6—Wrestling match in Acolman [vs. the Leader, best of three falls]
7:30 to 9—Mariachi performance in town festival
"And at nine o'clock," he says with a grin, "I fall in bed like a rock."
For now, though, he dons his bright, multicolored uniform and begins to think of his lines. He's been over this a thousand times. He knows he must project the right image. He prays silently. All eyes will be on him. Soon someone will come for him, and he will walk through a huge door and enter his private stage.
A match against the Gravedigger? Nah. Vespers.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
—I TIMOTHY 4:7
It will not be the most feliz of navidads at St. Michael's this year.
All the kids are supposed to bring an ornament to school to help decorate the town during the nine-day posadas, the traditional Christmas festivities, but the padre doesn't know where he's going to get the money. He gathers the kids around him in the courtyard.
"Tell your teachers I just cannot afford ornaments this year," he says, "Maybe next year."
The ornaments are just one of the things that won't get crossed off the padre's Christmas list. "Chicken," he says. "The kids would love to have chicken for Christmas dinner. Some have never even tasted chicken. But it's too expensive." So are toys. And decorations. And piñatas. And candy inside the piñatas.