Wednesday, August 05, 2009

the girl that I marry --

She was beautiful.

Red hair. A smile that would make men weak at the knees.

I fell in love with her the first time I saw her.

And she was nuts.

I, of course, could not see it. I was in love.

My friends would pull me aside and tell me, in Cassius-conspiratorial whispers: "You do know she's crazy, don't you?"

And I would respond: "She's so pretty."

Of course, like all love stories that start with those elements, it did not end happily. I did not marry her.

There were parting telephone calls where she alternated between Doris Day and the Mouth of Sauron. There were more bad days than good days.

And then nothing. As if the moment had never happened.

I thought of her on Sunday. As I was walking into town from church, a woman came running across the street.

She could have been from central casting -- wearing her hat emblazoned with the name of a Mexican resort town, shorts, and what looked like either a table cloth or a rug wrapped around her shoulders. For a moment, I thought one of Richard's gangs had escaped from San Miguel de Allende.

I was wrong. She was a new resident in town. And she wanted to now: "American? Canadian?"

I was not certain what to make of her question. It was her accent. It did not sound Mexican. French? Central European? I could not tell.

And it was not for want of sampling. In the next five minutes I was to hear all about her personal life. And her dislikes. Apparently, they are legion.

  • She cannot stand the heat in Melaque. It is literally killing her -- causing her blood pressure to zoom to levels that would kill a mortal being.

  • She cannot abide the local health clinic. They are stupid because they would not give her medications she had demanded. And she has played a doctor on the stage.

  • Mexicans do not know how to cook Mexican food. Every place she has eaten, she needs to show the cook how Mexicans should cook.

  • She dislikes all of the Mexican people in town because they are stupid. They cannot discuss Sartre and other interesting existentialists with her.

When I asked her why she was in Mexico if she disliked the place so much, she responded -- "for love." She came here to live with a man, but he was trouble.

One can only imagine. And I left it to my imagination. There are things I do not need to know.

What I needed to know was how to get away. I did not need my friends to warn me what was going on.

She stopped at a shop; I went on my way.

I did start wondering, though. We all have things that we do not like about Mexico -- or wherever it is we live. My little encounter was obviously extreme. But do we come off as being simply unbalanced in our observations?

Now, I have something else to watch out for on the streets of Melaque: Glenn Close in a serape. I hope she has not seen A Fistful of Dollars.


john said...

About us expatriates: We may all be here, but some of us are not all there.

Anonymous said...

Old Love...Always better in hindsight. It seems there are walkaways from asylums all over the world. Maybe she ran out of meds...I am curious about the accent. Say Hola to Jiggs for me.

Steve Cotton said...

John -- Too true. I hope you are feeling better.

Francisco -- The accent fascinated me as well.

Julian in SC said...

One good thing, Steve. She shouldn't be around town very long with that bevy of "problems". Being from the South it sounds to me as if she comes from somewhere above the Mason-Dixon line. I agree with Francisco on the meds. Would not want to be the object of her "love", eh!

Constantino said...

Just invite her over for a nice intimate dinner, candlelight, soft music, flowers, and don't forget your cyanide......
There is a requirement for people with that certain "twist" on life. It makes you appreciate normal......

Anonymous said...

Beautiful? For those of us who lived through that episode, beautiful is not the word I would use.


Steve Cotton said...

Julian -- I am not so certain. There are people who seem to thrive on wallowing in their own complaints. I just want to be certain I do not end up lke that.

Constantino -- Do you mean like celebrities who surround themselves with people less glamorous so they might appear more glamorous? Or, like Joe Biden, who surrounds himself with people who do not say much so he -- oh, you get the picture.

Horst -- Ah. One of the survivors.

Anonymous said...


Ruth said...

Well you know, one of the first criteria I have for a neighborhood is that every one can hold their own in a discussion of existentialism. Not really.

Steve, I would start wearing Groucho glasses until you are sure this person has gone away from Melaque.

Charley said...

She got downgraded from beautiful to pretty in 2 paragraphs of the story. I hope Horst can flesh out more details for us all.

Miss Vi Carious
Houston Tx

Chrissy y Keith said...

reminds me of that country western soing by Billy currington. God is great, beer is good and people are crazy.

glorv1 said...

It sounds as though she really needed her medications badly. Just another exciting episode of your stay in Villa Obregon. I hope Mr. Jiggs is doing well, I think of him quite frequently. Take care, be well and Viva La Vida!

jennifer rose said...

When are you going to learn that you don't have to speak to everyone who speaks English? You don't even have to speak English to those people. It's easy to turn deaf, become mute, comprehend only some non-English language.

Steve Cotton said...

Anonymous -- I will, at least, stroll with purpose.

Ruth -- I have been wearing my Groucho glasses for the past 30 years -- hiding from old flames.

Charley -- Horst, and at least five other readers, could give you the whole enchilada. And I trust they won't.

Chissy -- At times, I feel as if my entire life is a Merle Haggard album just waiting to be produced.

Gloria -- Jiggs just shakes his ead. (He is having more problems with his legs this week. Not good.)

Calypso said...

"Glenn Close in a serape. I hope she has not seen A Fistful of Dollars."

Better yet lets hope she isn't a fatal attraction.

Tenga cuidado Hombre!

Steve Cotton said...

Jennifer -- If my parents had not brought me up to speak with everyone, I would miss out on a lot of good blog material.

Calypso -- Jiggs just piped up: "I ain't no rabbit." And he isn't much of a grammarian, either.

Jan said...

The important thing is that you listened and were not rude. She sounds like a very lonely person which is certainly not to say that you should solve that problem. Still, it's good for the soul to listen to a lonely crazy person.

Steve Cotton said...

Jan -- You are correct. The encounter took only five minutes out of my day.

Mic said...

Post = so funny!,
Comments = Funnier!

Many Thanks for the out-loud giggles on a drizzled-dreary day. :-)

...sending P. Jiggs a pat and hoping the coming cooler months will perk him up.

Steve Cotton said...

Mic -- Thanks. It was a fun piece to write. Jiggs, unfortunately, is not having a great week. His spirit is amazing, but his rear legs are a problem.

Anonymous said...

Oh Steve - I do love reading your especially! What a great story -

I am sure she saw you coming a mile away! Next time you might consider running a mile away! She clearly saw you as approachable kindhearted soul...

Thanks for sharing your story and providing me with a good chuckle!


Anonymous said...

Be aware of the full moon this week...

Steve Cotton said...

Odd. I was thinkin the same thing. Full -- tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

These things don't happen in Mexico City. I've been there a zillion times, and not once have been approached by either an American, Canadian, nor European.

But the Mexicans are nice there, and if you hang out in the Zocalo, eventually some polite adolescent will want to interview you in English on videotape for a class assignment. These episodes can be very amusing, especially if you speak Spanish too.

Very funny post. Keep 'em coming.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we lack a certain appreciation for colorful lunatics. Not like my hometown of San Francisco, where they are lionized.

Steve Cotton said...

Kim -- Maybe you have a lunatic shield. I am positive I have a mad magnet. No matter where I go, I end up talking to the local loony. Perhaps, like calls unto like.