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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic


So this is a continuation of my last blog when I go up to visit Esperanza at the Tijeras de Oro - and she looks ‘out of it’ - I don’t know exactly why, and it’s killing me. I’m thinking that maybe this could be the start of a budding romance. I mean, I even went out and bought her a pair of earrings from Malins, the local department store.



I cringe at how awkward I must sound. She checks me out again, for a second or two.

“You look nice, papi…I like your shirt.” Thank God, at least she notices my black clothes, even in her disengaged state. She lets out a slight giggle, and points to the hoop earring she had given me, I had just put it in my ear before I entered.

“Oh... yeah! I-I been wearing it… uh – everyday.”

She smiles a little, then crinkles her nose. Oh man, that was so cute – so sexy the way she did that. It was the same way Elizabeth Montgomery did it on Bewitched! Especially when she donned that black wig and played her free-spirited cousin, Sarina. And I had been in love with Elizabeth Montgomery, since I was, like, nine years old.

Um...sorry… I uh, haven’t been able to come up - y’know, for a while – but…”

Another slight giggle emerges from her mouth, as she shakes her head a bit.

Uh-oh. What does that mean? Why did she shake her head like that? Did I say something stupid? Shit! My face burns crimson.

“I-uh- um…I just wanted to thank you for that haircut you gave me! It was - um…great!”

I hand her the little box with the earrings in it from my pocket. She seems puzzled as she opens the box.

“Oh, baby, they are so cute… tu eres tan dulce- aye- you so sweet.”

She holds them up next to her ears as she peers at her image in the mirror.

“Mira - Lydia.”

She shows the lady working the chair next to her.  They both look at me and smile.

 “Gracias, papi.”

I allow a touch of pride to creep in among all the angst I am feeling.  Have I scored a small victory? The lady whose hair she’s cutting, smiles and clears her throat.

“Oh, permiso mami! Mira, listen papi, why don’t you go sit down for a while, till I can take my cigarette break, ok?”

I obediently take a chair and wait. And wait. She’s backed up. I guess Saturday isn’t a good time to visit. She’s real popular. Ladies come in especially for her, young and old. Every time I think I might get a second to talk to her, another lady plops in the chair. And they’d be off into that rapid-fire Spanish dialogue again. Damn. I remember that kiss from the last time I was here, and I want to experience that again. Who knows? Maybe even more? Occasionally, she glances over and gives me a little smile, and my frustration is temporarily quelled again, or my heart fills up with hope, but then she goes back to cutting and yapping again.

I occupy myself observing the crazy ebb and flow of the almost musical conversation that abounds between the ladies in the salon. Both the hairstylists and the customers. I can’t really understand anything that’s going on, but once in a while they slip a couple of English words like, “Louie? Her husband? Con esa puta?” Then they roar back into Spanish. From the rhythm of it, it sounds like one of the husbands had cheated on somebody with a kind of whorish woman (puta sounded like the Italian word for slut -putan). Then there’s a whole lot of that clucking of tongues, and gasps, and a repeated mantra of “Dios Mio!”

It is so lively. It seems to me like they are all a part of their own little village or tribe, where everybody all knows each other, and they all share openly. It appears to me that every day is like a party for Puerto Rican people.

Submitted: December 30, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Joe Montaperto. All rights reserved.

Check out Joe Montaperto's Book

The Edge Of Whiteness

Thrill to yesteryear as high school segregation, the 1970s and a quirky coming of age story all come together!!

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