Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Neighborly Love

When we first discovered that the other existed we were both so excited.
I stumbled upon his existence one afternoon . I heard Hector Lavoe in the hallway of my building, a rare thing considering the population of my building is mostly old Jewish ladies and Russian families. I walked through the halls and up and down the stairwells until I found the source, a short man, probably about 50 years old with whom I had exchanged numerous pleasantries in English whenever we met on the elevator. He was painting the inside door of his apartment and was blasting "El Cantante".

"So it's you!!!" I said accusingly.
"Oh is the music bothering you? I'll lower it" he apologized.
"No I was just wondering who else in the building could love this old school salsa as much as I do."
"Oh you know this music?"
"Know it? It's in my blood."
" I thought you were Russian."
Why do so many people in this hood assume that?
"No. I'm full blooded NYRican" I said proudly.

Well I should have never opened my big mouth. I was just happy that there was another Latino in the building. My sister and I equally rejoiced when we met a West African family that moved in a few months ago. When my mother moved into this building after my father left her, we were the only family of color and the building still remains pretty white 20 years later. Any smell faintly resembling tostones frying or the sound of a African beat get me excited. It's in my blood.

Junior, as the other Rican in the building calls himself, now has declared his affection for me. He says how beautiful I am and gives me sesame seed sweets and today he appeared at my door wanting me to let him in my apartment he says, " to convince me ".
"Convince me of what?" I asked him in Spanish.
" That we should be together,"
"You need to convince my boyfriend" I tell him, my usual neighborly smile gone from my face.
" What boyfriend? I have never seen you with a man."
After I assured him that I indeed had one he promised to talk to me again.


I don't think I will be so friendly to new neighbors anymore.


Blogger fiercelyfab said...

Hah! How funny, can identify...that's the problem with being "friendly", sometimes it can be misrepresented by men or women that find you attractive.

4/20/2005 08:05:00 PM  

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