I heard a rapid succession of knocks at precisely 10:30 on this Saturday morning. Assuming it was just the punks on the other side of our bedroom wall nailing yet more things to their soon-to-be tattoo parlor, I ignored it. After all, they had been sanding, banging, clanging and presumably hurling things at our paper-thin shared wall until quite late last night. Maybe they had slept there and decided on an encore immediately upon waking.
But then I heard it again.
I slipped out of bed and tiptoed stealthily to the door for a peep out of the eyehole. I spied a blond woman in a burgundy suit. Perhaps it was my landlord, coming to evict us for leaving my ugly flip flops--a vestige of my frenzied Wednesday of mopping and scouring surfaces--on the porch one day too long. Giving up, the lady stuck something in the door and left. I waited until I could no longer see her, counted to five and unlocked the door to see what present she left us.
It was a two-page color pamphlet entirely in Spanish, entitled, "Le gustaria saber la verdad?" Based on my vast internal Spanish dictionary I would guess "gustaria" has something to do with liking (like "me gusta horchata"), "saber" means saber, and "verdad" means green. The liking of the green saber? Huh?
As I pondered this, a corpulent, mustascioed man in a three-piece suit moved in sight of my porch and spotted me. He motioned to his lady friend to come quickly, but I quickly closed and locked the door before they could speak to me. I scurried back to the bedroom to show my spoils to the boyf and attempt to translate the brochure.
"Hay alguna esperanza para los muertos?" could only mean, "Do you hope the dead eat hay?"
"Como encrontrar la felicidad?" must be a query about how I plan to encounter happy times.
"Jesucristo dijo en oracion a Dios: 'Tu palabra es la verdad'" I roughly translated to mean, "Jesus Christ said in an speech to God: 'You probably are the green.'"
In the midst of the fun translating game, I happened to catch sight of myself in the mirror. My hair had used last night's hairspray and my pillow to concoct a rooster-like pompadour. My eyes were rimmed in black due to my failure to wash my face off last night because I fell asleep immediately after guzzling a glass of red wine. My pink-and-white striped nightshirt was festooned with kitties, Eiffel towers and the phrase, "Oh, mon amour!"
I may not know what the brochure meant, but I can translate with confidence exactly what the look in that hombre's eye was saying when he glimpsed me: "Guapa mamacita!"