I always take my imaginary amigos with me.
I talk to Maria and Paco in the PTV as I’m driving. Our conversations are a bit stilted and we usually have a hard time staying on topic. I repeatedly ask Maria if she wants to go places at a certain time. Invariably she tells me she doesn’t want to go, and she always rejects my invitation quite formally in complete sentences. Her pronunciation, bless her heart, is as bad as mine.
Me: “Maria! ¿Quieres ir a la tienda en cinco minutos?” (Maria! Do you want to go to the store in five minutes?)
Maria: “No, no quiero ir a la tienda en cinco minutos!” (No, I don’t want to go to the store in five minutes!)
Well, Maria, you don’t have to get snotty about it!
I’ve noticed Maria and Paco have this weird habit of repeating back to me everything I say.
For instance, I say: “Necesito ir al baño.” (I need to go to the bathroom.)
And then Paco, who’s kind of slow, answers: “Sí, usted necesita ir al baño.” (Yes, you need to go to the bathroom.)
Or if he’s in one of his moods . . .
“No, usted no necesita ir al baño!” (No, you don’t need to go to the bathroom!)
I would like to dump these imaginary Spanish friends and talk Spanish with REAL people. I’ve been trying so hard to learn the language. For years. It’s tough to do when you forget why you walked into a room. I listen to Felix and Julio talking together. I memorize my boring Spanish tapes. I practice lessons online. I endure Spanish radio. Plus I talk to Maria and Paco.
Progress is so slow!
You’d think I’d learn from Felix. However, whenever I try to start a conversation with him in Spanish, he either talks too fast in complex sentences or he gets silly and starts reciting his love poems. Not helpful. Poems are hard to understand in English!
Felix is a romantic.
Every evening he writes a love poem in his journal (in Spanish, of course). He’s been doing this for years.
Now that he’s divorced and the women are coming out of the woodwork in droves, these poems are coming in handy. He’s got a lot of material for whispering in ears.
He even sends them as text messages!
I don’t know how he keeps them straight . . . what poems he’s sent to whom.
But then, I guess it doesn’t much matter if you repeat a love poem. It’s the names you’d better keep straight.
Jonathan called me yesterday from the Casita factory in Texas.
Wow! How’s that for a jump in topic! Anyway. Once again I had to put him off. Last time Jonathan called I told him I’d be there in July. Now it looks like it’s going to be August!
We finally caught a break here in Georgia.
The high yesterday was 89! It was so cool this morning that I drank my coffee under the redbud tree, what’s left of it. Coffee tastes so good when drunk outdoors. The crew went about their appointed rounds, methodically peeing along the property border, something they’ve neglected of late, much preferring to sleep inside in the air conditioning.
Days like today and yesterday remind me how pleasant Georgia can be. She has a subtle beauty and an ease of living. Even so, I can hardly wait for the day to arrive when we can board the PTV and say a final goodbye to Georgia . . .
“Es tiempo para mi y la tripulación a abandonar!”
“It’s time for me and the crew to move on!”