At twilight on Christmas day, I sat in a restaurant and bar across from Cathedral plaza. The lights were festive, the music was not. Christmas Carols, although heard in Mexico, are heard less often then they are north of the border.
I ordered a glass of wine and asked for a menu. My waiter obliged. He asked my name. His name was Alan. He had spent time working in Canada, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal. Yes, he knew of Winnipeg. He was returning to Canada, specifically Montreal, in March. When in Canada he was employed as a waiter, and would be again.
Alan was very good looking. Aren't most Latino men? Alan was also charming and likely in his mid-twenties.
Whenever he had a moment to spare he'd drop by my table and we would continue our conversation. I ordered my meal. I ordered another glass of wine.
"I'd like to talk to you after I get off work," he said.
"What time are you off work?"
"Between ten and midnight."
"That's too late for me."
At first I took him at his word, thinking he just wanted to talk to someone from Canada. But as the evening went on the conversation got more intimate. Twilight turned to night. The city lights shone bright. The hustle of people passing by did not lull. The people sitting at tables around mine changed.
"Can I come to your hotel? Where are you staying? I want to kiss you, your eyes, your lips" The more intimate he became the harder I laughed. This had to be a joke.
"Algo mas?" he said.
"La cuenta, por favor."
"No, gracious, la cuenta."
"Let me make for you something special, cheese and olives."
Two young women from Michigan, sitting at the next table made a comment. "Aren't the waiters here great? Every time we are in Morelia we make a point of coming here."
Ah, I thought, Latin lovers flirting with the female customers is good for business.
When I departed I left a large propina gave Alan a hug and thanked him for the entertainment.
As I walked to my hotel I thought perhaps he was serious, and if so I would have hurt his feelings. When I was in my room I looked into the mirror. Staring back at me was a woman of a certain age. "No, " I thought he could not have been serious. At best I look fifty years old, and that's ten years younger than my real age.
But, he was a very entertaining young man. If I had been a naive old woman I may have believed him, he looked so sincere. Bless his young heart.