In & Around The Roads 4th-Quarter-2017 In The Roads_Sept 2017_Online - Page 8

+ R a m bli n g s fr o m a F ell o w R o a di e. . . H o m es p u n O d e t o t h e H o u s e of t h e T h r e e M a n g o s I n t h e w a y of i ntr o d u cti o n F or al m o st h alf a c e nt ur y, L ui s Z al a m e a, w h o p a s s e d a w a y i n 2 0 1 3 at t h e a g e of 9 2, li v e d a n d w or k e d i n t h e h o u s e i n t h e R o a d s h e d e s cri b e s i n t hi s p o e m. B or n i n C ol o m bi a a n d b e c o mi n g a U. S. citi z e n i n 1 9 7 2, h e pr o u dl y d e s cri b e s hi m s elf a s a “ b or n writ er.” Hi s l o n g li st of w or k s i n b ot h E n gli s h a n d S p a ni s h f e at ur e s a w ar d- wi n ni n g n o v el s, p o etr y c oll e cti o n s, e s s a y s, a n d m e m oir s. H e h a s t w o s o n s, t w o d a u g ht er s, t w o gr a n d s o n s a n d o n e gr e at gr a n d d a u g ht er fr o m t hr e e m arri a g e s. N o w m arri e d t o C u b a n- A m eri c a n “ B e b a”, t h e y h a v e o n e d a u g ht er, M a g gi e, 4 0, att or n e y a n d p u bli c e d u c ati o n a cti vi st, w h o m h e c all s a C u b a n- C ol o m bi a n- A m eri c a n “ e x pl o si v e c o c kt ail.” W a y b a c k i n t h e Si xti es, B e b a a n d I, j ust m arri e d, s h o p pi n g f or a h o m e i n t h e R o a ds t o b u y o n a m e a g er b u d g et, w er e s mitt e n b y t h e pl ai n fr a m e of a c o z y d w elli n g a n d es p e ci all y b y a tri o of b os k y m a n g o tr e es i n t h e b a c k y ar d g ar d e n, a n d w e pr o m ptl y m o v e d t o w h at t ur n e d o ut t o b e h o m e, w or ks h o p a n d f ortr ess f or t h e l ast ift y y e ars, a f e cti o n at el y c all e d “ T h e H o us e of t h e T hr e e M a n g os” b y fri e n ds a n d str a n g ers ali k e, a n h o n or t h e tr e es s ur el y m erit, f or 8 I n T h e R o a ds y e ar aft er y e ar, t h e y’ v e b est o w e d o n us b e a ut y, s h a d e a n d fr uit, n ot t o m e nti o n t h e s ol a c e of ol d er, wis er br ot h ers. T o w el c o m e t wili g ht w e g at h er u n d er t h eir br a n c h es, t o h e ar m a g pi es s cr e e c hi n g, fr uit l o p pi n g o n t h e l a w n, a n d j etli n ers s h att eri n g t h e q ui et. S u nli g ht zi g z a gs i n t h e p o ol a n d l utt ers a m o n g l e a v es w hil e p u ps pl a y hi d e- a n d-s e e k wit h s q uirr els a n d ot h er m ar a u d ers. I nsi d e o ur m o d est f ortr ess, s of as h a v e s oft e n e d wit h ti m e t h e w alls ar e cl utt er e d wit h p ai nti n gs a n d m e m e nt os fr o m j o ur n e ys t o e x oti c pl a c es. A n d y es! H u n dr e ds of b o o ks, n e w a n d ol d, r e a d a n d r e-r e a d, i n cl u di n g o n e s h elf of w or ks, t h e r es ult of m y p assi o n f or writi n g. B el o w, i n t h e “ N et h er w orl d”, as I c all m y cr e ati v e b u n k er, s a n ct u ar y of s olit u d e a n d sil e n c e, m or e b o o ks, p a p ers i n dis arr a y, a n d m y Br ot h er P ers o n al C o m p ut er, o n w hi c h, e v e n at 9 0, I d e v ot e h o urs t o c o nstr u cti n g i cti o n a n d r e alit y o ut of w or ds, i m a g es a n d m usi c. T o r et ur n t o o ur m a n g os, I’ v e will e d t h at w h e n I d e p art t o t h e n e xt s pirit u al di m e nsi o n, I’ m t o b e cr e m at e d a n d t h e r e m ai ns s c att er e d o n t h e r o ots of t his b el o v e d tri o: n ot a m a u dli n aft ert h o u g ht, b ut a s y m b oli c rit u al d es cri b e d b y t h e gr e at Q u e v e d o: “ As h es t h e y will b e b ut as h es wit h s e ns e ~ D ust t h e y will b e b ut d ust t h at is i n l o v e.”