Wednesday, August 31, 2005

love, guatemalan style

I seem to recall introducing you to my Guatemalan exchange student from high school a while back.

Wait, I’ll actually verify that. Sit tight.

Ah, yes. Here it is.

Anyway, Juan emailed this morning to see if Tennessee was spared from the wrath of Katrina. I told him that it was, but that I had spent yesterday afternoon looting the liquor store just in case. We have been assured that looters are simply desperate people in need of food, water, television sets, stereos, playground equipment, and the belongings of evacuated neighbors, and I was desperate for some gin and a nice bottle of Chianti.

Juan is a sweet guy. Even though I only spent a brief month with him over a decade ago in which we were unable to converse or exchange any other communication beyond smiling and nodding to one another, he never fails to check on me when Tennessee or the south is in the news. I don’t follow the comings and goings from Guatemala as closely, but I try to reciprocate when they garner world attention.

But the thing that really jumps out at me is the way he ends each correspondence with:

I love you,

It is strange to hear this from another man. I communicate so little with Juan, and my Spanish is poor that I fear I may be leading him on unintentionally. Then again, it is probably a cultural thing. Perhaps love is spoken of more freely around the Central and South American regions, and that is why President Chavez of Venezuela was so hurt by Pat Robertson’s playful suggestion of assassination.
Then again, perhaps it is merely one of the subtle nuances of machismo.


Blogger melusina said...

Just tell him he smells of goats and he will stop saying I love you.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

Come to think of it, he did.

10:31 PM  
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