I live in a multi-cultural neighborhood where I am the multi. I am one of the few non-Latinos around, and I like it that way. I can practice my Spanish, walk to 2 great panaderias, and get chiles rellenos made with real poblano chiles, not those slimy crap canned Ortega things.
In the evening, much of the neighborhood goes out for a stroll. We have a lovely park and a lovely path, and Goldie and I often join in the procession.
Tonight we strolled and smiled and nodded with the best of them. There were several differences between me and my neighbors, though.
They are Latino and I am white. They stroll in families, me with my dog. And their pants were on right-side out, and mine were not.
I didn't realize that my fat-ass yoga pants were on inside out until I went to the squirt-it-ur-self car wash and I wanted to put my change in my pocket. Which was outside my pants with the hole on the inside. Ah, the glamour.
I was standing there pondering what to do, the only person at the four-stall car wash. A guy pulled up RIGHT behind me. I was irked. Why didn't he pick another stall?
"Escuuuse me," said the driver, an old man. "But I have these..."(pointing to a pair of grungy crutches next to him on the seat) "and I cannot wash my own car. You can help me, please?"
I looked around. I was by myself. There was this apparently crippled old guy. About a thousand thoughts went through my head.
- Ted Bundy used to lure women in with the crippled routine.
- Is he going to give me quarters, or do I have to pay for the wash, too?
- Is he going to wait until I am distracted by washing the car, then pull a gun on me, drive me away and rape me?
- Am I going to look in the car while I am washing and find him spanking his monkey?
But I am always preaching kindness. I sighed.
"Sure," I said. He handed me some quarters. "Que paso?" What happened?
"Se quitaron la pierna," he answered. He made a cutting motion. He had lost a leg.
I began washing his car. A homeless guy came up and asked me for change.
"Um, this isn't my change," I said. "It isn't even my car." I started to laugh. One good deed at a time, huh, buddy?
I got done with the one-legged man's car.
"All finish?" he asked.
"Si, senor. Dios te bendiga," I said. God bless you.
I got a big smile and about 40 thank yous in return. Some people really just want a shiny car, I guess.
In other news, my tweezers are missing since Chicago. If you see a woman with her pants on inside out and a unibrow, chances are it is me.