Penpal cheater

The penpal cheater never thought she would find the love letters in his email account. He had been writing his father’s friend in Columbia as “a favor.” Well, actually his father’s student; a woman daddy believed to be a better fit for his son than his current South American girlfriend, my friend. The father was playing matchmaker. What we South Americans call, an “alcahuete” (aka one who meddles).

Meantime, in Paris, his girlfriend reads the emails on their bed, in their apartment. She stumbled on them while searching for a document that she had emailed him a month before. In her hand she had a cup of tea that was slowly spilling onto their mattress soiling the sheets with a green tea hue.

Between gasps of air and frantic speed reading, she discovers that her boyfriend — who she had left the states for–was CORRESPONDING with another woman. A woman who, on a page, could communicate her desires and aspirations to him. A woman who thought it was absolutely fine to pursue a man who was already in a committed relationship. He replied to her with admiration, with soft longing, and a veiled innocence of we can write each other but that’s about it. To which she would respond, but I think I love you. And it continued for more pages.

Oh the written word.

Like Shakespeare teaches us, every word holds many truths and meanings. And my friend was smart enough to read between the lines and see her boyfriend with this Columbian woman swimming in sheets of passion — letters of innocence coated in red ink — stories of family reunions speckled with lust and desire.

It’s only been days, days I can count on one hand and she tells me this through a smile. I can’t tell if it’s pain or relinquishing. What seemed as the perfect love, has become a tortured romance in Paris; he betraying her with words. Words, words, words.

Ay penpal cheater. You forget how powerful they are.

I wish you luck.

Hell hath no fury like a South American woman scorned.

And to my friend, you are more beautiful than he’ll ever understand.


it’s romantic to hurt sometimes

We planned on something romantic tonight, something to get us out of our eat tapas and watch a movie routine. Let’s go for Peruvian food! Haven’t done that in a while. But the potatoes were frozen and the cream in the papa a la huancaina had lumps. The chicha had some strange essence to it, and so did the lomo saltado. It was not fun, and my Peruvian pride dwindled into a ball of guilt. I looked around the restaurant at the smiling faces, and cried within – you are being lied to! This is not Peruvian! You are eating a LIE! I kept it inside instead, and finished the plate that tasted more like a teriyaki steak and stir fry. He tried my rice, it was undercooked. We both grimaced across the table and whispered our fake foodie review on a non existent food blog or article. One out of five stars. Finally, in a long while, we agreed on something. The meal sucked, on a major level.

Wanting the taste of failure to leave our tongues, we drove to the city to get our ice cream fix. Didn’t want to risk a dessert fiasco at the Peruvian place. I wanted to throw up the beef from the lomo, but nothing came out.  We got to the ice cream spot. I downed as much of the banana split that I could fit into my already hurting belly. It settled the sadness and engulfed my taste buds with banana, strawberry chunks, and sugary stuff that made me forget the sad sad dinner meal. My legs nestled around his, and he unsatisfied with the way the meal had distorted his tastebuds, so much so that he couldn’t taste the fudge.

We drove on the 101 towards the golden gate bridge, which is actually red…not golden. And he took me up a side road in hopes to take me to a cliff. We get there and the gate is closed. Fail two for the night. We drove to the side point view and tried to take a picture in pitch darkness, it didn’t work. Hug me, I asked to which he grabbed my stomach and pressed against me as if administering the heimlich maneuver. My urges to throw up returned to me. The couple in the car beside us were hot boxing it together. Why can’t you be kind? I asked, and he laughed. I looked at the glittering stars and thought to myself, you deserve this…and I believed it. For some strange reason. I think aliens were sending me wave signals. I said, let’s go back home. We’ll take the Richmond bridge.

We drove over the bridge and listened to Brazilian Yemanja music. I sang along while he groaned under his breath. His ears have been sensitive to South American and Salsa music all night. This is going to be my life, I said to myself.

We argued on the road. We judged each others’  driving skills. We huffed and puffed and tired our hearts. When we got home, I just wanted to go to sleep, but instead I sat by the computer hoping that this stomach pain could go away. And then I resolute to this tonight. Romance has its good days and bad days. Tonight was a painful night, for our bodies and for our hearts. Yet, it makes me appreciate the good days even more. And frankly, I am sure we’re going to laugh about it someday. Why?

Because we writers know, that pain = comedy.

The Experiment

People in blog world, today I was part of a clinical study. And not because I am clinically insane. No, no. The study shows how contact lenses fit, and how the shape of our eyes (in micro sense) determine the appropriate fit for our eyes.

I don’t wear contact lenses, and apparently my eyes are more than a 20/20 vision. In other words, I was utterly useless in the study, but I went in and got my ten bucks anyways.

You know, I will be the first to admit that I don’t get check-ups regularly. I don’t see the doctor as often as I should. And I personally hate the smell of probable death around me. However, in my few years of living in this peculiar world I have never encountered the — “Cold Doctor” until today. The “Cold Doctor” is usually a medical person who is so engulfed in their work, that they act like robots and don’t treat you like a person.

There were two of them, today.

The first was a woman. She took down my information and made me sign some forms in case I died in the process, my family can’t sue — that kind of stuff. The second doctor was the one doing the research. He had an accent, but smiled a lot to make me comfortable. They were both relatively young.

I sat there in his office, while he projected images in my eyes and examined my cornea…or whatever, I don’t know what he was doing, but the little house on the prairie kept appearing and disappearing. It was really annoying, but that was the point. He noticed my torso stretched uncomfortably, so he lowered the table. I said, “Thank you.”

He said, “Sure.” And we both laughed gently because it was awkward, etc. etc. etc. However, our little interaction caused some attention down the hall where the female doctor sat at her desk, where I last saw her.

Now Reader, you must know that as writers we can sometimes be inspired by the smallest details. My inspiration had a dry spell these last couple of days, but this was too juicy to pass. So I tested my theory (we writers think we’re unofficial psychologists) and decided to ask him to lower the table a little more. He did. I said, “Thank you.”

Again we both laughed awkwardly. I swear, it was like an interaction between a little boy and his pet rat. Lab rat, more like it. But the sound of us laughing triggered some loud coughing down the hall…from the female doctor.


I imagine that she is in love with the optometrist sitting next to me.

This was confirmed (in my sick imagination) by her coming towards the room with a phone in her hands. “You have a call from Dr. ______, she wants to know if you are finished with the ______.” He took the call abruptly. The person on the other line must have been very important.

The lady doctor lingered and looked at me. while she waited for the phone. I don’t know what she thought we were doing (awkward laughing is all). I mean, she managed to creep up right as I was sneaking in a butt scratch (while the male doctor looked away). It kind of confirmed my suspicion.

After the study was done, the male doctor went back to his study typing up some numbers on his computer. The female doctor walked me to a separate room, and informed me of my perfect vision. I sensed a taste of disdain in her delivery. Then we went to the front desk, and I got my money. I am a picky writer, and I needed to test one more thing.

“Excuse me,” I asked her, “is there a website or a place where we can see what this study is being used for?”


“Oh, well…is there a presentation of the study-”

Another doctor responded, “Yes, he is going to present in a couple of weeks!”

“That’s great! Can participants attend?”

The lady doctor looked at me with suspicious eyes and spoke, “There is no website for the study.”

“Well, thank you for your time.” I said.

I may have been their subject, but doctor love was the experiment.