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Monday, March 21, 2016

How to Hunt for Virgins

Chasing down Virgins is hard work. The crowd forms quickly when they know a procession is coming. I slither and squeeze to the front, only to be usurped by tiny children whose mothers insist that I give way. The children hold their hands out for the candy that the baby penitents give out. Older child penitents give holy cards and medals. The children hold their prizes up triumphantly for mama to see. It's a lesson in being avaricious. This goes on for hours. After all,  there are 600 nazarenos in this procession alone. Then come the penitents carrying crucifixes. For some reason their pointed hoods droop. There's something Freudian there, but I'm not sure what it is.
Finally the smell of incense and the sounds of the band as the Virgin appears, in all her splendor. Right after that the crowd disburses. Pressed forward, pushed back, I'm reminded of those news stories where people are crushed at soccer games, and it Has happened at Semana Santa too. The man behind me keeps muttering that I'm too slow. I know if I fell he would step on me.
In a nearby plaza yet another virgin is wending her way home. She's crying. Probably tired from being on her feet all day.

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, I wrote the whole blog out in the street while waiting for all the gloomy nazarenos to pass. Then I got back, accidentally deleted it and had to write a different post.

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