Eavesdropping At The Ajijic Plaza

By Ron Nussbaum

ajijic plaza 2016


“…Flat. That woman is flat!” My ears perked up. What a rude thing to say, I thought. I was standing between two popular gathering places at Ajijic’s plaza, El Jardin Restaurant and Black and White Coffee—Yes. That is how it is spelled — waiting for a friend. Conversations from under their outdoor umbrellas swirled, ricocheted, and collided around me. I was drawn into discussions in which I had no interest. “Can’t someone tell her she always sings flat? She shouldn’t be in the church choir anymore. She sounds like…”

“…Hell! That damn dog just did it on the sidewalk,” a man blared behind me from the restaurant. “He did it right there, where everyone walks. And, look, his owner just saw it and now he’s pulling the dog’s leash, leading him away. That man should be punished, maybe forced to…”

“…Watch FOX News. I do it for the laughs,” a slender man in a black trucker hat told three coffee drinkers sharing his table. “I mean, there hasn’t been a good TV comedy since…”

“… Bill Clinton said, ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman,’” the slight, elderly man sitting near the back of the restaurant told the much younger Mexican man sitting with him. “What does he consider sexual relations? Whether he thinks so or not, oral sex is…”

“…A trophy wife. Who cares if Trump has a trophy wife? He’s gonna make America great again. I’d be more concerned if he has…”

“…My Passport. I have just got to update it,” a bearded man in an orange and lime green aloha shirt told a short, older man wearing red, white, and blue striped suspenders over his dingy white T-shirt. They stirred their lattes in unison, clinking a caffeinated Morse Code. “Louise and I plan on taking another trip to…”

“…Pluto. I don’t know why but Pluto has always been my favorite Disney character.” The woman with a gray-blonde bun plopped atop her head dabbed the remnants of lunch from the corners of her mouth and placed the wafer-thin paper napkin on her plate. “Have you ever noticed that Pluto has got the biggest…”

“…Basket. It is bigger than he is,” a bald man wearing a Toronto Blue Jays jersey said as he watched a young boy carry a broad basket teeming with baked goods across the plaza. His voice carried from the coffeehouse’s furthest umbrella. “His pastries are really good,” the man added. “But the best are his fried…”

“…Skateboarders. It’s not safe walking on the malecon,” a feeble, angular woman wobbling past me in a walker complained to a much younger Latina inching along next to her. The younger woman had a bored expression and appeared to be more concerned with the older woman’s safety than her words. “Those skateboarders, with their disgusting sagging pants and visible underwear,” the woman continued, “are more rude and disrespectful than…”

“…Republicans. Oh yes. There are more living here than people realize.” My head turned back toward the restaurant. “There could be as many as…”

“…3.97. But that wasn’t enough to make me valedictorian or salutatorian. I was crushed,” a woman uttered in a slow Southern drawl from the coffee shop. “But it didn’t stop me from attending Texas A&M for a semester and then, years later, returning to school and going to Trump University. But not making high school valedictorian absolutely knocked me…”

“…Flat. A damn flat tire in the Walmart parking lot,” my friend startled me as he panted his arrival. “So that’s why I’m late. Anyway, I finally got new hearing aid batteries and I can hear again. So how long have you been waiting?”

“What?” I replied.


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