The Esposo

9 Oct

Day 29 of the 90 in 90 blog challenge.

Four years ago my mom and I took a three week trip to Honduras. We sponsor a little girl there, and took the trip to go to a 3 week long language school to improve our Espanol, and then conclude the trip by meeting our little girl. Predictably enough, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. Sure, the climate, culture, and food took some getting used to, but that trip is still one of my most treasured memories.

Looking back on the trip as a whole, it’s easy to remember the very best parts and forget the unfortunate ones. However, I stumbled upon this old email that I sent during that time, and thought I should share it…

Imagine this, okay? My mother and I wake up every morning side by side. We go to school every day, side by side. We come home, side by side, and together are banished into our room, consisting of four white walls, two suitcases, a bed, two pillows, and a dead cockroach carcass, side by side. We lay on the bed, side by side. We sit in front of our fan, side by side. We read our little books, side by side, because we have no other forms of entertainment in our prisoner of war room. You must imagine, my mother and I, sitting on the bed on our stomachs (yes, you guessed it…side by side) reading our little books. And all of a sudden, my mother bursts out laughing. I look at her like she’s crazy, and she just keeps laughing. And she starts saying ¨Can you believe this!? I mean CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS!?¨ Soon we’re both laughing so hard at our ridiculously disgusting existence that I actually feel tears come to my eyes. (Keep in mind that it’s still over eighty degrees, so we’re laughing and rolling on the bed together, and every time our skin touches we scream and coil away from each other, which sends us into more hysterical fits of laughter.) After composing ourselves, night falls. I’m still feeling sort of sick, and my mom says ¨Well…it’s time for dinner.¨ I say, “Ah…I don’t want any dinner. I don’t want to get sick again.” Then mom says, ¨Well, at least push your food around a little bit. That way you’ll be able to get out of this room.¨ Well, I laughed so hard I peed a little. (Too much information?) I hope this is as funny to you as it is to me, because if you could see how I´m living, you would truly be dying of laughter.

So, we eat dinner (literally consisting of three tortilla chips with beans and cheese sparsely spread across their little circle bodies.) We trudge back to our shitty little room with the four white walls, and both of us sit down on the bed, stomachs growling in tandem, side by side. My mother studies for a while, and I continue reading my novel I purchased in the airport.

Let me interrupt this message for a brief history of my host family. If I could describe my host family with one word it would be the following: Sketchy. Everything about this family is fricken sketchy… and shady. Okay…get this. For the first three or four days, we saw NO SIGN of a male character, whatsoever. ( My mother and I have notoriously proclaimed this shadow of the night¨The Esposo,¨ literally ¨the male spouse” in Spanish.) The door bell rings at God awful hours of the night, and sometimes we catch our hostess looking as if she is about to cry. Finally, one day we spotted THE ESPOSO….he was in the living room, and all three children AND mother were in there, talking very very quietly. (For a Latino family, talking quietly is quite an accomplishment, let me tell you what.) My guess is that he’s having an affair. But I can’t be sure. Also, the young boy, Gustavo, will answer the door for us when we come to the house after school, but he will only unlock the door. NOTHING ELSE. No opening of the door. No buenas dias, how are you? NOTHING. Just, click! And we open the door, and whhhssssiiiiiisssshhhh…..he’s gone. Okay, moving on….

So on this sleepless, hot, sticky, smelly night, my mother and I are laying on our bed, side by side, trying desperately to each get an equal amount of the small spout of moving humid air that our rusty fan is producing, trying to squeeze closely to the middle of the bed, yet still trying to accomplish this without touching the others skin. It is quite the task. All of a sudden, we hear the door bell ring. (Keep in mind the door bell rings ALL THE TIME, and at one point it was The Esposo, trying to enter his own house, but The Hostess wouldn’t permit him admittance. The next day, we found the front door bashed in, the beautiful glass work completely destroyed and now covered with a piece of cardboard and duct tape…)

So! On this night, we hear the doorbell ring. At first, neither of us say anything. Then, in the dead of darkness, laying on her back and staring at our prisoner of war white ceiling, my mother whispers intently…¨The Esposoooo…..¨

Well, we both laughed so hard I can’t even describe. I was so miserable and hot and sweaty and sick and F*CKING BORED, and I was forced to share this god awful tiny white room with my MOTHER, and here we are, TRYING to get some sleep, when DING DONG!!! The Hispanic soap opera starts up once again.

But it was not the Esposo… It was a party. Oh yes. A party. The entire STREET came over for a party. Actually, I think our host family’s entire extended family, all of THEIR extended families, AND their pets, all came over that night for a fiesta. I cannot describe the noises to you. Keep in mind it’s one in the morning, and I’m trying to go to sleep. Chairs sliding, doors slamming, DING DONG DING DONG, people screaming, the sound effects of a video game in the next room (zing zing zing! DoooOOOooOOOOT!), cards shuffling, being furiously pounded on the table, DING DONG DING DONG, tables being turned over, fists hitting hard surfaces in frustration at a bad hand of poker, soda cans being cracked open, girls screaming shrilly, bursts of laughter, DING DONG!!!

And amidst all of this madness, the heavenly aroma of sizzling steak and peppers slinks its way under the crack in our door. My mom goes, ¨Oh yeah, now they make the good stuff…¨ My mind immediately went back to our three measly tortilla chips, laden with a thin layer of beans and queso. Aaaaand my stomach growls. It literally GROWLS when I think of food. An audible growl. My mom and I, of course, burst into laughter once more, roll around, and scream at each other furiously when the others arm brushes against our own…

So, needless to say, we eventually got to sleep, but when we woke up the next morning… whhhiiisssshhhh… it was like none of it had ever happened. Not even a grain of rice was left on the table. I’m actually amazed at their ability to erase all evidence of fun in their household. It’s like they didn’t want us to know they were capable of serving steak or something. They probably thought the fat Americans would eat all of their steak, AND demand more, if we found out that they had it…

…They were probably right.


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