I know you've all been dying to hear from me this past week, and you feel stunned, betrayed, hurt and saddened that I haven't had a chance to write. Maybe you talked to some food about this. Maybe you went a little overboard with the prescription drug and vodka cocktail that I like to call "the junior high delight". But whatever your coping mechanism was, I apologize for putting you through that, and I assure you, I will try not to let it happen again. But Leah, darling struggle of our hearts, you cry, where WERE you? Well, my chickens, I was in the land that time forgot, the world of yesterday, the struggle behind the struggle. Yes, that's right. I went back to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Now, before you moan and groan and beg me to take that silver spoon out of my mouth before it CHOKES me, let me remind you of a few key facts. One, it is now August, so Puerto Rico is face the approximate temperatures usually seen on, say, the surface of Jupiter, or a particularly warm moment in Hell. Two, this event may well have been titled: Puerto Rican Highways have I known, because we spent at least two full days marveling at the complete lack of logic that went into Puerto Rican highway design. And three, most significantly, we went to Home Depot.
There may be people out there that love, nay, adore Home Depot. There may be people who live for the lighting displays, the stacks and stacks of thinly sliced wood, the floor tiles which go on as far as the eye can see. I, however, am not one of them. Frankly, having once gotten lost in a Home Depot at the tender age of six and finding myself sobbing at the front of the store until my parents heard the loudspeaker announcement and came to my rescue, I'm not so much a fan. And despite the claims that everything sounds sexier in another language, asking for drill bits in Spanish didn't really light my fire. Wandering the aisles and aisles of screws and bath fixtures, I couldn't help but think that no matter where you go, home maintenance is a huge bitch. Thanks, terrible economy, for saving me that lesson first hand.
I ended my trip by being an extra in my cousin Jessie's movie, which meant three hours in a studio with 50 other people pretending to be the audience for a fake talk show, Nada Que Perder, or Nothing To Lose. As my aunt Jeanie plastered make-up on my face ("this is no-glow, dios mio, Leah, your skin! You gonna thank me...), I though back to the live iguana I had seen days before, strolling the streets like a lazy tourist. Now that's a creature with nothing to lose. Me, I'm still somewhere in the Home Depot. Check in the kitchen section. I like the stove tops.
Leah Franqui is a fairly interesting person/director/writer/reader/eater/drinker. She likes ugly dogs and dislikes her hair in the morning. She's a sucker for environmental causes and plays hardball with deals on chewing gum. She is a struggle.