When A 33 Yr Old Man Has Nothing To Show Pablo of Lima (Poetic Prose)

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Pablo of Lima (Poetic Prose)

She was on an airplane, she told me, when she first met him, my friend, I will call him Pablo, Pablo of Lima, it is not his name of course his real name of course, but then what kind of friend would I be, should I give his real name–indeed, not a friend at all.

Her name, Teresa, somebody. I met her at a house party, Pablo of Lima, a house with no name, Pablo of Lima, I should announce before hand. She was mad, as Pablo walked around greeting his friends, rich and poor alike. I asked her,

“Ms Teresa, why are you so mad at Pablo?” even Pablo was not aware of it at this time.

She explained:

“We were on the plane, he sat next to me, second class, and he talked briefly, told me about himself, what he wanted to tell that is, where he came from, grew up, his family, he did leave out how rich he was. And he talked about his friends, so many friends and so forth and on. He invited me to this party, where of course I met you. And before I met you, I sat over there (she’s pointing now at a chair), and a woman came in, laid down on the rug, right in front of me, flirted like a lesbian, and I asked her ‘Are you flirting with me, are you a lesbian, why are you checking me out from the side of your eyes? The girl didn’t say a word, just moved away from me, that’s all, no more. I said to myself, Teresa: now what kind of party is this? Then realized how rich he was.”

That is what Teresa told me, now she’s looking at me for an answer (but she was not telling me something, she kept glancing over to a picture of Pablo on the mantel, one of his youth with his mother: Pablo of Lima), as other guests arrive, many I knew, like Juan and his brother from the “Favorite Café,” in Lima; and Carmen, owner of the Travel Agency [Cuarzo] I often use, as does Pablo, her husband tried to sell me an office for my writing downtown in Lima, it didn’t work out though; Pablo had introduced her to me six-years ago. And I notice Manuel, he is a preacher from the same church Pablo, my wife and I go to, in Miraflores.

Hernan, from the Café ‘El Parquetito’ is here now at the party, and so is Ms Cecilia from Bancode Crediato, and Efrain Saavedra, Consul General of Peru, are all here, along with Martina Gomez Garibay, Cosmiatra; A. Alexis Garcia, owner of the Cafe Habana, a painter equally, a rich painter in a way; and Chusty a poor painter from the streets; Jessica Avalos LL, Abogada, my lawyer in Lima. Dr. Philip M. Ramp (and his wife), professor at the University of Minnesota of Economics, showed up also, he was Pablo professor too, for a while that is, until he got rich. Enrique, my brother-in-law showed up along the mayor of San Jeronimo Jesus Vargas, and Jose Luis from the Radio; Claudia from Colombia, Bogotá, a guide tour, both myself, wife and Pablo got to know quite well.

And there were many more, like the Bread man of Miraflores, and the Papaya man, and the Negrito and his son, little Negrito: yes, the rich, poor and not so rich and poor, like me, were all invited, and here was this young lady mad at Pablo, looking at me for some kind of answer. I looked Teresa in the eyeballs, stern and steady, “What is it?” I asked, “…what, what do you want, expect out of Pablo? I mean he invited you to his party, you were simply someone he met, liked, invited to a party, I think?”

I had to add those last two words in because I was becoming doubtful about this situation.

“No,” said Teresa, “there is more too it than that,” then added, “when I was thirteen, I was poor; I’ve not reached much higher since. Pablo was from my neighborhood in Lima he and his family were poor also, we were all poor, he had sex with me, he was nineteen-years old then–about five years older than me; when you are young, five years is a long time; anyhow, I was just a kid, he was a little more than that. Oh, I don’t necessarily think he took advantage of me, no more than anyone in the neighborhood at the time, we all liked him. All us girls, he was the neighborhood hero, everyone looked up to him, wanted to touch him. He sang on the guitar, and we all dreamed of going to bed with him, or at least I did, and a few of my friends; then one day he disappeared. I hadn’t seen him for…until the plane… that is! Life is unfair, it is just unfair; anyhow, it’s been of course, twenty-years or so, I’m 33-years old, and he’s got to be at least 40-or a little less. And he became successful, and I know I’ve been used quite a lot, had a lot of boyfriends, not very pretty anymore, heavy I suppose, I had two children, they are gone on their own now, none by him of course, but why can’t he take me now, why should I not have him as a rich man–he could marry me–he loves God, and I could learn; he once took me as a poor girl? I don’t understand, life is unfair; He doesn’t even recognize me.”

Just then, I noticed Pablo behind her, he was there all the time, heard everything she said, Teresa turned around, seeing I was staring at something, I looked dumbfound for sure; he said calmly, in his smooth and worldly way:

“If only you knew what my life was like, you’d not be so harsh on me; it was not all riches after I left the neighborhood, as you may think, as you seem to have presented here in your monologue to my friend; it all came at a price, much heavier than your idioms and thinking; your resentments, your feeling cheated in life–a heavy price indeed. While you were doing whatever you were doing, I was in a war–killed people, as people tried to kill me; I was on the streets of the world drunk trying to find my way back home, whatever way it was I can’t remember it all, I didn’t find it for a decade or two; and there were many ways, painful ways–roads I took; I ended up in whorehouses, sick in the hospitals, dying once, or was it twice, can’t remember so well, much of it was hell; all, it all wasn’t so nice.

I had four children, lost three of them; many times I was hungry, wanted to steal but I didn’t: drunk in the grass, was much of my past. I paid a dear price for my experience, nothing is free, not even dying, and we must even pay the morgue, oftentimes before the taxman comes.

I have been in court a hundred times, yes, indeed, all at a dear price; a weak heart, and an eye for the greedy willing to take it all away at the clap of an eye, at any price: the robber always wants what you have. You can sleep and not worry about him, I cannot. Being poor is not a good thing, nor being rich, perhaps in-between like our mutual friend here, and his wife (meaning me). But if you should want my money–because it is my money you want, not me, if it was me you wanted, I kept the same name, I’m not hard to find, so it is money we are talking about not old times–you then must go back and live my life: and that I doubt you are willing to do.”

Having said all that, he just turned away, and walked back to his guests, greeted them, and I bid the lady goodbye.

A Poetic Prose Story: #1288 3/26/2006 (provoked by a dream, part real)

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