I spent a couple of hours looking for the Little Businessman and Co. Because they Zocalo is still filled with a mountain of teachers, not only are their usual spots on the wall being filibustered, but no one is buying anything.
You know how when you take your car to the mechanic, it suddenly works? You know how you leave the house for five minutes and the repair person comes? You know how you spend five dollars on something you don’t need, but then a good reason for that money arises? That’s what I decided to do. I’d spend the money I had with me for the kids to eat on some of the gifts for people. By wasting time and all of the money, I was certain to find them.
And, there was Agostino selling gum by Santo Domingo. Cecila was a little bit farther up. They were doing good business as we sat together on the wall under the tree. (I was happy that I knew the best way to conjure at least two of them.)
But I had to go home to get more money. It was just before eight; the clear night was breezy and lovely, and the rest of the family was nowhere in sight. I went home and came back and we headed to the zocalo to find the others. When we could not find them, we circled several times, asked a corn seller, asked a shoe shiner, asked another gum seller. No one had seen them. We sat near the potato stand at the back of the cathedral; Agostino and Cecelia took turns taking pictures and videos. Agostino focused on a band nearby.
Constancia, the hamburger vendor, had returned. Still no family. I needed to head home. I bought potato chips, even for the missing.
In the distance, I could see a young gum seller, running and trying to jump across a large hole in the street. He kept missing, landing in the hole, trying again. I was sure it was Mateo, but as I walked closer, he abandoned his attempts and hustled up the street into the darkness.