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Chicacabra (Chapter 13) Home Cooking

August 15, 2010

WARNING: Straight men should not enter Chicacabra lair. The LATINO HEART PROJECT cannot guarantee your safety, your sanity or your manhood within these hyper-estrogen walls. Enter at your own risk.

 CHICACABRA

By

Yoly Solis

Chapter 13: Home Cooking

Mango bajito (mong-go/bah-he-toe)

Low Hanging Mango

Slang: Easy pickings; simple

Note: Rare occurrence. If it should happen to you, take the mango and run. Don’t look back or ask questions. It will probably never happen again.

**

 

Joyce decided she would drink more often. After three loaded daiquiris, she couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. And it grew even wider when she opened her front door.

The aroma of pine, furniture polish and other flowery clean scents permeated her humble home. The furniture glistened, the floor sung in glorious clean. Her house had never looked so good.

In happy awe, she walked inside the bedroom. Her second-hand furniture looked new, her avocado bathroom tiles looked like they were in vogue.

“This is amazing, Maria. Thank you so much.”

Joyce looked at Gisela. “Don’t you think I should give her something extra–?”

“Don’t you dare,” Maria Elena said, “she’ll expect us to pay her more. Just give her the twenty.”

“Let’s eat.” Tía Margarita had set the table in record time. A loaded pot oozing with tomatoe-ey garlic chicken and another pot of white, glistening rice sat alongside toasted bread, slathered in butter. The thawed Lean Cuisine box, which sat on the kitchen counter, screamed at her. She ignored it.

“You have no food in the refrigerator. All you have is boxes of fake food in the freezer.”

“Those are the Lean Cuisines I’m supposed to eat.”

“Are you diabetic?”

“No, overweight.”

“Bah! You’re not overweight. Now, Maria Elena, she’s overweight!”

“That’s not nice, Tía Margarita.”

“It’s true. You’re as big as those chino wrestlers on TV.”

“They’re not chinos, they’re Japanese.”

Maria sat next to Joyce. Joyce dipped a hand inside her purse and pulled out a ten rolled around a twenty. 

“Grassy-ass,” Joyce said, handing her the bills.

“What did you do?”

The cleaning lady peeked at the wad, smiled then shoved a meaty, chicken chunk inside her mouth.

“No, no, no. She’s ruined. She’ll start charging extra for everything, saying things like I don’t do windows.”

Joyce sighed. She wasn’t sorry. Her working class home looked like a mansion. She smiled and bit into a fork-full of rice and chicken. “This chicken and rice is delicious.”

Gisela dropped her fork. Her lips trembled and then… “Waah!”

The chicas ignored her and kept eating.

“Waah!”

Joyce nudged Maria Elena. Maria Elena looked at Joyce then at Gisela. She shrugged and rammed another forkful of food in her mouth. The other chicas did the same.

“Waah!”

Joyce sighed. “Uh, Gisela, what’s wrong?”

“Ay,” she snorted in some tears, “my Pedro loves fricasé de pollo! Waah! He’s probably hungry, he has no food…”

“He’s probably nibbling on the puta as we speak.”

“Waah!”

“Shut up, Cristina.”
       

Maria Elena turned to Tía Margarita and said, “Do we need to save any for Tío Roberto?”

“He eats at 4:00 P.M. If he eats any later than that he’ll be full of pedos all night.”

Marc Anthony sang.

“Alo?” Maria Elena said.

“Noooo!”

The chicken caught in Joyce’s throat.

“Dios mió! No puede ser!”

“What happened; what happened?”

Maria Elena pressed a thick finger over the tiny phone’s speaker.

“Estela died.”

“No!”

“Yes!”

“Estela González?”

“No, Estela Pérez.”

Cristina banged an index finger on her cheek. “You mean Adolfo’s mother?”

“Ay, I mean my neighbor, Eugenia, her sister-in-law’s great aunt.”

“Oh.”

The chicas turned their attention back to their meal.

“So the viewing is on Thursday at Caballero; the one on 8th Street or the one on Bird? Okay, please give my love to everyone.”

“Can you believe it?  She was so full of life, so happy, so–”

“Wasn’t she in a nursing home for the last twelve years?”

“What has that got to do with it?”

Cristina shrugged. “How old was she.”

“They’re not sure; Estela lied about her age, but they think she was 98.”

“What did she die of?”

“They don’t know. She was fine then suddenly, when she was watching la telenovela, she dropped dead.”

“Ay, I know what set her off—it’s when the nun found out she was pregnant by that hairy rabbi. I almost died, too.”

“What time do we have to be there?  I’ve got nails on Thursday.”

“The family won’t get there until eight so we don’t have to worry.”

“Ay!” Gisela jumped out of her chair. “Pedro will be there. He has to go.”

“That’s right. Pedro works with Abelino’s cousin.”

Gisela’s tears had evaporated. “Dios mío! What will I wear?”

“Tomorrow’s Tuesday, we’ll go to Ross for the Senior Citizen discount.”

“Ay, Joyce will you come with me? 

“To Ross tomorrow?

“To Ross and to the funeral. I need you there, please?”

Joyce took advantage of the distraction and swallowed the last bite of yummy chicken. “I’m not a senior citizen.”

“No,” Maria Elena said, “but Tía Margarita is. We give her the money, she pays and we all get a 10% discount—even off clearance items.”

“When he sees me, I want him to die a horrible and painful death!”

“Yeah. We can get a discount if he dies at the funeral home.”

“Shut up, Cristina.”

“Ay, wait, what if the puta shows up? Maybe there’s a bigger discount if the puta dies with him. A double funeral. Although embalming her huge culo must cost extra.”

“Waah!”

“I’ll call Tria’s Flowers to order la corona.”

“Get a small one, I’m broke this month.”

“Waah!”

“Make sure the flag of the Old Country is on it.”

“That costs extra.”

“Wait. My cousin’s boss is married to an executive at a public relations firm that has a corporate account at Tria’s Flowers. They get a big discount. I’ll tell them to call for us.”

“Make sure they don’t screw it up this time. The last time it said: Bon Voyage!”

**

 To be continued…

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