Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sharks and Thievery

Francisco, the owner of La Estrellia (the hostal where I am staying), talked to me about men last night. The ¨too many fish in the sea¨ saying came up, and he told me to beware of sharks (tiburones.) First, they will bite your cuello (neck), he tells me, and then your pecho (chest.) And then . . . yo no se. Yo tampoco, I tell him, laughing and walking away. But we both knew and know what comes after the chest-bite. No duermes con los tiburones, por favor, he advises me, as I walk into the hostal kitchen.

Alejandro (do you remember the one? he has dreads and we dated for a couple of days and he took me on the longest walk of my life in which I felt like a hot sweaty baby? and then I saw him the other night and his friend kept my three soles?) . . . anyway. The night of the 3-sole-sham, Alejandro walked me back to my hostal. He was in my room for a minute, he left, I slept. In the morning, I woke up and my favorite (and only) hoodie was gone. I called him and he didn´t answer, and then I saw him on the street and cornered him. ¨Donde esta mi polo?¨ I asked. ¨I told you it´s chevre*. I told you, Jessica, be careful.¨ He is giggling. ¨I can give you this one,¨ he offers, unpeeling his windbreaker to reveal another sweatshirt, ¨I like tu polo!¨ I punch him in the chest softly. I like it too. That´s why I own it. I call him a ladron (thief) and he says, no, I am not a thief, I told you I had it. Okay, so maybe you´re honest, I tell him, but you still stole my hoodie (which makes you a thief.) He has had enough of my truth-telling, and telling-off, so he staggers down the street, probably to get drunker. He promises me he will call. I doubt he will call, but it is my mission to retrieve what is rightfully mine before/if I take off for the north in two days. I´ll keep you posted.

Also. Remember the guy I ran into at the Huancaro fair? John? I gave him my information at the fair, hoping he would get in touch, but not thinking he actually would. Yesterday, I got an e-mail, which will soon be followed by a phone call. We´re getting together before/if I go (look how tentative I am, covering all of my bases.) I don´t know what we´ll do, but I am sure it will be a fun evening. It´s great to make connections. Keeps the world going ´round.

I am reading ¨The places that scare you¨ by Pema Chodron and it´s full of simple truths. I take it with me to restaurants and underline my favorite passages. She is talking about wishing happiness for ourselves and for others.. people we love, feel neutral about, envy, and can´t stand. This is one of her suggested intentions:¨May this really annoying person experience happiness and the root of happiness.¨ I read it and nearly spit out my soup because giggles are tumbling out of my mouth. Sometimes I am a really annoying person, and, nevertheless, I wish to experience happiness as well.

Pema also says,
For an aspiring bodhisattva, the essential practice is to cultivate maitri. In the Shambala teachings this is called ¨placing our fearful mind in the cradle of loving-kindness.¨ Another image of maitri or loving-kindness is that of a mother bird who protects and cares for her young until they are strong enough to fly away. People sometimes ask, ¨Who am I in this image the mother or the chicks?¨ The answer is we´re both: both the loving mother and those ugly little chicks. It´s easy to identify with the babies- blind, raw, and desperate for attention. We are a poignant mixture of something that isn´t all that beautiful and yet is dearly loved.

On that note, blessings to all the mamas, papas, and baby chicks. You are dearly loved.


*Chevre = cool

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