I am in my study and I hear La Flor’s* voice coming from the living room, “I think he’s in his study, L.C.”
A male voice with a sandpapery, gravel pit sound, said, “What’s he do in there, beautiful, tough, and edgy PI? Does he study? I never studies, it’s not good for your kidneys.” Little Carmen pronounced kidneys in two words, kids knees.”
“What’s that?” asked La Flor, she never paid attention in biology class because Bobby Genroe sat in front of her and La Flor and Bobby Genroe passed notes all during class. Bobby was kind enough to let La Flor copy his test during exams, which explains why they both retook biology during the first and then the second summer sessions.
Little Carmen feeling smart and desiring to demonstrate his high IQ said, “It’s simple beautiful, tough, and edgy PI if use watch Doctor Oz. We, that’s use and me, don’t have to worry about kids unless we gets together and if we do gets together and we wants kids. Then, I won’t study because I don’t want to hurt their knees. I always had good knees, that’s because Big Carmen never studied.” Little Carmen shakes his head toward the study, and said, “Does he mind if use bother him?”
La Flor working on her nails with an emory file said, “Oh no. He likes it when I bother him because I never bother him.”
“I am the same way. You never bothers me beautiful, tough, and edgy PI.”
Enter into my study La Flor, followed by Little Carmen, who is not little and fills my door frame.
“Hi, Ray. Got a minuto for Little Carmen and me?”
Little Carmen speaks from the door jam, “Hey, Ray. The beautiful, tough, and edgy PI, she’s really smart, if use don’t know. You hear how she talks another language. I don’t understand what she says but she says she’ll teach me.”
“The beautiful, tough, and edgy PI has a command over many languages, Little Carmen. I like your white windbreaker with your name in gold.”
Little Carmen turns around and shows off the back of the windbreaker. It says, “Carmen’s Pizzaria.” Little Carmen said, “All the employees get one. It’s one of the perkies.”
“I turn my attention to La Flor. I said, “I have a two or three minutos for you.”
I figured it out, Little Carmen’s voice is like one of those stations you want to pull in when you’re driving a long stretch across the west Texas desert. He said, “Do use guys mind talking in American sos I can understand whats that you’re saying?”
La Flor patted Little Carmen on his bicep. I saw his eyes spin like a slot machine. La Flor said, “We’re good friends, Ray, that’s all, but there are possibilities for more than friends, right, LC.”
“Use lead beautiful, tough, and edgy PI, I will follow wherever use wants to go, even if it’s to a Chinese restaurant, which I do not like. They use too much GMS.”
“Do you mean MSG?” I said.
Little Carmen’s little light turns on, “You’re mixed up, Ray. Use is thinking about texting, sometimes I see MSG for a message.”
“Thanks, Little Carmen.”
“Any time, Raybo. Any friend of the beautiful, tough, and edgy PI, is a friend of Big Carmen and Little Carmen.”
Raybo? What did Little Carmen mean by that? I think it is a good thing. I said, “What is it, La Flor?”
“You know I am …”
I finish it for her, “La Flor, the beautiful, tough, and edgy PI.”
“Exactly. I need muscle.”
On cue, Little Carmen lifts both his arms up to shoulder level and pumps both biceps. His biceps look like they belong in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
“Why do you need muscle, La Flor?” I asked.
She pondered the question. She looked at Little Carmen who is watching his right bicep pop, then turns his head to watch his left bicep pop. Then he looks back to the right and so on, and so on, and so on.
“Isn’t he cute?” said La Flor.
“I understand why you need muscle.”
La Flor turned around and threw her arms around Little Carmen’s neck, which is almost as big as her waist. She said, “LC, he said yes.”
“I did?” I said.
“Ciao, we’re going out for pizza?” she said.
“Duh? Carmen’s Pizzaria.
Relationships. Books are written about why we’re attracted to someone. Books are written how to make relationships work. My theory, people make relationships work because, suddenly, they care more about each other than they do about themselves. Each time I’ve seen people caring more about the other person in their relationship than themselves, I’ve seen the relationship flourish.
* La Flor is a fictional character and acts as my alt ego. Her character has evolved over the blog posts. She began with a single letter as her name. Her name gradually grew to two letters, then three before she settled on La Flor. She liked the name because it fit her idea of a beautiful, tough, and edgy feminine PI. It is my interaction with her persona that serves as the source of these blog posts. I have no notion how La Flor will continue to evolve. It is an adventure for me as well as the reader.