Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The stick

I am with a friend walking on Mount Pleasant Street, slowly making our way to Adams Morgan. It's dark already.
In front of us a woman has stopped to grab something over the small fence of a house's garden. We see her pulling out a large branch and walking away. We both look at each other puzzled. Just a short comment on fireplaces as we keep walking. The woman is now walking with the large branch in her hand about 10 meters in front of us. We cross the "Rat Park" (the rat-infested park at the corner of 16th Street, Mount Pleasant and Columbia Road). We are so close that we can hear her say "I got a stick" to someone on her cell-phone, and she hangs up. My friend teases me "This can't be on your blog if you don't know why she is so excited about that stick!". No matter, I am just too curious. I call after her "Madam, Madam". When she turns around, I realize that she is no more than 25 years old. A petite woman with an open face. She looks at us a bit worried. "What's the stick for?" I ask.
A huge smile on her face. "For the piñata" she says pointing to a plastic bag she is carrying. "To break it" she adds seeing immediately that I didn't understand her answer.
Her friends call from across the street. A young woman all dressed up and a young man carrying a much shorter stick, more like half of a baseball bat. I just have the time to say "Your stick is nicer" and she runs to join them. I hear her boasting to her friends the opinion I just offered her. She'll keep that stick tonight.