Small Fish, Enormous Pond (8/4/21)

Three Shorts from Mexico City

Screen cap from Google Maps by author.

When they reach the Pacific Ocean, red salmon smolts are no bigger than your pinkie finger.
Mexico City is home to approximately 22 million people. That’s more than 8 times the population of Chicago, the biggest city I’ve ever lived in.
I’m confident I know how those little fish feel.

*
We arrived last night, late.
For much of the trip, lightning crashed from cloud to cloud behind the volcanic mountains ranging north of the highway, the strikes so close together it was like watching a wildfire rage across the heavens.
La guerra de los dioses, one of my new friends said. The war of the gods.
Today, when I woke, I climbed to the roof to look around. Peace had broken out. Cotton-ball clubs filled the deep-blue sky. A soft breeze danced by. Sunlight caressed the brightly painted houses.
On the neighboring roof, a friendly cat stretched in the sun.

*

​My new neighborhood is known as Casas Alemán. German Houses.
tiendita down the street sells snacks and candy.
A block away there’s a fruit stand full of mangos, the miniature bananas I love so much, and tons more fresh produce.
Another block away there’s a collection of market stalls selling everything under the sun.
I found a small, cheerful-looking restaurant to eat lunch: nopal leaves stuffed with homestyle cheese served with beans and rice and piping-hot tortillas made by hand and cooked on the spot.
Speaking as a small fish, I’m happy to call Casas Alemán my home pond.