It's 9:43 am here in New Mexico, I'm listening to Serge Gainsbourg sing Initials B.B. and the skies are overcast with what looks like the makings of another good thundershower today.
The monsoon season has got an early start this year, usually the storms don't come 'til late July or August, but they are here.
Lilly is a small, stooped Apache lady whom I have known for years. I first met her when I was a cop as she is a bad alcoholic. There is no crime of public intoxication in New Mexico but we would often get calls on Lilly, that she was drunk, bugging people, or just a danger to herself and we'd go out, pick her up and either take her into protective custody (detox) for a few hours or (more often) drive her over to the res and hand her off to one of the BIA cops to deal with.
About ten years ago one of the BIA guys brought her in to our jail for some charge and as he was getting her out of his car she tried to take his gun. It was sad, but funny, this tiny old woman trying to take this young cop's gun. Funny because he was laughing, "Lilly, knock it off," in that wonderful accent Natives here in the West have, and slapping her hands away as they turned in circles with the pistol as their axis.
Now days my contacts with Lilly are not quite as entertaining. She comes into the cafe every once in a while, sometimes a couple times a week for a while, then I won't see her for months, and we always feed her. She always just asks for a slice of pepperoni pizza and a glass of water. Sometimes, if she has money, she'll try to pay. Sometimes I let her.
Often she talks to people at other tables and frankly I enjoy this, because people don't know how to act when strangers approach and start telling them a story, or worse, asking questions.
So, I like to watch people squirm a little. Not a lot, just a little. Though one time I watched an ER nurse very roughly clean a wound on the hand of a guy who had beaten his wife with a beer bottle. I did enjoy that. A lot.
But Lilly just tells people things like she turned into a bird, or that she made it rain.
A couple of days ago, the afternoon after the first of the monsoon rains, I saw her as she was walking and she stopped and, with a proud grin, told me that she had made it rain.
And I think that she did.
The Christmas Elf
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