Day 1: Am I Write?

A peek into my everyday words

Day 1 : "Ah, Los Estados Unidos"

Everybody, meet Monica. You'll be reading a lot about her.

"¿Van para Medellín?" an older man sitting further down the bench pulled Monica out of her heat-trance. “Sí señor,” she answered sleepily. “¿Usted también?” He nodded. “I have errands to run, then back here to Santa Fe. Home.” I was only half listening for a few minutes while Monica went through the motions of asking about what he did, he was a farmer, and what kind of errands he'd be doing, picking up supplies. In the process, she told him she was only visiting me for a couple of weeks; that she lived in the States. “Ah, los Estados Unidos. I’ve tried to go muchas veces, but no luck. My visa kept being denied.” My ears perked up at the possibility of a juicy story. The farmer didn’t flinch at our sudden interest, but rather fed on it and continued joyfully. “Claro, you go to that interview, so expensive, and you’re nervous, you know?” He took a cigarette out of his pocket and lit it skillfully. “So the first time, I start telling them how I’m just going to go visit family. But, of course, I’m secretly planning on starting a whole life there, earning a few dolaritos and sending some back to my family until my girl can join me.” He took a long drag.

“But I made the mistake of not preparing well enough. When he asked if I was in a relationship I said yeah, I got a girl and she’s six months pregnant and everything.” He winked at us, “She absolutely was not, but I thought it would look good for me, a family man! And he continued railing me, saying one thing and another like why aren’t you taking them? And you plan on being gone for a month or two? What will your family do without you? I tried to talk myself out of it but in the end, he all but said 'you’re a bum who’s leaving his pregnant girlfriend behind. Denied!”

Monica laughed. I smiled nervously, looking at his ripped jeans and his faded tee shirt, the way the veins came out of his arms and his skin was dark with hours of work. He could have been about forty, maybe older.