Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I'm waiting for work to come in, knowing that as soon as I walk away from the computer a file will be uploaded and someone else will grab it (it's an audio transcription job). That happened this morning when I went searching for wood with Charlotte and Chapo. The wood is for Charlotte's propane tank enclosure. Chapo is the guy who is building it. Chapo means "shorty" in Mexican. I'm Chapita. I think he's my soulmate.

Chapo isn't much taller than I am so when we hug it's a full-body press. And what a body! He is strong, muscular, not an ounce of fat. He has short gray hair, dimples, dazzling eyes. My favorite activity is to sit and watch Chapo work so when Charlotte said he was coming by, I headed over for a cup of Folger's.

We sat on the swing sipping coffee with Charlotte's two hairless dogs, watching Chapo put the finishing touches on a chainlink fence. Then he joined us. (He takes his coffee with one spoonful of sugar and milk. I made a note should it be necessary for me to make coffee for him some day.) I have no idea how Charlotte communicates her needs to Chapo. Neither speak a word of each other's language. It's amazing how much they get accomplished.

Charlotte wants a wooden fence and gate around her propane tanks so we went on a search for wood but first we stopped by Chapo's house. I'd never been there. It's hidden from the street by a wood and ocotillo fence and lime trees and pine trees. Inside the gate is a typical Mexican shack but tacked across the roofline is an RV awning. His place is nicely shaded. He has flowers and aloe vera planted in pots. Everything is spotless. We didn't go inside casita de Chapo. He had it securely padlocked.

Next we went in search of wood and we had to go to a couple places before we found some. We stopped for jugo de cabeza at one of the taco stands. It was unbelievably delicious. Cabeza for those of you who don't know is the meat from a cow's skull. Had I known that I probably never would've tried it but man, it's good. It's my favorite.

Our plans are to take Chapo to visit his son in prison on Sunday. At least that's the plan if we can figure out the time. We may need an interpreter. From what I think I understand, the prison doors open at 7:30 so we'll have to leave here around 6 in the morning. Mierda. Apparently it's not a good idea for gringos to visit someone in prison because that'll make him an easy mark. So we'll drop Chapo off then go shopping at Soriana or some place. Maybe we'll stick some pesos in Chapo's pocket for him to give to his son. We'll certainly include notes of encouragement, telling Chapo's son how much we miss him and to hang in there. Of course we'll need a translator for that too.


  1. full body press has me laughing so hard I'm crying. It's rare when one is under 5'5 I think..

  2. m'ija. i know! have you ever had the experience? truly delightful.