Where Gringos Don’t Belong (Excerpt)

Posted on June 2, 2015

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As María Sal draped one of the shawls over her shoulder Claudi announced, “Okay, cabroncito, your turn,” and pushed towards George the last two unwrapped gifts visible on the table.

“Híjole!” he gasped, colors swirling in front of him. Slowly he turned the bright imagist acrylic-on-silk painting for the others to see. It was signed by Eduardo Martell, the Oaxacan artist whose work he’d seen in the Museum of Contemporary Art. “Claudi, I don’t know…I mean, this is, I mean, I’ve never owned…”

“If you don’t like it you can throw it away.”

“Chingada!” he retorted, glad for her tough-girl intervention. Although he had no idea what Martell’s work sold for he knew it didn’t come cheaply.

“It’s wonderful, Claudi. It really is. I—I’m overwhelmed.”

She glanced down at the table then back up at him. For an instant he felt that he and she were off in space somewhere, just the two of them, with no one and nothing around them. Then she whispered, “Te amo, cabrón” and laughed, breaking the spell.

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Posted in: Fiction