Saturday, February 04, 2006

from tucson: african art, carpets and cacti. and sun.

It’s Friday, noon, the plane lands and people start undressing. The burden of toting an extra jacket or sweater is nothing compared to the burden of dealing with bad weather up north.

The pilot, having had his adrenalin pumped, I’m sure, while coping with the Minneapolis snow now says in a resigned way: the weather in Tucson? Sunny. It’s always sunny in Tucson (I swear, a yawn follows).

It is a dry place. The last rain shower came down in mid October.

Three of us arrive from different parts of the country. Our host picks us up. I am itching to shed the long sleeves. Oh, don’t be shy! We’re not modest here. I am not shy, but ripping off my shirt in the airport parking lot seems extreme. I wait until we get in the car.

It is getting hot. We pull up behind a Motel 8. Dust covers my old shoes. Two guys are grilling meats and corn in the corner of a parking lot. My groups is hungry and so we eat.

And suddenly I am in Africa.

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shea butter

People are heavily into rocks here in Tucson. It’s the second time I am in this town at the time of the gem exposition. It’s not enough that these stones are a really big deal, but the event spawns side shows, like the one here, behind the Motel 8, of African Art.

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carapets and me

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And lo! There is my guy from two years back, with his truck of Afghani carpets. I bought a runner from you! I’ll sell you an area rug for $1200! I don’t have $1200! Make it $200 then. Times are tough in Afghanistan.

Our friend who is hosting this reunion (four women, friends since the first year of Law School now exactly 25 years ago) lives among cacti and palm trees.

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valentine's day hearts?

We stroll in the late afternoon, ready for the dessert chill that comes around when the sun goes down. On the back deck, she feeds us Brazilian drinks with lime juice and some potent something. Life is sweet.

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cacti and caiparigna coctails at sunset

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hairy cacti at sunset