First Guest Post!


Here’s a teaser: 

When Debbie asked me to write a guest blog about her and Bones for their anniversary, I was honored.  2 years ago I was in their wedding —and as Debbie has written about here, at that time, our friendship was at the lowest it had been: as I look back, part of it was a huge lack of communication, both of feelings and of expectations. While I couldn’t have imagined not being in their wedding, I was hurt and dark and twisty inside by an earlier conversation that I must have misunderstood.

I’ve always had a competitive streak, and in some ways, being a bridesmaid turned into a competition (probably just in my head) around who knew and loved Debbie best.  I have to shout out to my sister—who kept her mouth shut and listened to me (and possibly others)—she probably really did the best job.  Cause even while the wedding was about Debbie and Bones, being a bridesmaid was about me (cause that’s exactly what weddings are about: the bridal party).

That Debbie and I talk so much now, and support each other so actively, is a testament to how far we’ve come in 2 short years.

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Mas Concrete

Here’s a picture of Rigoberto, whom I mentioned at the end of the last concrete email:

Rigoberto shared his glove with me, so that I could cover my bandaged hand and avoid any further injury or infection.

I mentioned my herniated disc here and here: there were several pieces to that story, though.  I would take breaks from our work so that my back could rest for a few moments.  Although I aimed for discretion, it wasn’t always a success.  Case in point, my conversation with Ever.

Ever was a Guatemalan Police Officer, with la ciudad, and he had wandered over from Paso a Paso to watch us while we worked.  He introduced himself “My name is Ever, like For-Ever.”

Ever and I began to chat in my broken Spanish and his broken English.  It’s possible to learn much, in spite of the language barriers, when you really listen: gestures, facial expressions, shared candy.  It’s all there.  Ever asked me about our group–I tried to explain that I had only just met the teenagers, and that they had come from the north (Michigan) while I had come from the east (near Washington, D.C.).

When he realized I was from DC, Ever shared with me about a cousin of his who was in Virginia, working as a day laborer, doing much the same work as what we were doing.  Ever and I talked about his cousin’s journey into the United States, which had been a dangerous journey through the desert– I imagine it was one where he snuck into the country.  More than anything, I wanted to have the language to discuss this issue with him.  Instead, all I could manage was to say over and over again what I thought meant “It’s broken… It’s no good for anyone: not us in the States, not people who want to come to the US.”  Words can create nuance, and I was lacking in the correct words.  I felt a smidge of what I imagine Ever’s cousin might feel in Virginia: why couldn’t I just express what I wanted to? What was Ever thinking about my skills? It was so frustrating that I couldn’t find the right words and I could only think in present tense (mixed with Italian). Continue reading