"There she was just a-walkin' down the street, singing 'Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy'..."
My friend Connie is on an El Salvadorian kick and has been RAVING about a number of spots south of the city. We had plenty to catch up on...and some El Salvadorian investigating to do, so today we met for lunch. While she snagged a table, I was outside snapping a few photos.
No sooner did she mention my name, than I disappeared from view!
The amazing disappearing act was followed by a wail...more akin to a wounded animal....
While I was out snapping photos, I tripped on a drainage grate and plummeted to the ground. I tried to break my fall...but may have broken my arm instead. As my face sped towards the black-topped drive through, I remember thinking, "I can't stop this...."
I laid there, stunned and motionless while my friend--still inside the restaurant, struggled to open the emergency exit (the closest door to me.)
In no time, a crowd of El Salvadorian men hovered over me in a bleeding, humiliated moment. Pools of blood dripped from an unknown origin. (My face was still numb and I couldn't quite tell where the wound was.) As it turns out, the titanium cat-eye frame of my glasses, both buffered my face-plant, and tossed askew, drove the pointed corner into the flesh over my eye. I've got a deep gash that somehow, appeared to pucker, and close on its own. Still, it's deep enough...a scar is eminent.
When I regained composure enough to stand, I took an assessment of the damage. Besides the bruised and swollen black eye, I now have extremely limited use of my left arm, and my foot somehow got tangled in the mess....
But even worse than my own injuries?
In the momentum of my fall, my camera was thrown and skidded to a stop 12 feet away. We found my batteries strewn in an 8 foot radius from there. The camera itself seems to have suffered even worse damage...and now is rendered quite useless.
I'm grieving the death of my camera even more than my own injuries. (As you may know, I carry it with me every day. It's now become an extension of me, ready to capture fabulous experiences at a moment's notice.)
I decided to grieve my camera later. There were more important things at hand. I hadn't seen my friend Connie in weeks and drove 20 miles to visit her favorite spot. (I'll think about the doctor tomorrow...)
So I rallied, and ordered a plate of pupusas!
Let me tell you...they were amazing...and totally worth the drive. I'm definitely looking forward to going back. Sorry, no pupusa photos, or shots of Connie's fabulous breakfast (served all day) with refried beans, fried plantains, house-made cheese, sour cream, and spicy scrambled eggs.
I do, however, have shots of the exterior, captured just before my fall. Over time, this building has spanned multiple incarnations. I suspect it used to be a bank, but Connie knows it as a former favorite Indian restaurant (some of the signage is still evident) and now, of all things...it's a popular El Salvadorian restaurant.
"El Salvadorian Pupuseria Titas"
Tita is the name of the cook...famous for her pupusas and house-made cheese. And now, they have endeared themselves to me with the fine treatment just after my fall. The boys raided the first aid kit, sharing everything from gauze to antibiotics, aspirin...and icy cold towels.
Connie, I can't thank you enough for your tender-loving kindness...and for ferreting out all the great hole-in-the-wall joints around town!
I am mourning the death of my camera.
But I also had a swift reminder of the things that are important in life. Things can change in the blink of an eye....And I'll always be grateful for the wonderful people in my life. YOU are the key ingredient in this oh-so-delicious life....