Two Rare Occurrences…

A house in Hell !

A house in Hell !

Two Rare Occurrences happened today in the jungle where I live. Without a warning, the sky cleared and the incessant raining customary in these parts stopped (as my favorite punchline goes, they don’t call this the rainforest for nothing, you know… drums roll, maestro! Badaboom! Crash!) I found myself thinking: someone’s coming today, as if I were a character right out of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ Magic Realism novels.Which is usually the Truth; every time the sun comes out down here in the jungle, someone comes to visit. And when they ask: how’s the weather? I look as a liar when I mention it has been horrible during the entire month or so. My interlocutor will then look around, glance at the emerald green plains full of growing elephant grass and brambles, then they will look up at the merrily shining sun in a very brief way… and then stare at me strangely, as if I had just told them an untruth…

Guys and guyettes… Sometimes, I’m feeling like the Rain God character in that Douglas Adams’ novel down here! Sigh! That the sun was today in a clear, postal-card-blue sky was occurrence # 1…

Well, nonetheless, the half-expected visit didn’t delay long. I heard the screech of badly maintained brakes outside of my house. People were here! Down here in the jungle! Since I was having trouble with a rather stubborn chapter for my next book and I’m starved for human company, I said: “Well, F%&$! this” and went out to meet them. One of my neighbors (if you can apply that denomination to a guy who owns a house in this failed housed development and who hasn’t shown his face here for more than six months) came by during this wonderful, shiny day to show his property to a newlywed couple, in the hopes of finally unloading the place unto them. He complained bitterly in hushed tones how badly maintained the yard was (he pays me about $50 to keep a 150 x 90 feet land plot trimmed; he never pays me on time but, oh, how does he like to complain) but he quickly resumed his sales pitch, ignoring me from that point on. Well, I didn’t mind. That people were actually here was occurrence # 2.

However, I kept my eye in the young couple. The guy was the rather handsome lout type that the women down here seem to like; not too smart, but with an obvious big and fat wallet. His mate was more interesting, but for reasons I’ll tell you a bit later. While he was gushing at the slightly overgrown fields and goggling everything with eyes full of wonder, like if he were an excited child, the woman’s brow was clouded, looking every which way in a more appraising and sober manner. While his man was yapping eagerly about planting stuff here and there, the lady in question was staring at the rather barren clay soil she was standing on. While he was babbling incoherently about how they could do some remodeling to build a few extra rooms in the house he was planning to buy, this woman looked at the bad roads that had led them to this accursed place… the cracks in the house’s structure… the big hole some crazy moron had dug in the yard to fix the septic tank… you name it… Her face was a poem, as her frown deepened. The owner of the place was quite busy talking to his prospective male buyer, thinking he had clinched a sure deal… when it should have been the woman who required some heavy persuasion. Every good salesman knows that women are the real deal-breakers in anything. They are the ones who really decide, no matter if its an important buying decision or something as simple as choosing a prospective lifemate.

The visit ended very soon with the two guys shaking hands heartily. The woman was a total different tale, I tell you. I knew what the outcome of this moment would be, mind you, for I’ve witnessed it many times before. If looks could kill…

I really didn’t want to be in her poor husband’s shoes that night, especially if he babbled while they drove all the way back to Caracas about how wonderful this land purchase would be. Don’t you think so, honey? Honey?

I sincerely hope he doesn’t push his luck too much… If not, I hopes he enjoys spending the night in the doghouse for the next week or so….

Edwin Stark

Signing Off

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