like how the bathroom in this cafe smells strongly of men's cologne and soap, though the bulk of the morning customers are construction workers and mechanics, men with tools on their belts and five-o'clock shadows, the early blear of morning in their eyes and seemingly no use for sweet smells. I accept these contradictions in life as best I know how, though they often burn and bump on the way down, like riding on a bus through the Andes when you're sure that around the next curve you'll tumble off the cliff into the scenery, which is gorgeous beyond any you'd witnessed to date, the old machine rattling and spewing, the “excessive speed” light over the rearview forever lit, the poster of la Virgen serenely taking it all in. And you hope only that when the bus goes over you'll miss hitting the woman with the long braid and felt hat, the bright skirt, who is walking laden with baskets along the edge of the sunlit abyss. And you know you have nothing to fear because the old women across the aisle jabbering to each other in a language you will never penetrate, the ones with chickens under their seats, will be praying at the tops of their lungs as the bus tilts and plummets. And how beautiful it will be though there'll be the usual dust clouds and weeping. How beautiful.