Family Histories…day 16

Chubby woman with green body and purple and red hair

Self-portrait fitting into tight pants


Things to remember:

  • Alisia#1 (Wm’s sisters and father call her El Jefe…the boss) asked me what I normally had for breakfast and when I said cereal, she and Carmen went out and bought chocolate flavored corn flakes for me—they’re actually quite good.
  • When something is papaya-colored, it is the inside of the papaya, not the outside.
  • All dogs hate David—I think he has ADD.  Don’t think the two are related.
  • We always keep the plug in the drain in the shower when we’re not using it; we always keep the toilet seat down, we always keep the bathroom door closed.  These things worry me slightly, as the only reason I can figure out why we do these things is to keep something from crawling in.  Kathy Gould once had a rat jump out of her toilet in Milwaukee so she kept 4 or 5 phonebooks on the toilet all the time after that.  We’d flush the toilet twice before lifting them off, then “go” like lightening and slam the books back down.
  • Rice is served at dinner (almuerzo as it’s at noon) every day, even when we have spaghetti or potatoes.
  • The salads are delicious and all Beto and I use for dressing is a fresh squeezed lemon.
  • I am not actually gaining weight.  I can fit into my tightest pants.
  • Someone from the family stops by to clean about twice/week.  Today it was Alisia#2; a couple of days ago it was Monica.  And I mean they really clean.  Everything is always spotless, limpia, limpia, limpia.  They’d be horrified if I was willing and able to tell them about throwing confetti all over my floors for six months instead of cleaning them. It was actually quite cool…sort of a colorful version of sawdust on a bar room floor. I only allowed metallic confetti…no paper. I had my standards.

More exciting historical family drama as heard from Carmen:

[Note 1: I don’t say “told by” Carmen because we must take into consideration that Carmen’s Spanish is being translated by me.]

[Note 2: I told William I would know more about him and his family than he knows and it sure looks like I was right.]

[Note 3: Carmen tells me to write all these histories in my journal as she tells them…escribe escribe. She thinks this will be a grand book.]

Found out that Guillermo was an alcoholic and also that he didn’t want Patricia’s son Alberto around so either kicked him out or he ran away at 12.  When Carmen asked Patricia where Alberto was, Patricia didn’t answer, just hung her head so Carmen asked again and again until Patricia told her Guillermo didn’t want him.  Carmen had a fit, told Patricia that there were tons of men in the world, but Alberto was blood.  Carmen went looking for him and found him working in some type of cargo place and took him to Alisia#2’s home.  Alisia#2 kept him until he got married, but Carmen made Patricia pay for psychological help for Alberto. They are all very close today, by the way, so it must have worked. Guillermo and Alberto even seem to get along. But then again, Guillermo doesn’t drink anymore.

Found out that William#3 doesn’t want Rosabell (his mom and Wm’s youngest sister) to have a boyfriend. When she invited a man over to her house to watch TV, William#3 came home, found him in the living room, and hit him over the head with a broom….fwhap (Carmen’s sound effects). The man left, never to be seen again. 

Found out that William#3 was dating a woman his mother’s age, who has 3 or 4 children.  Think there might be issues here? 

Found out that my Wm’s father had an affair when Alisia (Wm’s mother) was pregnant with Edwin, the 4th sibling.  Alisia packed up Daniel, Wm. and Carmen and left Beto (Wm’s dad) and when he came home (he worked up near Nicaragua at the time and only came home every couple of months) there was nobody living in his house.  He went looking for her and finally found her, went down on his KNEES, and begged her forgiveness and she told him he could only have one woman—good for Alisia. He told her he would only have one woman if she would come back to him and they have lived together ever since.

The reason we know this story is that Edwin told us that last year a man came by his house who claimed to be his half-brother.  He wasn’t home at the time, only one of his step-daughters was there (Edwin married a woman with 9 children…which is another big history), so nobody in the family has yet met the new half brother.  Edwin told Beto and Alisia the story and asked if Beto had another son. (Maybe all families have exotic stories happening but we just don’t talk about them so they get lost to the ages.) Beto denied the entire story, but Alisia said, si, es VERDAD (the truth).  Perhaps this is why she almost fainted when she saw William#2 for the first time…maybe she thought Beto had been up to his old tricks. 

Carmen and Edwin and I are going looking for this man after we return from Panama. Leda’s daughter said the guy looked a lot like Edwin.  Carmen pulled her lower eyelid down with her index finger and said we would see.  She calls us the Costa Rican Interpol.  We think he lives in the north near Nicaragua.  Our plan is to stop in different towns along the border, point at Edwin and ask if they know anyone who looks like him.  This is our plan? We are keeping our plans secret from both of Wm’s parents. 

Edwin also used to be an active alcoholic.  He told me he drank every day and had six accidents before he got a grip.  Leda helped him, gracias adios.  He didn’t go to AA, Guillermo did.  Just before they left, Carmen got out the bible and read something and then everyone started praying out loud; everyone said something different at the same time so I couldn’t really understand exactly what anyone was saying. We stood in a circle, Leda, Edwin, Carmen and me. Then they all focused on me.  Leda stood in front of me and placed her hand on my heart and Carmen and Edwin were behind me with their hands on my shoulders and everyone prayed out loud. 

Because I don’t say anything during these praying circles, I have a feeling they might just be realizing what a heathen is in their midst.  I have started closing my eyes to try to blend in a little better, but I don’t think anything less than praying out loud will satisfy here.  I keep trying to recall my grouping theory in these moments but it’s difficult.  I must say that it feels good to have people praying over you, though, so I am just enjoying the moment…sort of a group psychic, spiritual and mental massage.


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