|Ice Cube and|
Easy Motherfucking E
On this night, Javier's wife was in Guatemala (she spends several days a week in the capital for work); Roberto's wife was working. We'd invited J-L's daughter Eunice (but she was in Antigua) and also Javier and Roberto's daughters (but they apparently had better things to do than hang out with us; I did run into Roberto's daughter on the street the next morning).
But as a foreigner, I get to skirt local gender codes a little bit. I am sure that I am not outside them entirely. I know that my going out and having a drink with a male acquaintance in Chinique last year during the fiesta was duly noted; I pulled back from a closer friendship when I learned that he was with the Partido Patriota, and since last year's feast I have just greeted him politely when we encounter each other. However, a few days ago when I was talking with some female friends about not having someone with whom I could dance at the various events during the feast, they mentioned his name. So obviously, even though none of them was present when we went out for churrascos last January (another all male-gathering, except for me and the women who were serving the food), word gets around.
After a certain point the conversation turned to local politics and some very heated discussions. I found myself on the outside of it, but I didn't really mind. After all, the point wasn't that the entire evening be "about" me, but that we were together. I knew (or think I know) that they were there for me, even if they very readily slipped into familiar and well-trodden territory. They had all had a fair amount to drink (they were well ahead of me; my challenge is to prevent them from refilling my glass every time one of them refills his; my strategy this time was to take on the role of "chief of protocol" for a while and go about refilling other people's glasses and tipping a drop of wine into my own), and eventually I just lost the track of the conversation entirely and crawled off to bed. I decided not to break up the conversation (a vigorous discussion about politics in Olintepeque, a town near Xela, where two of my friend live), in part because I thought if I started to literally say goodbyes I might lose it. And I had told them I would be back in March and over the summer, so it is not a "good bye" strictly speaking in any case.