The other day the inevitable happened…the lady from across the hall asked about Fred and Lamont…
“Eh, Ker-re-Ah-nne?” I heard a voice call from the darkened hallway from below. I knew the voice; it was the lady from across the hall.
“Yes?” I called back.
“You got da news boyz?” she said in her thick Spanish accent. She stepped into the light from the upper lobby door. If I were paranoid, I may have thought she was waiting for me to get home from school… If I were paranoid, I may have also thought that she was stalking me. But I knew better. She was just a nice old lady with ‘good’ intentions that made the best beans and rice I had ever had. I still sighed knowing what she was going to ask me. I knew I had put off letting her bless Fred and Lamont long enough.
“Yes,” I said as I dug for my keys in my purse, “You want to meet them?” I asked. I was going to try the path of least resistance in this encounter.
“Jes?” she asked then corrected, “J-jes!”
“Ok,” I said, “Let me grab them and I’ll bring them out to meet you…”
“Oh-kay,” she breathed out in obvious excitement.
I keyed into the house and saw Fred and Lamont waiting for me. Luckily the boys were not very skittish about me picking them up. I put my stuff down and grabbed their lap blanket. Fred protested when I scooped him up. Lamont let out a small wheek and settled down when I slid him next to Fred in my arms. I went back out into the hallway with my boys in my arms. As I walked I kissed their heads.
“Ok,” I said to the lady from across the hall. “This is Fred,” I said using my chin to point to Fred. “And this is Lamont,” I said using my chin again to point at Lamont.”
“Jes, jes, jes,” the Lady said scratching her chin and looking at both boys closely. “Ok,” she said after about 15 seconds of examination. “Dis one,” she pointed to Lamont, “He be with Jesus. He e good boy, Jes?”
“Well,” I thought, “He’s a good boy, a bit skittish, but good…”
“And dis one,” she said, “Dis one has got a bit of jew-jew…”
“No, I’m sorry,” I tried to explain, “I’m raising them Catholic…”
She tried again. “No, he got a bit of doo-doo…”
“Both of their poops are fine,” I said with what must have been a perplexed look on my face.
“NO!” she proclaimed, “Frru-frru,” she declared with frustration.
“He’s a boy! NO silly outfits for him!” Now I was frustrated with our conversation.
“Ok,” she said and mumbled something in Spanish that I understood as words in any language that should not be used in any polite company. “He got da maj-jic.”
“Magic?” I asked with amazement.
“Jes,” she said and nodded her head. Just then Fred started to purr. “Cee?” she proclaimed, “Maj-jic!” she said with a huge smile that said Fred’s purr just confirmed her observation.
“OY!” was all I could get out and started to shake my head no. I had to think quick on my feet, “He doesn’t have any magic. I had he de-magic-ed when I adopted him. He’s all good.”
“NO!” she declared, “he needs to be with Jesus! I get da holly water…” At that she turned and went to go back into her apartment.
“Wait!” I yelled and stopped her in her tracks.
“Jes?” she asked as she turned.
“The holly water is not…is not… not strong enough…get the oil…” I said with a polite smile.
“Ooooyyyy!” she responded, “Jes!” The Lady turned and disappeared into her apartment.
Lamont squirmed in my arms and Fred purred again. I looked down at them and got a disapproving look from both. “Well, I don’t want her to think that there is another demonic presence over here. Or that I have a creature capable of casting spells and hexes living with me.” Fred seemed to roll his eyes at me. “Hey,” I chuckled, “You’re the one that spoke up at the wrong time…”
Lamont gave me an “I’m hungry” squeak. I was hungry too and remember out loud that, “I forgot to ask if I was getting some beans and rice for this…” Fred huffed and Lamont chuffed at my comment.
Both boys did get blessed… But that’s next week’s story…