I'm reading in the shade while my clothes, the ones I just worked over an hour to wash by hand, bake in the sun. (So it must be that our house faces east.) The back yard is more of a gulley of dust, rocks, and roosters than a yard. And there are enough banana trees, with their hearts hanging out, to wrap a clothesline around so that it zig-zags once, twice, three times toward the place where we throw our biodegradable trash.
A wind just came through, gusting across the tops of the banana trees, and I worried about my laundry that I can't see. It's blocked by the white wall of the porch, with its garlic growing in cut-off bottoms of plastic pop bottles. But I can see through the break in the wall, where the steps are, that my skirt didn't even flinch at the wind.
As I watch it dry faster than I've ever seen clothes dry in the sun, I remember "helping" Nana when I was a kid, putting out the laundry and gathering it back up again. I didn't know then that it meant she was -- we were -- poor. We might have been saving electricity, but it wasn't to save the environment. No, there was nothing green about us, especially not the insides of our pockets. Green. I guess I was. I just liked running through the damp, billowing sheets, like they were the walls of a palace labyrinth. So we were as rich as I thought we were, as happy and as high as these bananas and mangoes that won't be ready to be picked for another few weeks.
02/23/08, 3 pm