In Todos Santos, I could see the bonfire in the dirt crossroads beside the corner market two doors down from La Casa Azul. Rockets bombarded the last night of the year, and the flash of firecrackers fell across the ceiling and the tall walls in my second story bedroom.
I was supposed to go to Iris’s for the evening celebration. I’d imagined driving over before dark, but she called me from a restaurant downtown where they had all ended up to let me know they wouldn’t be home until later. It took what wind was left in me, buffeted as I was from the neighborhood fiesta. I imagined trying to squeeze my red Jetta past all the other fires in the streets between my center of the old village and Iris’s home in el otro lado, fireworks arcing across my car, fingers gripping white on the steering wheel. I chickened out, hunkered down at home with the cats while the wild party crashed around our barrio. Felíz año nuevo.