The Palm Tree Piñata

The Palm Tree Piñata | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

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I’m smacking around a piñata shaped like a palm tree. It is southern California, mid-summer. The palm tree piñata is swinging back-and-forth beneath the bright summer sun. It is my birthday. I’m thirty-eight years old. I don’t always act my age, yet I am wise beyond my years, people say. We are having a party to celebrate, a few of my childhood friends are in attendance and many Mexican cousins. We are drinking a mixture of Mexican beers, trendy hard seltzers, and sangria. Finally, I give the palm tree piñata a final smack and it explodes: out of the piñata comes falling Loteria game sets and Mexican dulces. I pick up a dulce and start chewing. As the sun sets on the west coast, we play rancheras, cumbias, hip-hop and oldies, well into the night. The moon rises with the cigarette smoke.