It's an industrious number, dabbling in the lives of cats, setting the cast of immortal Greek muses, and defining the limits of Aztec cosmic levels. It's the number of magnitudes on the Richter Earthquake Scales, of baseball innings, and of magical Celtic hazel trees. Beethoven penned nine symphonies. Jesus proclaimed nine beatitudes. Ferris Bueller was in the dog house for skipping school nine times, and The Searchers little bottle of Love Potion, well, it goes without saying what number was on the side.
It's also the day in this ninth month of September when I moved myself to Mexico, at the bidding of a love potion exactly a year ago. Tomorrow's the anniversary; number nine's working hard.
And I can easily list nine ways in which I've changed, a Celtic girl in an Aztec world of earthquakes, hard work, and plenty of inspiration:
1. I'm the new biggest fan of the liter-box of milk. I know I can go months without a trip to the store for more. And I know that poking a hole in the top will avoid it's bur-louping out. This, Patricio tells me, is very, very important.
2. In the best interest of our backs, I'd rather wash laundry in cold water than deplete our tank of gas in less than six weeks' time. Those steel tanks are heavy.
3. Nouns leaving my mouth have a hard time escaping without an 'ito' or 'ita'--a diminutive suffix. When Patricio and I are reading, we're like sipping a tecito.
4. I take for granted the price of avocados, two kilos of mangoes, and freshly-baked bread. Those bolillos have effortlessly won over my heart. I'm spoiled right down to my produce-loving pit.
5. The 't' at the end of Wal-Mart has ceased to exist. It's "Val-Mar," now. Or even "Aurrera."
6. I consider dogs wildlife. If I squint, a Labrador looks a lot like a deer.
8. I won't take good bookstores for granted. Ever. Ever. Again.
9. When someone says, "chamba," "chafa," "chava," "chela," "chesco," "chones," or "chido,"** I know exactly what they mean; I'm practically a chilango.
I'm sure the list could extend on nine times nine, but I'd rather spare us all and simply celebrate instead, with nine sugared figs, nine kisses and my muse.
note on 9: **work, crappy, chick, beer, soda, underwear, cool