The Pol-Iceman Cometh
Lupe and her private revolution
Please read part one of this story: A Newborn and His Mami
Published on LatinoLA: July 31, 2012
As the police car turned into the lot, I told Maria to stay where she was, that I was going to go check it out. Nothing illegal about "checking things out." She continued to utter her mantra, "Tengo miedo, tengo miedo..." By this time I had learned that her husband had been deported and she had no one in the area to come get her.
I drove around the lot, in my surveillance mode, looking for the Visibar atop the police car. Hmmm. None to be seen. That parking lot is like a maze now that they have been working on it. One day you can drive in one area, the next day you must wend your way through a maze that must challenge Prince Charles'. Only nobody is talking to their flowers, as he is said to do. The talker would get a mighty sunburn and the flowers are already wilting.
I came upon the police in line at the local fast food place. Minding their own business, young, handsome. Doing their jobs. I raced back to Maria and told her everything was okay. Then she said, in Spanish, "Here comes that mean woman who said "Go 'way"". Ah, yes, the agitated woman who gesticulated wildly with her arms and hands as she yelled at Maria.
She pulled up in her not-a-dot-of-dust on it latest, biggest Mercedes ever. Rolling down her passenger window, she now agitatedly motioned me over. I walked over and stood about a foot away from her door. God only knows what these German cars can do now. Then the woman, a bottle blonde (I say that in case she is reading this, which she probably is not) of middle-age, thinking I was HER friend, said, "Don't give her any money! She does not need it. I see her at Church every Sunday. Don't give her money!"
So I, playing it nice and tonta, said, "Oh, what Church do you go to?" "St. John Eudes", she replied. "And she is there EVERY SUNDAY!" I asked if SHE was there at Church every Sunday. "Yes", she answered, triumphantly. She was in my trap now.
"Well, then who the hell died and left you in charge?" The woman looked stunned. "And have you listened to the Epistle, the Gospel and the Sermon? Have you heard or learned anything in Church of what was taught to us about the poor?" She began to sputter. So I said, "Get the hell out of here and mind your own shabby business. Get away from me!" I think I dropped the f-bomb once or thrice. (Gotta go to that Confessional again, Lupita. Put that down on my "to do" list. See? That is EXACTLY what I tell my husband I need that phone with the Siri voice in it. She would TELL me when I have sinned! It is either that or a personal assistant.)
As I pointed, I could tell that car had mega-horsepower, because she tore out and over the speed bump. Personally, I hope she damaged her transmission or broke an axle or something. (How unkind of me, forgive me, Diosito.)
By this time, I think Maria had had enough of this Latina who showed up, was bilingual and bossed people around. Too much excitement for one afternoon. I asked if she needed a ride anywhere, and after prompting, she agreed to go as far as the bus stop. At least it had some shade. We talked on the way, and I wished her well. I told her that her babies were blessings, and it was clear she adored the one she held in her arms.
That was the last I saw of Maria. I have not seen her again. And the people in the post office do not speak of that afternoon when I barged in and began asking questions that needed to be asked. It is as if it never happened.
But I remember.
Writer and Los Angeles Attorney