I’ve given Bill a fighting chance. I found some special potting soil for him, what they call “hummus” here, and when I asked the guy if it’d be good for an aloe plant his eyes darted side to side and he said, “Uh…yeah.”
So I assume it’s perfect.
There’s a Czech couple staying at my house. They’re the first people to stay here who consistently use the kitchen and even sit on the couch where I usually sit. For some reason I find this unacceptable. Last night the boyfriend rolled a cigarette on the coffee table in the living room and left bits of tobacco all over the place. I was seething.
This last week was a good week. I had a new student who pays almost triple what my previous in-person English job paid. The woman I’m working for also does something no one has ever done for me in previous teaching experiences: She helps me find material. I say to her, “We’re going to work on the present simple, adverbs of frequency, and possessive adjectives,” and in my inbox she leaves a veritable mountain of relevant ESL activities. It makes my job a lot easier.
Despite all these positive developments I feel like I’m starting to stagnate a bit, which means I must do something to push the envelope. I must push myself to work harder, or write more, or write better, or participate in more activities in which I can meet people. I still have very few friends in GDL. I have no friends in GDL. So instead of going out on a Saturday night and dropping 300 pesos on wine, I should drop those 300 pesos on dance classes so I can become the next Jennifer Lopez. Or Ricky Martin. Or Enrique Iglesias. Or Shakira.
This idea is something I’ve talked about in previous blog posts, but one which I can’t reiterate enough and that occurred to me at various points today and on my walk back from the grocery store just now. I know I said last paragraph that I must do things to push the envelope so I don’t feel stagnant. But a counter argument is this, and this is something that actually is true: Our time on this spinning rock is damn short. You will not be happy once you make that money. You will not be happy once you get that job. You will not be happy once you meet that special someone. If you can’t be happy right now, at this very moment, then you will never be happy in your entire life. I don’t care if you just broke your arm. I don’t care if your boyfriend/girlfriend just left you. If your happiness is dependent upon external factors, you will never be happy.
Anyway, even if do feel stagnant I can’t go anywhere because now I have Bill (my aloe plant) and Bill hates to travel. I told him I’d take him first class to Colombia and he started to wilt. Bill’s idea of a perfect Sunday is to spend 14 hours sitting still, and then twitch slightly when the sun almost hits him. He’s teaching me how to meditate. And I’m teaching him about classical music. Today I played Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and he remained impassive throughout. Bill’s health is precarious.
I also bought a book today. Los cuadernos de Don Rigoberto by Mario Vargas Llosa. Apparently it’s an erotic novel. Travesuras de la niña mala is one of my favorite books in Spanish, by the same author, and it’s also erotic in parts, but eroticism certainly isn’t what you’re supposed to take from the novel. The takeaway is that we’re all lonely, some of the time. That we’re all alone, some of the time. That we all talk to aloe plants, some of the time.
[Update: The Czech guy just washed his dishes. They also just gave me a plate of cheese and bread and figs. They are currently my favorite people in the world.]
A special thanks to Bill for his spiritual support.
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