A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.
Friday, January 9, 2009
DEPARTMENT STORE FISHING
We were introduced by Horacio and Estela. But we were called Horacio and Estela as well, so it was kind of destined from the start. We were introduced to each other by each other. Your father, Horacio, worked at a shoe store across the street from Parque Rivadavia and had grown up with Horacio; that is, they both went to Mariano Moreno Normal School. Then Horacio got a job at Disqueria Broadway and brought over his girlfriend, Estela.
La Disqueria Broadway had a couple of stores in the city. I started working in one by la calle Florida and increased sales until they made me manager. This was great for two reasons: I lived in a small depto on Florida and the success gave me the ovarios that I would need to scrape out a living on my own. And once that happened, they wanted to see what I could do; So, they moved me to their flagship on Congreso to try me out. To see if my sales aura was a fluke or a confluence of skills and sexuality that they could use and exploit. Imagine me, nearly arrived from Tucuman, recently seperated from my first husband and my daughter, your older sister. Let's just say, I had recently turned on survival mode in my heart because there were bigger things on my mind.
So then one night, Horacio (not your father Horacio) and Estela (not me, the narrator) invite me to go bowling in Flores after work and I go, completely unaware that they have invited your father to go bowling in Flores as well. You really only have them to thank for being born. Without, Horacio and Estela there is no Horacio and Estela, and you, you are really an asterisk in dank, white heather. I can not remember the night I met your father because it was like any other night where I hung out with people from work so that I wouldn't have to go home and stare at my Hydrangea and my toca disco and listen to Mercedes Sosa until I fell asleep. It's not that my place was dumpy, either; I was making nice money helping Broadway sell national favorites like Ortega's "La Felicidad" alongside los Rollings or Creedence. It was the calm before los milicos took over en serio.
I do remember however coming home with all of them after bowling and letting them in on my secret. You see my depto was above Harrod's, the old department store on Florida. By the time I occupied that depto, Harrod's had already lost it's former glory. The building was built around 1913 so by the time I lived there there had been many additions made and the deptos above the store had been cut up and split up to make more money for the landlords. One day, shortly after moving in, I lost an earring that had rolled out of my hand and come to rest behind the refrigerator. So, I decided to move it. It too me a good half an hour, but I finally scooted the refrigerator to the point that I could get behind the machine. To my amazement, behind the refrigerator, I found an air duct. Well, at first, I didn't know it was an air duct. But after I unscrewed the grill of metal slats on the face of this brazen metal square behind my refrigerator, I was looking down one tube of the system that pipped air through the Harrod's.
I need to know if I had actually found a portal, an oversight, into the Harrod's below, so I crawled into the tube and slithered to the first grill of slats I found and opened up the slats. A smell of bazaars and sinister coffee came through and I could see the counters, the shelves, and beyond, the staircase and registers. The store was dark but you could make out contours and your imagination did the rest. The night that I met your father I invited Horacio and Estela and your father to my depto and after I felt I could keep them in my confidences I showed them the air duct and we fished for some cheeese. That is, I figured out that if you used a long enough piece of rope you could actually fish items out of the Harrods, up into the duct, and back into my depto and on the table. To that end, that night, we fashioned all types of lures and managed to troll back a bottle of wine, two little bricks of cheese and a jar of pickled eggplant.
We have been married now for a little more than thirty years. What you remember most are those hard moments when you both were scared, and the minutes of great happiness and lust that would ascend like strange fruit from an empty department store.