Next, we find books in Spanish, dusty, moth-eaten books published in the 60’s, among the books left behind by foreigners - English-Spanish dictionaries, novels in German, old Guatemalan guidebooks. We examine the curling pictures pasted to the walls, the old calendars, the dusty vases of artificial flowers. Then, two nights ago, Kendra discovered the record collection.
The collection comes with a record player, which you’d think was a boom-box from the ‘80s, except it opens up and then there’s the needle. Kendra dragged the player off the shelf, dusted it off, plugged it into the wall, and drew one of the records from the shelves. For some reason we hadn’t noticed these records before, but there are dozens of them, stacked together and pushed back on the shelf, half-concealed behind a curtain.
The records sound great on the machine. On the first night, we laughed at the covers, giggled at the lyrics, which consist of lots of te quiero’s and some Spanglish. But the records have grown on us. We like the India Maya, a band from the 70’s who have produced a number of records—Norma has them all. Many of the record covers have the band’s phone number, so you can call them if you want them to play at your party. Now, in the evenings, I fall asleep to the sound of those records, whose melodies jolted me at first but have now become familiar. I hum along with the songs and fall asleep to the music, the funny, jerky songs that have become part of the fabric of this trip.