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Excerpt – El Gato’s Alhambra

Alhambra Castle

Excerpt – El Gato’s Alhambra

“The entrance was nondescript except for the magnificent mulberry tree on the left side of the west entrance to El Gato’s Alhambra. The owner’s sons could be seen fighting the blackbirds for each luscious mulberry when they were in season. Further down the driveway were the salt cedar trees. They swayed in harmony with the prevailing southerly wind, and the sound of the wind through their pine needles served to reveal a vulnerable serenity within the human consciousness for those willing to listen. Sitting on the roof of the Alhambra during a full moon at midnight with the warm, southerly breeze blowing through the cedars was more than enough to transcend the hardships of the human experience.

The demur Teddy limped out to greet you. The dog had fractured its leg. The proprietor did not see fit to take the dog to a veterinarian. It was too costly. The proprietor’s hate for Ted Kennedy equaled his love for John Kennedy. So it was a perverse and sardonic motive to name the dog after that vile Senator from Massachusetts.

Before the circle drive turned eastward to the main entrance, a detached garage on the left had been converted into rentable living quarters. The presence of a tenant only served to disrupt the privacy of this beautiful rural setting and the adjacent thirty acres of beautiful farmland. The carport on the north side of the circle drive also provided shade to the main entrance through a large sliding glass door. A second sliding glass door was a portal to a grand courtyard anchored by a large, rectangular pool surrounded by palms, banana trees, and various flowers and plants. Surrounding these was a tiled walkway. Colored floodlights at night projected onto the flora gave it the feel of a surreal movie set. For a moment, one could believe this was indeed the Alhambra of Spain.

The olfactory sensory overload from the flowers was heavenly. The sound of circulating water cascading back into the pool gave one the sense that a lost paradise had been discovered. The pool was inviting, with the water warmed daily in the hot, summer Texas sun. The ambiance was majestic. The evening air was warm and comfortably humid. The proprietor had achieved a beautiful architectural wonder using the blood and sweat of his sons and cheap, illegal Mexican labor from the adjacent slum across the road to the east.”

Alamo, Texas

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