Friday, September 28, 2012

We Just Might Stick Out, Maybe. Perhaps.

Sitting in the office of the Taekwondo building where Max practices three times a week, a man in a suit and tie walked in. He had a short conversation with the secretary which I paid no attention to and then turned to face me.
"You're a Baha'i, aren't you?" he pointed at me to get my attention.
"Ummmm... Yes, I am." Although sure of my beliefs, I was entirely baffled as to how this man knew about them.
"And you live on such-n-such street, house number lalala," he kept his focus on me. And now I'm officially weirded out because my address isn't posted publicly anywhere.
"Yes," was all I could manage, but I furled my brow to let him know I was ready for an explanation.
"You're fulano's* wife who works over..." and he trailed off a bit pointing in the direction of Josh's work. He kept reading my invisible profile tatooed on my forehead. But with mention of Josh, I had a clue, finally.
"Yes," I nod this time. I am a white person married to the other white person in town.
"I met your husband at the park a couple months ago. I print books," he began to pull out three books from the business bag slung over his shoulder. Criollo Natural Remedies and two self-help type books.
"Right! You are Abel and you were going to come to dinner at our house sometime," I smile with relief. I don't remember details like Dominicans do. Remind me to tell you about the mad memorization skills of the children's class kiddos.
He smiled, surprised that I was playing his game as I rattled off the handful of other facts I knew about him. I still don't know his address.
I held the self-help books in my hands for a while, making small talk and then realized that perhaps he wanted me to buy some.
"Oh! I don't even have a chele on me," I apologized, returning the books.
"That's okay," he took them, then rummaged some more in his bag. "This is for you," he handed me another book.
I am now the proud owner of my first ever romance novel. I guess you only live once.

*Fulano is used quite often here and is the equivalent to dude (in the 90's) or so-n-so or whoever or, my personal favorite, whats-his-face.
*Chele was the first Dominican currency and is no longer in existence. Dominicans now use this word in jest. For example, if you want to sell things for cheap, one might say "¡Todo por chele!" (Everything for a cent!) But it never is.

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