Friday, October 28, 2005
Stand and Deliver
When I was in high school I worked in a shoe store in the mall. Only women worked there, save for one really weird guy who told me he asked his girlfriend to marry him and gave her a ring made of string. Most of us ignored him, and would stand around bored, praying no one would come into the store.
There were a lot of interesting women who worked there. I was only 16, and everyone else was older than me. Two of the girls were Mexican, and two were black. One night, the Mexican girls invited me to go out with them to East L.A. "There's only going to be Mexicans there. Are you comfortable with that?" they asked. "Sure," I said. "I know a little Spanish. I'll be fine." "You look like you could Puerto Rican or something, anyway," one of the girls said. "They won't know the difference."
Later that night we drove on the freeway for what felt like a really, really, really long time (I didn't realize East L.A. was that far from the Westside). We parked on a dark street and started walking towards a parking lot. I looked around. "Where's the party?" I asked. "This is it," one of the girls said with a happy glaze in her eyes. "Oh, and by the way, " she said. "You should probably start speaking Spanish now or at least get an accent because these eses don't really like black people." Now you tell me...
We walked over to the parking lot and it was a bunch of guys sitting around drinking 40's. Please don't let one of these guys talk to me! I silently prayed. I don't know enough Spanish to-
ese: Como esta?
me: Bien, y usted?
I started looking past his shoulder for a hole in the fence to crawl through.
ese: Como te llamo?
Damn, I answered wrong.
me: Lo siento. Me llamo Jaimie.
He gave me a funny look and walked away.
"So, how's it going? You cool?" one of the girls asked me a little too late. "You stupid ass!" I said. "I don't belong here. I'm going to get beat up!" I whined. "Take me back to Santa Monicaaaaaa!!!!"
"Whatever, girl," one of the girls said. "We'll go after I finish this 40 oz." I rolled my eyes and walked away from her and sat on a blue crate by the exit. While I was sitting there silently waiting for them to finish, cursing my coworkers and wishing I had stayed at home, both girls came up to me with a guy and a camera. "This dude wants to take a picture of us," she said. "Come on, let's stand together."
We stood together and posed. "Sonrie" he said. Sonrie...smile.
Posted by Jaimie ::
4:39 PM ::
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