Breaking the Line

“Dinner engagement?”

The idiom took a moment to translate.  “No.  I'm meeting with the owner and architect of a new resort near La Paz to discuss the interior design.  I'm a decorator.”  She pointed to a cup holder in the center console that held a stack of business cards.  I took one and read, “Teresa Alvarez, Disenador de Interiores.”  I tucked the card in my shirt pocket.

“Well, thank you, Teresa.  I certainly appreciate the lift.”

“I appreciated your lift,” she said and laughed at her own joke.  “You are very strong.”

“Juge fŭtbol americano en la universidad,” I said.  Slowly, but I got it out without a stumble.  I found Spanish useful in running the landscaping business; for many of my employees it was the primary (almost only) language.  Still, I was far from fluent and needed time to compose my sentences.

“You did not – what do you say – 'turn pro' when you graduated?”





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