I was sitting on the sidewalk, under the laurel, waiting for the State Band to perform the show that it does simply because it is Sunday.

The first question was about my water: Was it mezcal? Did I like mezcal? Oh, I prefer micheladas? Then a quiz to see if I know—or more if he had—the right ingredients. He does. At his house. I should meet him for drinks at 6.

I know better than to wear a blue skirt here on the weekend. It’s my fault, I think as I begin inventing my identity. I’m still Heather, still from Sacramento, still a married professor. But now I have two children and students with me, here, in Oaxaca. They’re all on a fieldtrip to the market in Tlacolula.

I’m here, under the laurel on the zocalo, for some respite from the students, the kids, all of the chaos in my life.

Still, he insists, if not 6, perhaps 7?


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