Monday, August 05, 2013

This essay may blow, but there are no colons and the goose is far from cooked

I have not traveled recently to Mexico. Nonetheless, I'm stuck home today, mere steps from the water closet for a mild case of food poisoning. Montezuma's Revenge. Like Kings Kamehameha and Luis, there were several Montezuma's, but it's Monty II who is the namesake of this expression, so soundly trounced by Spanish Conquistador Herman Cortéz in 1519. Herman, it would seem, was not a nice man. It's like the Indigo Girls' re-incarnation song, "Galileo." Montezuma got the shit kicked out of him, and today, I am literally living that legacy.

Hard to believe the guy who looks like a pansy, beatnik poet (not that there's anything wrong with that) prevailed over the loin-clothed stud. This is the lesson of history through the ages. Greed and firepower always trump righteousness. Strike a manly pose with spear and shield. Stand fast to defend your people. You look good, but you're no match for a pouty, well-groomed, beret-capped Spaniard backed by a gold-hungry king and battalions of well-armed, well-fed soldiers, a slew of traitor-natives and a healthy roll of canons thrown in for affect. Sure. Invite the beatnik into your village. Look at him. He's harmless. Present him with gifts. He'll smile, shake your hand, be gracious, then kick your Aztec ass. It was the ultimate checkmate of the 16th century. No wonder poor, beefy Montezuma II has to get his revenge this way, through the likes of me and my non-Aztec ass.

Red sky at morning, geese take warning.

Today, the rain falls with a Montezuma-like vengeance. Canada geese in the pasture behind the cabin ride out the deluge like champs. That parcel is a kind of goose hotel. They stop in twice a year for an extended stay, en-route north, en-route south. The geese landed a few days ago, announcing their arrival in a riot of squawks and honks, letting the marmot and rabbit bell-hops know to be ready for their baggage, and the chef (a man-made wetlands meadow) to prep the worms and bugs and seeds for their semi-annual, welcome-to-the-Rockies feast. The geese are early, an omen, natures way of telling us to split and stack the firewood, now. Change is in the air and on the wing. It's early August, and summer lingers. But here in the mountains, winter is always coming.


Jo-Ann Mapson said...

This is a great essay. Food poisoning is awful. You can go to the doc and get meds for it. Do the geese mean early fall? Just wondering. Hot here in SF. Rewriting.

Toni said...

Thanks, Jo-Ann, for the compliment and the advice. Yes, I think the geese know more than we do. They're not beholden to printed calendars. They're smartphones don't tell them when it's fall. They sense a change and lift off. Or stick around if they're in toasty SF. There are flocks in Denver that migrate only between golf courses and never leave the city. We could learn a lot from geese. Can't wait to see the finished product on your re-write. Cheers!