43 days later – Buenos Aires – departamento que da a la calle, el 3 piso, con balcón (mi eleccion de modo que fue posible ver todo el mundo desde mi dormitorio)
Luis is already in the throws of “fining tune”, (that´s “fine tuning” en inglés) MY well thought out choices for my VERY OWN SOLO experience here in Buenos Aires. “Honey, are you sure you want to be so close to that busy street… you will never sleep at night.”
Luis: “What time are you meeting this guy you will do that work with?”
Luis: “Maybe I’ll go to the bookstore where you’re meeting him too, because I have a couple of books I want to buy for my classes. ”
1 hour later – Bookstore Coffee Shop – Joan and Dr. Cabeza sipping espressos y platicando (going well)
Luis: “Hola, mi nombre es Luis, soy esposo de Joan. Mucho gusto. Yo estaba buscando libros para mi trabajo, soy profesor de español en el estado de Minnesota, cerca de Canadá.”
Luis: “Honey, sorry to interrupt, I just wanted to ask you if you want me to look for a good cookbook for us to take home with us.”
Dr. Cabeza: “Mucho gusto Luis. Por favor toma un asiento. ¿Quieres un cafecito?”
Following day – address in hand – making a dry run on the Subte toward place of ‘pacentia’
Luis: “Okay, what you want to do is get here early, cause you can see that it’s total chaos at this time in the morning. Now, you don’t have your purse do you? Remember how I told you to keep all your stuff in your front pocket and be alert to the people on your sides and behind you?”
Next day – first day of pacentia – Joan heads out alone – but this, only after very long discussion the night before about how Joan has already lived 50 years very successfully on this earth, at times even averting danger due to her measured caution, agility and general lack of stupidity. The deal was sealed however only after an agreement to carry mace concealed in closed fist and to check in by cell every two hours.
Joan has effortlessly negotiated 3 subway lines and 8 blocks on foot, is almost at the clinic door where she will begin her first day of work. An experience, born of an idea, that she took from it’s vaporous inception all the way through to it’s no ‘detail left unplanned for’, reality. (well, except for the buying of the plane ticket) She will be working with a well known and respected Psychologist, Director of a Clinic for chronic drug and alcohol dependents, the same man who was appointed to this position by the Argentinean Undersecretary of Mental and Chemical Health who in turn reports directly to President Kirchner. She will be meeting with this Undersecretary later in her pacentia and could even score an introduction to the Prez himself.
Just a few steps more and Joan will be ringing the bell of the Clinic’s unassuming and secured front door. Suddenly, out of no where she feels the presence of someone walking up way too fast behind her. It feels as though this person does not intend to pass on either the left or the right, but is heading for a direct hit to her back side. Joan thinks quickly and remembering that one of our best allies is the element of surprise, she decides to interrupt the forward momentum of this person but stopping abruptly and whirling around to face them. To add more confusion and by so doing maximize her advantage as well hedge her bets by alerting those people on the other side of the street that there is something happening on this side, she decides to yell, “¡Vayase!” simultaneously.
1.5 seconds later, plan in place – Joan executes it
Joan: Stops, whirls, yells – “¡VAYASE!”
Person: Unintelligible scream, then; “Honey, ¿Qué haces? ¡Me matas de susto!”
Joan: “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!”
Luis: “I just wanted to make sure you got there safely.”
The people across the street stopped for a moment, looked our way, said something to one another shaking their heads as they spoke, then continued on. It was pretty clear Luis and I knew one another – I suppose we looked like just another couple that could use the help of a counselor. Stay safe and keep the love alive! Joan