Cuento 2: “Venting Journal” (591 words)
10:37pm [Typing, yawning]: Cesar drinks café silently, smiles from across mi cuarto. His face is Castilian in structure. He might’ve been a model for Velasquez: pale, elongated, otherworldly, de Europa. He’s heir to an antique rape.
Most Nicaraguans are genetically related to 17th century sex between Indios and Spanish soldiers. Pure-blooded Indios, coffee brown, were decimated later by the importation of European diseases—smallpox, typhoid, cholera, plague, measles—which swept through the hemisphere, an inescapable flood of death, carrying off most not born with the “gift” of Spanish antibodies in their Indio-Españo blood.
It’s been downhill ever since for the remaining peasants of Central America. Tonight, it just depresses, this historia of total exploitation, for profit, for 400 years. I’ve been mildly down for days, unusual for me.
11:02pm [Typing] Cesar is playing catch with mi pichinga. I know he wants to talk, to help me find some happiness. I guess it shows in my face, this sadness, but, here, my masks are down. I put him off ‘til later with a frown of concentration, a smile of gratitude next in my eyes, for the pichinga, bouncing in the terrorized midair.
It could have been otherwise, this particular kindness, even for my urinary needs. A few Brigadistas, en años pasados, sprayed Teote with their disrespect, marking territory not their own—only Diós knows why. I have, I know, done the same en los Estados, when I’ve felt disempowered. Oh, yes, my aim can be straight and vile, es verdad. I’ve learned from major experts in trajectory, distance and spin, by keeping abreast of both college and current affairs.
But not ever, in Teote. Here, I’m more careful---“Más cuidado!”—when I need to vent, not to splash on anybody’s botas. My respect for these honorable people assures like behavior in me: I become my “glory self” here, writing and living from my heart--mi corazón--at the peak of my powers.
Perhaps, my care developed primero in Colorado, before I even knew los Betancos. The peasants of the world-—pobrecitos—have endured a golden shower from the johns of Babylon who’ve run it, for profit only, since earliest recorded time and, surely, before. I refuse to perpetuate this denigration of the human spirit—exploiting the poor—here in Teote.
We’re equal, as we’re meant to be, brothers, sisters, solid, within and without La Familia. We give to each other, knowing it’ll be returned. We feel each other’s pain. Theirs, at the bottom of the beanstalk, results from gigantic prideful greed, the deadliest combination of vices. Everyone up the Great Chain of Payout makes a decent living off their sweat but them.
Few in Arriba--in the States--want to face our reliance on their work, but it’s true, nonetheless, right down to our very staples. Their faces should appear on the dollar, though I suppose it's ironic that old George is there, one Terroristo máximo to the Redcoats, always shooting from the trees, a Cuban guerrilla in side-buttoned breeches. Ha! He picked up his tactics from Red-coated “Indian” scouts in earlier British wars.
Colonial blowback, I guess.
When peasants get angry at this setup, now, we just decimate a few for the sake of the tobacco or the sugar, the cocaine or the oil. It urinates on us all, like a monumental, hemispheric whiz, against a steadily mounting, very righteous wind.
Our track shoes are already muddy.
Our government is haunted by its past.
“Ay, yes! It pisses me off!” I whisper into la silencio. “Si!” I’ve learned to restrain it, to even transform it, from past mistakes: when I’m angry, projecting, I write, I pray, I tell another gringo joke, just another happy fool in Teotecacinte, Nicaragua.