Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Workin' for the MBGIESP

Well, I'm back in the Redoubt for the night, after my second day of indenture to the Most Beautiful Girl I've Ever Seen in Peru. Not much to report here, except that I'm about a sore as I might be after a full day of workouts with the Master Trainer.

Ah, Phutatorius! So you managed to *****lly ** ** **** **** ****'s daughter!

No no no, Brother/Sister — that's not why I'm sore. The real story is, the MBGIESP has been working me like a dog. I've done more grouting, spackling, scouring, painting, edging, finishing, sanding, grinding, waxing, roasting, toasting, sifting, mixing, nailing, wrenching, stripping, coating, melting, welding, searing, shoring, boring, blending, wiring, sculpting, firing, scraping, peeling, shaving, sawing, summerizing, winterizing, vulcanizing —

this woman is a bit of a taskmaster.

But that's fine. I can hack it. After my meeting with the Master Trainer Sunday night, I spent some time in bed ruminating on the question. I concluded that maybe I really am a yanqui culo, and that maybe I'd be better served humbly subjecting myself to a few day's hard labor than I would plotting and machinating about how to wangle an amorous episode with the MBGIESP out behind her papa's tool shed.

It's about growing as a person, Brother/Sister. If you're on the prowl for ripped bodices and throbbing thrusts of manhood, look elsewhere.

My congress with the MBGIESP has been, to this point, brief and unexceptional. She gives me instructions, and I follow them. Sometimes she serves up unwarranted, unsolicited value observations, such as "We live simply here, but well." I don't respond to these, because I know they're traps. She'll find a way to slot my answers into her preexisting notions about my character. I simply nod/grunt/shrug and get on with my work. If anything will change her mind about me, it will be my humility, my diligence, the pride and care I take in my work for her.

I've made limited observations. I've learned that her name is Flora, and that she is the eldest of Señor Pachado's five or six children — the others move quickly and chaotically enough around the neighborhood that I can't keep track of them, much less suggest an accurate count. I've seen no sign of a mother these two days, and I gather that she passed away recently, and Flora has stepped into the role of mother figure and homemaker — possibly at the expense of her own dreams and aspirations in life (which might explain a certain resentfulness in the tone she takes toward me).

But I'm speculating here. For the most part I'm keeping my head down and my mouth shut. I might laugh and joke a little with the kids: raw eggs — the missile of choice in the Pachado family — have a tendency to heave themselves at me from nearby shrubberies.

¿Que pasa? I'll turn and say out loud, in mock-confusion.

¡Yanqui culo! the shrubberies shout back.

And I get back to my pruning, staking, stumping, loading, shifting, tucking — whatever — but with a smile on my face. Whether or not I totally get to **** *** ********* *** ** Flora, it's been a good week to this point. The fact that people are now throwing eggs at me and missing is, I think, a sign that I'm doing something right.

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