She was going out the door of the church after mass. A slight wisp of a woman, shrouded against the november chill in long coat and scarf. From my bench at the organ I could see nothing of the lady herself, only her clothing and her movement. But in an instant I knew that this was someone I had better meet.
And meet her I did.
I was organist and choirmaster at a little mission in
And in came the slight wisp of a woman, shrouded against the november chill in long coat and scarf. Her name was Guille.
* * *
You recall my general plan for migration to
It was not to be that way.
Two years after going to Loris, I still had not made any connection with
* * *
Until Guille came along.
She was a widow, two years older than I.
She was visiting her son, who lived in
So Guille sang with us for a couple of weeks, and I found myself more and more drawn to her. There was not much opportunity to talk. But from time to time I looked at her from my bench, and would usually find her dark eyes watching me, and we would hold eye contact for a while.
And then I asked Petra how long Guille was going to be in the area—and found that she was leaving shortly, in fact would be there just one sunday more.
My mind raced. Was
Guille my chance to get into
What I did was to find out where Guille was staying, and
when I could find her alone there.
So we talked that day. In spanish, of which I knew little, but it was more than her nothing of english. I did not understand a lot and her blank look indicated I often had not said what I thought I said. When I tried to get her to slow down, she got louder. But there was clearly a reciprocation of my interest and warmth. And she accepted my invitation to dinner at my house, the following sunday after mass.
I was flabbergasted. I had never made such brazen moves in my life. But the hard facts impelled me: That I thought this lady might like me enough to help me make my way to Mexico; that if I failed to act, I might never have such a chance again; that I would also never know what sort of friendship there might have been.
So I acted, and so I took Guille home with me the following sunday.
What might a mexican lady like for lunch? Mexican food?
Maybe not. That’s what she had
every day; she might like a change. In
any case I can’t cook mexican food. Nor
american, for that matter. But anyone
can bake a potato and braise a steak. So
I had these on hand along with salad fixings.
If I made it to
Of course Guille offered to help in the kitchen, so I gave
her the salad to make. Now one hears
that one had best not drink the water in
Conversation after lunch included talk about our homes,
families, showing pictures of grandchildren—we each had two. And as the autumn light began to fade and I
made motions to take Guille back to
–I am most grateful. But do you have an amigo [(male) friend] I can stay with?
–You can stay with me.
© 2004 Joseph Mansfield