13 November 2007
The Sixth Sense
So there I was today, downstairs with Hank--who was pretending to be a cat--arranging my CDs--you know, putting all the "recent purchases" into their proper place--when I moved through the 'D' section. "Ah, the Drive-By Truckers, I haven't heard Decoration Day in a while. I'll take it upstairs with me and play it."
Wendy returned from work before I made it upstairs. She called to me, "There's a package for you."
Last February, we visited friends and family back home in Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. Bob and Britt live in Utah. We stayed with them and had an idyllic time as usual skiing and eating and drinking. When it came time to leave I asked Bob if I could borrow a couple CDs for the drive up to Idaho, in particular Decoration Day. I like the Drive-By Truckers but, at the time, didn't know that album. He said, "Yea, keep it. It's yours. We're not really into it." Bob is a generous person. I took it, listened to it quite a bit, and liked it. Once back in Chile, feeling that I knew and understood the album enough, filed it away in the appropriate place.
A few months ago we ran out of our Valentina hot sauce, sent to us last Christmas by my brother. For us, Valentina is a staple. Not a staple like ketchup but a staple in that it holds a special place in our gastronomic world. Valentina is from Guadalajara and we know it and we were introduced to it in Guadalajara. Unlike Tapatío (the colloquial term for someone from Guadalajara) Valentina is a common and favorite salsa in Guadalajara. Tapatío is also made in, ahem, California.
I introduced Bob to Valentina one summer when he and I worked on Wendy's family's Idaho ranch. In 2003 we built what must be the finest fence two friends have ever built.
About a month ago I sent Bob an email. We were desperate for hot sauce down here. Chile must be the most mis-named country on the planet. To the Chileans, black pepper is spicy and it's not to be taken lightly. In fact, the only condiment that is regularly featured on tables in restaurants is salt. You have to ask for pepper.
I know there is a great Mexican market not far from Bob's house. I decided to press my luck and ask if he would send us a bottle or two. As usual, Bob responded quickly, liberally, and in precise time.
From upstairs, Wendy called to me once again, "Steve, there's a package up here; it's from Bob and Britt." I smiled. I wrapped up my obsessive ordering, grabbed Decoration Day, walked upstairs, and put the CD in the stereo. The two bottles stood on the kitchen table, straight and tall, like the beginning of a perfect fence.
The Drive-By Truckers:
My Sweet Annette.mp3
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Drive-by Truckers at Amazon, Insound, and their website.