Friday was the second morning in a row that I beat the roosters to heralding morning. At 4 AM I was parked outside La Fabrica gym in La Antigua reading my Tweets, NY Times and Prensa Libre on my phone, just biding the time until 5 AM determined my trust in humanity. It was a pivotal point and it would determine the loss of my innocence and my sense that when presented with an odd piece of technology to sell, such as a Kindle, people would do the right thing and turn it in to its rightful owner.
But how did I get here in such a desperate state? The night before, around 8 PM, we had gone to work out in my somnambulating state after having slept four hours that afternoon and gone straight to the gym, my Kindle and new New Yorker in hand. That I actually planned to do my CIRMA reading on the theory behind the formation of state did not occur to me, but the Kindle was my trusty sidekick with around 50 books of comfort. I knocked out the Precor machine in 45 minutes and then jumped off and headed home relieved of my workout duties. At 11 PM, I realized while talking to mi mama that my Kindle and I were separated by distance, time and memory and so I rushed out in my pajamas with Brad in tow to my fateful realization: that partings do create sorrow.
The large wooden doors to the Kindle kingdom were closed when we arrived and so there were 6 hours before they opened again. “Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid,” I kept chanting. My head dropped below the steering wheel and dejected I eventually put myself into bed, to a feverish sleep that roused me at 3:30 AM.
At 4 AM reprieve was near as I counted my minutes in Twitterfuls and jumped in the car with my bathrobe still on.
4:01: “I am waiting outside La Fabrica hoping my Kindle was turned in.” A friend Tweets back: “Are you a morning person now?” I settle in for the wait with my blanket around me. I am the mechanical owl from “Clash of the Titans” scanning the night terrain.
4:11: “It’s hard to believe people will actually work out this early.” I Tweet and shudder.
4:32. The streets are desolate and the roosters have started to echo down the alleys. Two stray dogs drag themselves down the street.
4:40. “You have to just let go of the outcome and that whether or not your Kindle is there, you’ll be okay with it,” my internalized Buddhist teacher reminded me.
4:42. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m really meant for an Ipad, I reasoned.
4:43 It’s a gift to the world really and imagine how many meals a Kindle sold in Guatemala City could bring in? Can I deduct it as a business expense or under donation?
4:47. Headline from a Tweet: “Children are reading and doing their homework on buses with Kindles and new wifi.”
4:50. A car passes and still no sign of the doors opening to grace.
4:58. Two motorcycles, a bicycle, a car and two pedestrians with gym bags show up all at once. The gym employee unlocks the door and drops his mouth when he sees me. “¿Y este milagro?” “And this miracle.” I tell him the sob story. He nods, picks up the paper from the doorstep and the entire morning crew pours in like salmon downstream. I run to the machine where I worked out last night and the Kindle is gone. I have chewed my nail to the knob at this point, I look around lost in freefall. The gym dude puts away his things patiently and heads to the office. “What does it look like?” He shuffles things around the desk. I can’t form words. I follow him like a lost dog. Out of the corner of my eye, I’ve seen it, a mother dinosaur looking for her egg, I squawk: “It’s right there!” I say feigning calm and keep myself from running into his office.
He brings it back slowly and each step is a heartbeat. He puts it in my hand and suddenly I can hear the morning bells from the nearby Francisco Church tolling. I run back in my car jumping for joy and my final Tweet.
5:11: “Thank you thank you! I am in disbelief that people turned in my kindle and workout at 5 am.”