Posted: 17 August, 2015 in Daily Droppings, Other
Tags: , ,

—Donde esta el gallo? I say.

The old man looks up from his paper. —he there, he says and points to the lattice work under the front steps. Part of which I now notice has been cut out and reattached as a door and through the patterned strips of wood I see its figure. The shadow jerking back and forward in that weird twitchy movement of poultry

—Gallo, I coo, —Gallo, vienes aqui, gallo.

The rooster, about the size of a Labrador, steps out from its hutch under the steps. It walks toward me, thinking I have food for it.

—Que pasa, gallo? Como estas?

The old man chuckles. I have seen him like this many days. Reading his paper while the rooster pecks about the yard. He has a green metal chair and matching table with a glass top.

Sometimes he has a book instead of a newspaper and sometimes a radio. Sometimes there is another old man with him. Always there is Tecate.

Each day I wave. Most days he notices me. It’s only the past week or so I’ve taken to talking with his rooster. The old man doesn’t speak much, but the rooster tells me plenty.

—hola gallo, I said to him the first day. —como te llamas?

—Jefe, he bobs his head and twitches away. —soy el jefe.

The old man shrugs.

—Ohhhh, I see.

I laugh

—why you think they no eat me?

Yesterday, the old man stood up. He offered me a fist bump and a beer. He is from Mexico. Been in the city a bit over ten years. He used to live in the house alone, but now there are tenants upstairs. It pays for the taxes and he keeps his harden. Flowers and a patch of yellow gravel where his table and chair sit.

Today I buy him an ice cream from a passing street vendor, the bells dingding dingdinging their way away and the rooster returns to his shade.


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