Juanita: Friend or Foe?

Purple pants. We all know her. We all know how polarizing she is. We all know that she’s recently been wearing beige pants which admittedly has been throwing me off my game but I won’t be fooled that easily. I mean it’s just different colored pants, she has the same face still. It’s not a great disguise. Juanita, do you know how I know your name? Well, because someone else told me that was your name. Then I happened to forget it the next day. Know how else I know your name? Because you wrote it on the wall alongside your handprints. In nine weeks, we’ve probably spoken less than five words to one another. I know in other odes to love that I’ve made that a big part of the attraction, “the silent courtship” but with you it’s different. I do not know if you like white people. Wait, that’s not what I mean. I don’t know if you like people. I don’t think the color really matters. Okay, again, I might be too vague, too general. I don’t know if you like volunteers coming in from different countries to assist for a short period of time and then peacing out. I never worked with you. I only observed you. Some may have called you my nemesis, others called you “Who is purple pants that you’re always talking about?”. The point is, I love you. Though we didn’t share words, we did share moments where I ran into you while carrying soup. Or I backed into you while pouring drinks. Or you stole some spoons from my classroom after I specifically counted out the perfect amount of them needed. You let me carry trays to your table, you let me hug your children that came up to me and hugged me, you let me love you from afar. I imagine you’re older than Elsa and Patty and that’s okay. I’m not against being with an older woman. You can’t be that old anyway. Sure, I’ve seen you yell, I’ve seen you almost physically wrestle a child, but what else have I seen you do? Jog in such a cute way that I thought, “Wow…what a cute way to jog.” I’ve seen you yell some more. Know what I took from that? That you care. That you care about your job, that you care about kids or at the very least you’re auditioning to become a drill sergeant. We can join the military together. I can be one of those civilian people that don’t do anything resembling combat and you can whip young bucks into shape. You keep an air of mystery about you. More so than most of the teachers. I say this because when I can’t speak the language fluently, every teacher is mysterious in her own way. You barely seem to associate with the other teachers as well though. I know, I watch. Ahem, I mean observe. I feel there’s probably five movies where Zooey Deschanel awkwardly walks into something or a man and they have their meet-cute and romance blossoms. I like to think you’re a Peruvian Zooey. I like to think I’m some random indie film actor who would play the love interest in that film. When I burn you with hot soup you might not think it’s romantic but the audience does. They don’t see burns, they see a burning of the loins. I want to make it clear that I haven’t actually burned you enough to warrant a hospital visit or anything. I just have bumped into you countless times and you may have spilled things on my accord. It’s cute, okay! If I wore giant thick rimmed glasses, and you wore a dress out of the 50s, we’d make a killing at the box office. Just think about it, Juanita. Dear Juanita, who of course did her hand prints in purple. We both know you wouldn’t have it any other way. Just like I can’t have a world without you. So it goes.

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