One was an alarm scheduled once a week labeled "BASKETBALL." I 'dismissed' it with one of my half opened-lagaña glazed eyes. The second was my old phone's alarm; that annoying honking alarm tone on every iPhone. Lastly, my dad said "Adan" 4 times. I answered impatiently, "QUE QUIERES!" "Puedes levantar a tu ama del Doctor? Voy ir a la ca-casa de Dan," he stuttered. "Si!" I was about to enjoy some more time in my itchy sheets but I took a peek at my phone. One text message said "Basketball at 8." Great, I had about five minutes to get ready so I rose from bed and limped into my bathroom.
I rolled on my long socks & then lowered them to about six inches above my ankles. I put on an uncomfortable red knee pad and skipped through every puddle till a hoping distance from my car. As I entered McAllen I saw useless traffic lights, a white car in a WHATABURGER ditch, holes on just about every building on Nolana and 10th, broken trees, muddy leaves on the middle of the street. What happened to the Valley's best city? Every person's face - withered. I was distracted by the apocalyptic scenery but made an effort to keep my eyes on the street. As I turned from 10th into Harvey, I thought to myself, "was there a tornado?" I felt stupid just thinking about the question and thinking about asking it aloud or to someone made me laugh. I drove into Calvary's parking lot. First object I saw was a McAllen P.D. patrol car, in it was a young woman. I drove quietly into the only parking spot that had no water which was a handicap one. As I got off she drove away. I grabbed my phone, quarters and keys to shove them down the pockets of my shorts. Then again I began to stare at everything: trees cut in half mud on every inch of pavement, drowned birds in puddles, broken windows and vehicles under the gym's shed all with fist size dents all over. I took my phone out of my pocket and read a text for volunteers wanted for 9:30. I assumed no basketball but I understood. I picked up a plastic ball and began pealing it to get into the green alien in the middle when the older fella that always walks in while we play basketball walks up to me and asks if I was waiting to go inside because the doors were open but the lights couldn't be turned on. I told him I was all right - that I was waiting to help clean up. I continued hiking around the church. Looking for birds under branches and pushing them aside. I made my way all around the church and saw the busses Destino used to go to conference in 2011, the windshields were busted. I turned around when a white dog with red eyes came charging at me. He literally jumped into the ditch full of iced water and as soon as he was by my side he shook his head and slobbered all over my shoes. After I took a picture of him to post on the greatest social net.w. site I realized that we had two things in common. It appeared like his back left leg was paralyzed therefore had a limp and was breathing abnormally heavy. (TWINS!) Except for the part where he ran joyfully towards kids.
I sat on the benches for about another half hour until I decided I should have something to eat. I came home, ate two tacos, got my mom's gardening hat and drove back. I met three strangely cool dudes David, David and David.... kidding I think one of them was named Hector. After watching them bump pieces of plywood into one another and laughing (in my head) at the power cords getting constantly tangled on one of their legs, I decided to give them a hand and adjust the cut plywood correctly into the shattered window cubbies. After fixing two, the white dog re-appeared, close behind him was the dog pound. (NO!) One of the Davids said that he'd been there all night (he did look like he was in pain hobbling all over the place). Eleven windows after I made my way back to my car. Next stop, V's house.
So, while gathering everything together and putting it in a green Dodge truck, Stephanie calls me, "Hey are you almost done? Vanessa's house is a mess?" "Umm... well we are about done." "Ok well hold on..." "Hey" "Hello? Where do you live?" (I don't know how to write a blog. I always fall back to prose 101 x____x) V explained her address, greatly [I bet] but I suck at following google maps. Sure enough I got lost...
When I drove into her neighborhood I saw the realistic damage a storm could do. Every single house had something catastrophic happen. Neighbors were out cleaning and V's house probably had one inch of glass intact to the window frame. We first put the front yard leaves into black bags (there was a tiny brown bat... dead). Then we cleaned her backyard/patio. We hooped oranges into a trashcan and dragged everything to the back. We finished at about 4. I drove us over to get raspas and then stopped by Michael and Isaac's house. We raked leaves for about 45 minutes then left to Freebirds? I think that's the name of the restaurant. IT WAS GREEAAAAAAT. Food blog : 4/5 on the steak burrito with sour cream, cilantro lime rice, lime, salsa, pinto beans, lettuce and fresh cilantro.
I got home, showered and jumped on my bed and began to write. While I wrote my sister, Paulina, took a piece of grass off of my face. I suck at showers. I'm thankful for God's daily blessings, mercy and love - it's always there somedays I just notice it and appreciate it more, cause I'm sucky a lot of the times. The only thing that happened around my yard was flooding in my mom's newly planted trees which is good for them. (i think) I'm happy to see encouragement rise through crappy situations. I LOVE THE VALLEY AND ITS WEAK CITIES.
Hail, it gives you hope.
[i haven't edited or re-read anything and i probably will leave it as it is cause i'm tired and trying to stay awake to write my project plan for victorian literature. it'll probably be a novel and a research paper about church services or prostitution in the 20th century]