of Guadalajara traffic for one thing; for another the rather simple trickery of a telephone system whose inefficiency is the delight of its administrators (40 years later, think of your internet service—or the frequent lack of it—at Lakeside); a desk-full of demanding, uncompleted tasks.
A promising bruise
Though the heat here burns through one’s clothing just as it does in the city and the air smells as dry as ancient bone dust, there is a promising bruise growing at the eastern horizon, teasing the mind with echoes of the rumble and the dampness of the sea. Is that easterly, slight-seeming, plum-tinted cloud the edge of the rainy season?