American Money

“Senora Evelyn,” he started…. this ought to have been clue #1 that something wasn’t entirely right, “I want to talk to you later in your apartment.”  Ok, clues 2,3 and 4 were dropped in those words but I missed them – like usual.  I was distracted.  I was carrying Boston under one arm and Jack under the other. Jack was crying because I wouldn’t let him pull Evie’s hair.  Meanwhile, Evie was angry.  She was walking slowly in front of me to let me know exactly what she thought of me not letting her play with the “chapstick” she found in my purse.  Since it was a tampon, I stuck to my guns.  No need to have that conversation on a walk back from the park when she’s 3.

So the security guard didn’t have my undivided attention. He never does and, now, he never will.  He was one of the better ones.  He was generally friendly and he had learned how to say “Good morning” in English which he thought bought him some brownie points.  Truth be told, it did.  I thought it was a nice gesture.  But nothing has ever happened to indicate we’re going to break bread in the future.

Later that night we ordered food for delivery.  Mr. English showed up to deliver it.  He was all business and didn’t seem like he was going to say anything more than “Here’s your food,” so as he was leaving I asked him if he still wanted to say something.  “Si, en 5 minutos Senora Evelyn.”  (Hey…. just try to read it.   Seriously. I know most of you don’t read Spanish but that particular sentence is a softball – comment on the post if you can’t work it out.)  “Ok, but I’m Traci.  Evelyn is getting ready for bed and she’s no longer fielding questions today.”   Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 4.20.39 PM

When he returned he got right to the point.  He pulled out a piece of paper that appeared legit.  I wouldn’t assess the guy to have the smarts to fake a document like that.  “Can you help me?  I bought a motorcycle to get to work.  I’d appreciate it if you could chip in for this month’s loan payment.”  Honestly…. I had no response.  I came up with nothing.  Not yes, not no way in hell; nothing snarky or dark.  I was caught so far off guard I just let out a laugh.  Yup, still working on getting the “diplomatic” thing down.

Obviously, I have to say no.  If I don’t, he’ll think Americans are willing to just give over money because… you know… our roads are paved with gold and we can pick dollar bills off trees.  Why wouldn’t I just pay his loan payment this month?  I’m not setting up the future folks for that kind of awesome weirdness.  Not proud of it, but sometimes I have a hard time with giving a direct “no”… so I flaked and said I needed to talk to my husband before answering him.  I know I know… barf, gag, weak as shit.  I’m embarrassed, but that’s what I said.  So now I have made it even worse and I’ll have to find the guy sometime between now and 24 June to tell him no – no way in hell – no way no how.