WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!

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

Joey goes up to see Esperanza at the Tijeras de Oro, with a gift on a Saturday morning, but is heavily dismayed when he is greeted by her deadened expression - and the huge number of ladies all waiting to get their hair done - while chattering away in rapid-fire Spanish!

fever pitch, like a flock of blue jays chirping out warnings to each other when they see a cat in the vicinity. They all suddenly express anger and disgust, then one of the lady customers in the chair starts crying! All the women then stop what they are doing to go over and bring her tissues, and comfort her. A few minutes later - they’re all laughing, as they wipe away their tears.

What incredible drama! I become so fascinated and absorbed by the whole scene that I barely notice the hours ticking away. I feel like I am being exposed to some kind of secret society. An exotic ritual, that no man has ever been privileged to see before.

ladies do when they get together! Maybe all women do the same thing!

(after about six hours have passed by), Esperanza is down to her last customer. This is going to be my shot, my chance to have an audience with her, even if only for a minute! I steady myself, preparing for a unique and sophisticated opening line that will catch her attention. I hope. Maybe, I could feel her out to see if there was any possibility she would, perhaps - go out with me? Where could I take her? I don’t have any money! I can’t just take her to like, Jack N’ The Box for a taco, or something! She’s an older woman, a woman of the world, who’s used to the finer things in life! Ok, ok. Calm down, you jerk, just breath. At that precise moment, the phone rings, snapping me out of my panic attack. Whew. One of the other ladies answers it.

“Mira, Esperanza - telefono!”

look comes back again. That dreaded look. Like she’s battling between falling asleep and crying.

“Si...si.” she keeps repeating, quietly.

She turns her back to everyone, and listens to the voice on the other end, then silently places the receiver down, dragging herself into the back room. A minute later, she emerges with her pocketbook, totally withdrawn and quietly whispers something to Lydia, the hairstylist next to her chair. She then walks right passed me, not even casting a glance. I don’t know what to do or say.

“What -Esperanza…what’s-what's the matter?”

No reaction.

“I can’t talk now,” she finally responds, emotionlessly, as she sleep-walks out the door.

whole Saturday here. Lydia comes over, puts her hand on my shoulder, and gives me a sympathetic smile.

 “You come back. Try next week, baby, ok?” she says, in heavily accented English.

I plop out the door despondently, moping all the way to the bus stop. What a hollow, helpless feeling. What could I do? I mean, how am I supposed to react to this kind of situation? Conflict storms through my brain waves, my gut. Who am I trying to fool? I’m in a hundred boyfriends. She can have anybody she wants. Any guy. I don’t even speak her language.

Yet, a part of me feels an excruciating sadness, a pained empathy for her. That look. That look on her face when I first came in today, then again after the phone call, it just skewers my heart. What was that phone call about? Is she in trouble? What the hell is going on?!


Submitted: January 14, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Joe Montaperto. All rights reserved.

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