To those of you who read and left such wonderful comments on my last post, thank you, thank you, thank you. It's so comforting to have your support, love, and prayers as we navigate through these upcoming difficult times.
Now, let's talk about bowels.
"Mija, you give me dollah, I give you these choozee tomatoes," she said, holding up a full bag of gorgeous, ripe, red ones, each with a little of the stem still attached. Even though she called me mija (daughter) she was a good 20 years younger. She rolled out her patter in a nasally, amplified voice that sounded like it should come from a much larger person.
The fruit stand across the highway from my school is one of my favorite places to buy just- picked fruit and vegetables. This woman had started with a little operation selling watermelons out of the trunk of her car on the side of the road and had now expanded it to a full lot, with a roof, storage buildings, and endless tables of mouth watering produce.
"You come here, mija. I show you something muy especial, " she said as she gently pulled my wrist to follow her. She stopped before a display of succulent peaches. "These so sweet you think you gonna die. They all good for the bowel-ies." She swept her hand across the peaches and bordering nectarines. A former student of mine, Daniel, now a high school senior, looked up from his job in sorting the peaches, smiled, and gave a little wave.
"Mija, you have a the trouble with the bowel-ies? Like, they no move too good?" She rubbed her hand on her lower belly and contorted her face, grunting and grimacing. Daniel raised his eyebrows but kept his head lowered, a hint of a smile peeking out the sides of his mouth.
"Hey- I watching you- you eh-keep working!" she called out to some other boys hauling boxes of mangoes. She turned to me, "They think cause I the lady boss, they can be lazy. No one lazy here! Now, mija, let's talk about eh-your bowel-ies. No lazy bowel-ies, either. I see by you face maybe you having the trouble with the bowel-ies, yes?" Daniel coughed a little near us and kept his eyes intently on his work.
Before I could speak, she pressed on. "You eyes, they look eh-tired. That's always trouble with the bowel-ies. You eat these, and things be smooth, nice, like eh-the toothpaste coming out of the tube." With that, she filled a bag with the peaches and put it into my hand.
"You take- I give to you. I no want no one of my good eh-customers having the trouble with the bowel-ies."