Shaved. The way he liked his ice. Flavored with coconut.
It wouldn't be long now until dawn. He had been afraid and had found a triangle of wood to wedge under his door before the night went black. The sun would come up any moment now. He had been able to keep his back against the inside wall of his room all night. But now, the door was open and he rested his hands on the top of the rough concrete wall. He looked over the courtyard and had a clear view of any comers. Long tailed crows called to each other in the old tree next door.
The morning heat bowed his head. His hair was sweat-moist. His skin stuck to itself. He was disoriented. It felt so early and so late at the same time. The heat was confusing. It seemed like it should be cold, but Adara told him that the mountains held the heat, like a bowl. From the courtyard wall he could see a dog stretching its hind legs on a roof a block away. The dog looked at him and then lay down out of sight.
His father had been the one who put the idea of the Golem in his head in the first place. He had read him a jewish story about the Golem of Prague. A long time ago, before World War II, a rabbi and his assistants in Europe researched ancient texts. They went to the river in secret one night and scooped clay from the riverbed, forming it into the shape of a large body. They walked around the body and prayed. They were given the power to make life: a huge man made of clay. That night, they turned his clay flesh into real flesh. And the wise rabbi put a secret word on his head that kept the clay man, named Josef, alive. The word was a sort of plug that kept the unnatural life in him. Without it, life would drain away. The rabbi and his assistants used the golem as a bodyguard to protect the oppressed jewish people of Prague. One thing they used to do to jewish people was pretend that they had sacrificed young children for their blood. They said it was used in certain jewish rituals. Whether it was or not, his father would not tell him. But the people who feared the jewish people tried to make excuses to kill them and one way was this sacrificing innocent kids for their blood story. Thus the rabbi wanted to create the bodyguard to protect his people.
So, he created a sort of monster to do it. The golem was strong, but kind of stupid. He did whatever his jewish masters told him to do, but he understood things in a simple, literal way. When the rabbi's wife told Josef to bring water to her house, she didn't tell him to bring only as much as she needed. Josef kept bringing more and more water until it nearly filled the house. There was later a Disney movie about this same problem. Once they knew that Josef was simple, it was easier to get what they wanted out of him. But there was one part that they didn't expect.
His father explained that Josef knew that he had been created to save the jewish people, and this made the golem proud to be alive. He worked hard to learn to speak, to fit in. But starting with the water bucket incident, Josef began to realize that he was being used. That, at some point, he would help the jewish folks become more powerful than the others. And then what? Would they pull the plug on him and let him drain away? Or would they continue to use him to enforce their power? This trouble in the head of the golem created pain. When he was told to attack a butcher who had planted a dead girl in the jewish ghetto, he went on a rampage. He was at war with himself. He slaughtered the butcher and his brothers and hung them up with their meats. He walked through the streets of Prague covered in their blood. Walked back to the ghetto. His thick hands throbbing with anger.
At another time, Josef was captured while sleeping and put in a well by some bandits. He was kept there for a weekend while the men tried to think of how to kill him. In a way, it was impossible to kill Josef, but in another way very easy. After thinking about what to do, Josef began to howl like a dog. He had seen dogs annoy people and get attention. Nobody wanted a dog in their well. The townspeople got to Josef before the bandits came back. "What do you want?" they asked. "Find the rabbi," he said. When the bandits returned, they saw there was a big commotion at the well and they fled. When the rabbi arrived, he made up an excuse for the townspeople. But, the golem had wished he would have called him his son. "Why have you called me here?" the rabbi asked the desperate golem. "For your blessings, sir. I fear I am going to die down here and wish you to bless me," said the golem. "What are you doing down there?" the rabbi asked. A person from the town told him, "He is drunk. He has been yowling like a dog at the bottom of our well all day long. Get him out of here. He has probably defecated in our well and we will have to dig a new one. Will your people dig it for us? Or must we clean up after your kind?" The rabbi was horribly embarrassed. "He is not a part of my temple. He is so drunk he believes I have responsibility for him." The rabbi feared for his life so he said, "Let him rot there and I will build you a new well." He walked home with his head up. That night he came back with a large rope and a long knife. "Tie the rope around your neck and use your hands and feet to climb the walls. We will pull you," he said. "Father, father," the golem cried. "The walls are mossy and too slick to climb. I have tried and I am tired." "Take the knife, then," said the rabbi as he dropped it down. The knife missed the golem, but fell into the knee deep water. The well was too narrow for the golem to bend over to pick up the knife. He tried to crouch, but could not. He began to cry. "Quiet, you imbecile," said the rabbi, who was afraid the townspeople would hear him again. The cry was a low wail. "I'm sorry I had to leave you," said the rabbi. "Now we'll get you out of here." He fashioned a noose out of one end of the rope. It slipped over Josef's head on the way back down. "Do your best," added one assistant as they all pulled from above. Once they had lifted Josef out of the well, his neck was permanently longer and tilted to one side. But he was out. Later, Josef dug another well for the townspeople. He found one of the bandits and put the dead body in the same well he had be imprisoned in.
In San Cristobal they sold paletas of coconut on a stick. Beige colored. Tinkle bells on square, refrigerated cart. But that wasn't shaved ice. It was more like a popsicle.