Guatemala Postcard

A town with a church with a square on a hill on a Saturday night. Happy subsonic excitement. Follow the families walking up cobbles, cars maybe washed special and scooters, tuk tuks—probably not called that here—a parallel street. Open into popping light sizzle of people like a catherine wheel, enter the spin. Food stalls, neck charm vendors, fruit drink plastic noisy toys and boys wedged around a half dozen old style video arcade games across from tiny versions of carnival puzzle tables like where you roll a ball up an incline to try to get it to stop in a concavity with a number of points written next to it.

Shuffle through, smiles, fathers holding their daughters’ hands ignoring that their clothing is grown up tight, young men with their hair slicked back every cool tick, generations sitting together.

There’s a high school basketball tournament going on in the thick of it, purple with crisp passes and accurate shooting, squashing poor blue whose basket has a lid. After dinner, buy a couple of more beers and a slice of chocolate cake, sit next to a grandfather and grandsons who he buys bubble makers for, they run around trying to be mindful of the game on the court but it’s chaos the players just work around the kids and people and dogs and they blow bubbles on us and the grandfather gives the biggest hug I’ve seen.

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