Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Deal With Chepa

So here is the deal with Chepa, my wife/ex-wife. We have not slept together in years, and except for an occasional grab of my butt there is no physical contact. I know, too much info and nobody cares. So what? Enjoy the story.
The thing was, when I met Chepa, when she was 25 and I was 41, I didn't think she was the most beautiful woman. I took her as a hired hand on the first boat trip I made and we went from Iquitos to Leticia and then turned up into the Yavari--the border between Brazil and Peru--and did maybe 1800 miles in a month on that thing. Just a driver, a motorist, Chepa and me. And she held off pirates with me one night and that was the night I fell in love with her. I'd never seen someone so brave in the face of such imminent demise. She went from a pretty assistant to the love of my life that night.
And when we married--when I finally convinced her that I really wanted to marry her even though she had two children from a previous marriage--I was the happiest sap in the world. This was a woman who had no knowledge of how things worked in the US, nearly burned down the house half-a-dozen times cooking with gas for the first time in her life; only wanted to buy things she saw advertised on television, gave away my handmade blue Italian shoes because she didn't find them macho and did lots of other things that drove me up a wall. But this was also a woman who looked at the world so differently than I that I found myself laughing out loud at least twice a day. In my whole life I'd never done that. But she just did things, or saw things and commented on them, that stopped my world daily a couple of times. And when my world stopped, I was open to new ideas for a second and so I began to think differently, began to see the world the way she saw it and it changed the way I perceived everything. It was joyful (sorry about the lame word) and rich and full of laughter.
Then she told me she hated me and ditched me, and I didn't like that at all.
But we've children and are joined at the hip at least till Madeleina is a couple of years older.
And I should be over anybody who has not given me a kiss in four or five years, right? But then today, at the baby shower for Italo's girl Sarah--which Italo, Marco and I were forced to attend, though we were the only males there except for Sarah's dad--there was a game being played. It was a game in which you got a tiny pink clothespin put on your shirt neck. Everyone started with one. The game was that if anyone said the word "baby", you could take their clothes pin and whoever had the most at the end of the party got a prize.
Well, I got Sarah's clothes pin when I told her I missed what was written on a blanket she'd gotten and she said "Oh, it just says 'baby'".
But then Chepa decided to enter the fray and began asking the women, in her best "I don't understand English, can you help me?" voice: "Excuse me, what do you call this kind of party?"
And probably 10 women answered, "It's a baby shower," and Chepa calmly walked around and collected all their clothes pins.
And I just howled. That's Chepa. That's why she's so freaking hard to forget. She's just got it, whatever it is, that makes me laugh from deep in my belly.
So for those interested, that's the deal with Chepa.

1 comment:

Gritter said...

I, too,am familar with how another person can see the world so differently that they change your entire outlook - for the better I might add. Makes us better people. More "whole" I think. AND yer darn tootin we are coming along on the Jungle part. Deposit in the mail next week - hadn't thought about that yet until I read your previous blog.