My Friends at Home – paper masks on our kitchen table – photo by Lady

My friend says the men here don’t do any chores. All the men of Mexico are macho, she says. I look out the window and see our landlord and I’m reminded of this. He always has a handsome macho stance. He and his wife lady hop on their motorcycle some nights. His wife lady is chubby in a cute way, has curly hair, a rarity here, and wears spike heels on the motorbike. I would like to know the wife lady a tiny bit more. She’s a real lady lady. Sometimes she wears traditional indigenous clothes–woven embroidered house dresses–as she does the chores in the courtyard.
  I have to stop and say hello longer and talk with them. It has become awkward. We see each other almost every day, though I try not to. I try to run out the door when they’re not there in the courtyard because it has become awkward because I must begin to say something more than hello.
  I imagine inviting the landlady into our house for coffee and cake, trying to speak Spanish with her, but I’m reluctant because this has a cost. It’s too strange for me. My apartment is my isolation bubble from Mexico. I do not want our landlords to wonder or know too much about us. I do not want them to begin to like or dislike us more. I want the current level of things, where we are smiled at and we smile back as we say good morning or good afternoon.


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