El Guapo in DC

I am El Guapo. The most Guapo man in all of DC. Mucho Amor

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Back from Alcoholism

“Dude, it’s like, five o’clock in the morning.”

I look over to my collar popping friend and then ask Miguel the time. It was, indeed, five o’clock in the morning. Dude.

It has been a long time that I was up at five o’clock in the morning and not in a young redhead’s bed. I am El Guapo. That’s how I roll. (New line and I love it.)

Guess where I was for the last several days? It entails alcohol, shrimp, alcohol and some shrimp.

Oh, also this guy is on TV there:

I was trying to open my eyes from a night on the town when I glance up at the big screen TV in front of me. At first, I thought I saw an out of work transvestite on TV and then wondered what kind of bar I was in.

Then, after looking around and being assured that I was safe, I realized that this was just a regular TV “personality” with perfectly manicured eyebrows and too much eye makeup. Now, I don’t know what constitutes too much makeup, but in a man’s case, makeup is too much.

Come on. You’re a man. A man is not meant to be pretty. We’re supposed to be rough around the edges. A man is supposed to be, bueno, a man. This guy, not so much.

This guy was fired from being a host of a transvestite beauty show and somehow ended up on television.

On television in one of the greatest cities ever to be built in North America. Ever.

I was in New Orleans visiting a cousin of a cousin of a friend of Miguel’s. Other than the guy being some kind of genius stereo installer and having speakers in every facet of his house playing annoying techno music, the stat was great. I have never had so many nights of two hours of sleep combined with shrimp.

Also, were you aware that a “hurricane” isn’t a storm? No. It’s some kind of concoction that makes married women hit on Guatemalan men with mustaches.

Anyway, I’m muy cansado and going to bed. Sorry about the lack of posts. Alcohol, shrimp and this guy aren’t a very good combination.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

For Later

1I just realized something the other day.

Mi madre thinks that I’m going to hell.

After I just wrote that, it made me stop and look at my unlit candles. Of the about 15 on my windowsill, three of them have been given to me by mi madre. At first, I thought that she was just helping me decorate my room, but now I know that she was giving me a hint.

It’s a strange feeling to have the woman who brought you into this world think that you are going to be spending your afterlife in eternal damnation.

I used to think that I was her favorite child. Turns out, she just wants to spend as much time as she can with me now, because she won’t be able to hang out with me later. She’ll make it up to my siblings in heaven.

Me? Bueno, I’ll just be down there in hell, listening to bag pipes and sipping apple martinis with Maradona. That’s hell to me. Bag pipes, apple-tini’s and Maradona.

I asked mi madre the other day if she thought that I was going to hell.

“You still have time to change your ways.”

Now, I’m really not a bad person. I’m not. Sure, I don’t go to church. I don’t cross myself when passing by a church. I sometimes use the Lord’s name in vain. I eat meat on Fridays. I lust. Big time.

But, I help old women with their grocery bags. I say a silent prayer of thanks when something good happens to me. I buy nothing from the country of Argentina. I try to smile as much as I can. I light candles. Lots of them. I just, don’t like following rules when it comes to Dios. Is that bad?

I believe in God. Very much. God is around me all day long. And not because I’m Guatemalan. I think he’s around all people, everyone, regardless of race and religion. And while God may keep a little distance, he’s even around Argentineans. Again, he keeps his distance.

With mi madre, I once told her that I wasn’t sure if the Catholic way was my way. That all these rules and regulations fit my way of thinking.

In truth, I just believe in God. Dios.

Mi madre loves me, very much, I am her baby boy. But at the end of the day, I’ll still risk the bag pipes.

But… Do me a favor. The next time you’re at the grocery store in the Hispanic section, buy a religious candle. Light one for the saving of my soul. Just in case…

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Mother's Worry

“El Guapo! Do you know any women who had artificial insemination?”

Que? Um……Si. I know one.

I was watching TV on the couch and mi madre was yelling from the kitchen. I wasn’t even really paying attention while answering her. This is when I get into trouble with her, when I answer things or say things when I’m not paying attention.

(Ten minute lag)

“El Guapo! Was this girl, the one that went to the sperm bank, could she not find a man?”

I don’t know mama. I don’t think it was a problem of finding men. It was finding one that she wanted around. I didn’t ask too many questions. It’s personal.

By this point, I was fully alert. Maybe it was something to do with the fact that mi madre had just uttered the word “sperm” for the first time in my life. Whatever reason, I was wondering what was going on in that little bunned up head of mi madre’s…

She walked out of the kitchen drying her hands with a dish rag and a somewhat stained orange apron.

“That artificial insemination. It’s dangerous.”

Why? I think they’ve been doing it for a while.

Right after I uttered those words I shuddered a little bit because I knew the continuation of this conversation would only result in mi madre having to say “sperm” again.

“How do they pick the sperm they want?”

I think they have a book of sperm donors. Like a catalog.

“Like a Sears catalog?”

Yeah, a Sears catalog full of sperm donors. It shows all their stats, pictures or whatever. I don’t know. I’ve never looked for a sperm donor.

“El Guapo, it’s dangerous. Mira. Sperm banks, they usually get the sperm from the area where they’re located. So, let’s say one gringo goes in there to sell some sperm. He’s tall, blonde, muscular, smart, well educated, comes from a nice family and has blue eyes. All the women see this man in the Sears catalog and want his sperm. So, in one month, there have been 10 women who used this man’s sperm. In one year, maybe 100. If all these women are from the same area, then maybe half of them will raise their kids here. If they got the sperm in the same year, then their children could maybe go to the same school and grow up together. Maybe they will be friends. Maybe they will date. Maybe they will marry. Then what? Then the world will be full of brothers marrying sisters! It’s very dangerous. Very dangerous!”

I sat there looking at mi madre with the worried look on her face.

“Be sure to tell that friend of yours to tell her child to be careful when dating. You don’t want them to accidentally marry a brother or a sister. This is very important! Tell me that you’ll tell her.”

I’ll tell her mama. I’ll tell her.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Friday, July 20, 2007

Picture Caption Friday

This week, I was getting my culture on with mi madre. In order to continue the growth and dominance of my Guatemalan people, it is necessary to expand our views and minds.

Yesterday, I was at the Hirshorn Museum along the National Mall. In truth, this is my favorite museum. I've never been into the old classic art with the paintings of gypsies and Dutch landscape. It hurts my precious brown eyes.

Mi mama, is the complete opposite. She likes the masters and isn't into the whole contemporary business her son meddles in.

"This does nothing for me. How is this art?"

Because they thought of it first, mama.

Then, I was walking along and I saw this:

Forgive me for not remembering the exact title, but it was something along the lines of: "Memorial for the Victims of Organized Religion".

As you may know, mi madre is a fan of organized religion. So, her comment is also my caption for this picture:

"Memorial to Buyers of Really Expensive Plastic"

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Mi madre loves to laugh. She has a loud, deep from the belly laugh that puts you in a good mood. When she finds something funny, you can hear it three blocks down the street.

She has a very good sense of humor, not like mine, a motherly sense of humor. She can still appreciate things that most find funny, but if something is crude, she presses her lips together in a half-smile and shakes her head.

One thing, ay, one thing that she doesn’t laugh at is anything to do with Jesus. Me, I can make Jesus jokes. I’m ok with that. I figure that Jesus would have a good sense of humor about himself. If I were hanging out with Jesus, I may make a joke about the holes in his hands. Not making fun of him, but more like a friendly poke. Not a poke in his side, but you know what I’m talking about. Just kidding around. Kind of like you would make fun of a cowlick.

I asked mi madre who she thought would win in a slap war, Jesus or Abraham Lincoln. I thought it was a good question. She didn’t. I got a lecture about making silly jokes.

“El Guapo, I didn’t raise you to say things like that. How can you have a slappy war with the man who died for you?”

So, you think Jesus would win?

“I’m not going to answer that question. You shouldn’t ask me questions like that. It’s not right.”

Mi madre likes Jesus. One time, I dated a Jewish girl. When I came home, she had so many candles lit that the Russian cosmonauts could see her house from space. Then mi madre told her neighbors and they all had candles. The fire marshall had to speak to me about my dating habits because it was turning into a fire hazard.

Mama, Jesus wasn’t a Christian. What if his name was Bob? Would we then just be Bobbish?

“El Guapo, what a thing to say! How can you say that?”

I’m just saying, if his name were Bob, then you would be Bobbish. He was Bob AND Jewish. So, you would be Bobbish. Makes sense.

“El Guapo, sometimes I wonder what I did wrong with you. I don’t know what goes on in that head of yours. I’m going to light a candle.”

So many candles… The candle makers are sending their kids through Harvard, many times over, because of mi madre.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Rocks by the bench

She walked with her hips leading the way and her shoulders cocked back and breasts out. She glided across the floor in a way that is difficult to reproduce. A way different than you or I walk; with our each step expressing some kind of a jostle in our shoulders. Not her. Each step was placed in such a way that nothing moved in her gait. If you didn’t look at her moving legs, you would have thought she was on a conveyor belt.

I sat that on the park with the sun watching her glide by and I froze. I froze because the sun was blinding my sunglass-less face. I froze because my stomach was still growling from a morning without breakfast. I froze because for the first time in years, my heart ached because of her.

It had been almost seven years since I last watched her glide away from me, bags in hand, on a trip away from my life. At the time, I couldn’t fathom how I was going to go on each day without watching her glide across the room. I couldn’t fathom how I was going to live without her placing her hand on her hips when she caught me pulling her leg. I couldn’t fathom how I was going to live without her kissing me on the corner of my right eye, between my temple.

There were stones around the bench and they screamed at my peripheral vision to notice them. It didn’t. I just stared.

She was older now. The sun and smoking had taken its toll on her skin. The regular running had produced a still amazing body, but now, I could see that she favored her right knee even more. Her wardrobe was upgraded significantly, but she still had the worst taste in shoes.

What would have made me smile now, really left me with no emotion. None.

I had often wondered what I would do if I ever ran into her again, in this city that is small enough to create such situations. Would I confront her and express all the hurt that she had caused? Would I spit in her face? No. Never. Would I hug her and give her thanks for leaving my life because, God knows, it was the best thing in the world? No.

I sat on my bench enjoying the sun. Her glide took her away and I didn’t even bother to have my eyes follow her down the street. I didn’t care. My eyes didn’t care. My heart, mi corazon, could care less.

Time past is an interesting thing. You only notice when it is put directly in front of you.

My time in the sun was long enough. I picked up a stone, put it in my pocket and went on my way. Today is going to be a good day.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dear Argentina

Dear Argentina,

How are you? I feel like we don’t really talk anymore. We shouldn’t go so long without chatting. Really. En serio. It’s like you’re avoiding me.

What’s that? I say not so nice things about you? You’re right. Lo siento. Really, I’m very sorry. Sometimes, it’s just so easy to make fun of you that I black out. Then, when I wake up and start making fun of you again, I realize that it’s wrong.

So, I’m going to say something nice about you. Your women. I like them very much. Please keep sending them to DC. I will continue to take care of them. Your women are the chief Argentinean export to my bed.

What else? Your wine! Well, in truth, I’ve never tried it because I have never done anything that would in any way, shape, or form help your economy. Again, I’m sorry. I may have once said something along the lines of wanting to drink the blood of a bat than your wine, but I’m turning a new leaf. I hear your wine is very good. I hear it’s one of your growing exports.

Your whine is also a great export of yours. Every time I’m around an Argentine, I hear a glorious whine… Joder! I was being so nice to you. I didn’t even say anything about your greasy, long hair worn by your men. Joder! Again.

Ok, here goes again. So, how was your Sunday? Go to church to confess your arrogance, I mean general non-Argentine arrogant sins? My Sunday was good. I was outside for most of the day then I went to a bar to watch a soccer game. Did you watch this soccer game? You must have. You were in it. I believe that you were playing Brazil.

Did you catch the score? No? Oh, good thing I watched it. You lost 3-0 to Brazil’s team. The same team that didn’t have several of its stars playing. You could actually say that this was Brazil’s B team. But yes, you lost. Again. No penalty kicks this time. You were simply dominated.

What’s that? Guatemala’s team? No. Our team wasn’t in this tournament. In truth, it’s not really fair for you to compare Argentina with Guatemala. We are a small and poor country. Most of our men are out in the fields or in the United States working. Soccer has unfortunately been a luxury that we haven’t been able enjoy as much.

You know what? I’m sorry Argentina. I can’t be nice to you. Every time I try, I have little pieces of pupusa coming back into my mouth. Seeing you lose is one of my favorite pastimes. I’m actually planning a vacation in the Falkland Islands to prove this point.

Use your sleeves to dry the tears. I hear they work well.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Calle 13

While standing, I put my hand on her hips. One hand on each hip. I pressed gently with the beat to show her when and how to move her body. A little to the left. A little to the right. A little to the left. A little to the right. Move a little around in the middle to the beat. Move like you’re making love, but a little harder.

Not that hard. You have to have to make it smooth. Use your hips. Bend your knees a little bit. Si. Bueno.

I went to see Calle 13 this week at the 9:30 club. Calle 13 translates directly into 13th Street, but they’re not named after DC’s 13th street. Turns out Puerto Rico also has one of those, but of course, it isn’t as cool.

Calle 13 is a reggaeton band from Puerto Rico. I can’t tell you how nice it was to have all of mi gente in one place enjoying some music. I brought a gringa. The most gringa of all gringas. She was nearing 6 feet and had reddish blonde hair.

“Why are all these girls giving me dirty looks?”

Que? Ah, really? It’s your imagination.

“No. That girl walked across the floor and stepped on my foot.”

Latina women. They are interesting creatures. During the concert, women by the stage were yelling such suggesting obscenities at the lead singer that it made him blush. They made a Puerto Rican man blush. Then, with mi gringa, well, sometimes they don’t take a gringita taking away one of their starters.

“While you were at the restroom, this guy totally came up to me and grabbed my ass.”

Alcohol, suggestive music and a gringa. They never would have done this if they had seen me around her, but in truth, I find it funny. It’s wrong, I know, but I laugh that mi gente waited until she was alone to do a little grabbing.

Did they say anything to you?

“Yeah, but I don’t remember. What does polla mean? Doesn’t that mean chicken or something?”

Si. Chicken. They were probably asking you to go eat.

“That’s so strange. To just come up to someone, grab their ass, then ask them out to eat.”

Yes, we are strange sometimes.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

PS: Alternative Spanish Dictionary

Monday, July 09, 2007


“El Guapo, you have to walk on the outside of the sidewalk when you walk with me.”

Mi abuelita was always making rules for me when I was growing up.

But abuelita, why?

“Because you are a man. When a man walks with a woman, he should walk on the street side of the sidewalk.”

But, I’m just a boy abuelita. And you’re mi abuelita.

“El Guapo, every respectable man with manners walks on the outside of the sidewalk. It’s the polite and gentlemanly thing to do.”

But abuelita, why does it matter?

“When was I was a girl growing up in Guatemala, the streets were made of sand and rock. There weren’t any sewage drains, so when it rained, the sides of the streets would be muddy puddles. When carts went by, they would splash everywhere. The man, the man with manners, who would be walking on the outside of the sidewalk, would be splashed and his woman would stay dry.”

But wouldn’t she get splattered?

“Oh, El Guapo. Your imagination… Si, maybe she would get splattered, but the important thing is that most of the water would be on the man. The man with good manners and respect. You should always do this when walking with a woman.”

Even when it’s not raining?

“Si, El Guapo. Even when it’s not raining.”

Mi abuelita would always move me to the outside of the sidewalk when walking with her. Always. She did it so much that it became second nature for me to always walk on the outside.

Later in life, I was able to tell my hermanitas about this. I would tell them that they should only be with a man who walks on the outside of the sidewalk. No real man would ever allow a woman to walk on the outside.

The other day, mi hermana told me that for the first time in her life, she had found a man who walked on the outside of the sidewalk. She told me this with a smile in voice because he did it on his own, without any prodding. I am happy for mi hermana.

Even if the man was a gringo, with spiky hair.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Picture Caption Friday

DC is a great place for protestors. People come to the sidewalks and they complain about this thing and that thing. Sometimes, I stop to listen. Sometimes I cross the street because I know that they are annoying.

For the last several years there have been a group of large black men who take over a corner by Metro Center. This group, I like to stop by and listen. They sit around wearing what seem to be fly fishing pants, camouflage, bandanas and beards. And they scream. They scream about the white man. And how the white man is the devil:

They once screamed about how the new Spiderman movie is about how white men are better than black. They say when the “hero” doesn’t have his costume on, he’s the little, simple, clean white man with glasses. But when he becomes evil, he of course, becomes a black demon. Clean: White. Evil: Black.

I wanted to tell them how I thought the Blair Witch Project was about the People's struggle in Cuba, but I didn’t find it to be the right time.

They list the 12 tribes of Israel. Guatemala is not listed. This confuses me because Puerto Rico is.

But, they always tell me how Jesus was a black man. I like Jesus. Maybe he was black. I wouldn’t mind. Pero my entire I life I never really was sure until the other night when I walked by this:

It is a picture of Mary, mother of God. But here, it is a black Mary. Claro, if Jesus the son of God was black, he must have had a black mother. At least a black father. But then he would have been a mulatto Jesus and the angry men on the corner didn’t say anything about a mulatto Jesus.

Now, some of you may be confused and think that the mother of God actually appeared to me, El Guapo. Although Guatemalans are known to be visited by saints and the such, this is just the case of a statue. I wish I remember where I was walking back from, but I believe it was off of H st NE. Turns out gringas live there now...

One thing I ask… Why hasn’t there ever been talk of an Asian Jesus?

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Raspberry Mocha Frappuccino

“Hello, sir! How are you?”

The upward inflections used when she said “sir” and “you” made me realize that this person was a bit too happy for 8 AM.

“While you wait, would you care to try a sample of our new Raspberry Mocha Frappuccino?”

At 8 AM, I don’t think there is anything that I want less than a Raspberry Mocha Frappuccino. I close my eyes, but my lips together and shake my head politely.

While the woman in front of me was giving her thirteen word coffee order, I took a moment to look around the new surroundings. There were couches. A guy was on the Internet. A spectacled couple was reading the newspaper silently at a wheelchair accessible table. The walls were an orange yellow color. The music was some kind of ethnic. Starbucks has arrived to Columbia Heights. Mi barrio has a Starbucks Coffee.

I’ve been to Starbucks before. I like their coffee, but it was just a little unnerving to see a Starbucks coffee in mi barrio.

I grabbed part of the newspaper when the spectacled couple wasn’t looking and began to read about how important it is to have friends in high places. Then I was distracted by another friendly young lady asking me if I would like to try what I believe was a “bunt cake” and then was offered another tasty sample of a Raspberry Mocha Frappuccino. I don't even know what a "bunt cake" is. I don't trust any food that ends in unt...

Never in all of my life have I come across such friendly Starbucks employees in DC. They were smiling. It made me wonder how long until they became bitter and stopped smiling.

Mi barrio, my neighborhood, is changing. The addition of the Starbucks has some people excited about the changes in the neighborhood. After all, crack isn’t usually dealt in front of a Starbucks. This is great. I don’t like to watch crack being dealt when I drink my coffee.

Then I realized that the employees were so friendly. I mean REALLY friendly. Friendlier than any other coffee franchise employee that this Guatemalan has ever seen. Was it something in the air of Columbia Heights that made them this way? No. They’re this way because it’s new. The friendliest employees in all of DC Starbucks were probably plucked to get the neighborhood excited about this new genericification of the neighborhood.

I fear, that in time, these employees will stop feeling the excitement of the newness and result to being the indifferent employees of DC Starbucks that I have come to know. Then, I fear that the rest of the neighborhood will lose its flavor along with the free samples of the Raspberry Mocha Frappuccinos.

By the way, I finally had a sample. It tasted like mierda.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tequila vs. Beer

Sometimes I drink. Sometimes I drink with Miguel. Sometimes I drink very much with Miguel.

For me, there are two types of nights: 1) Beer nights and 2)Tequila nights.

They are muy diferente. I am not a good beer drinker. Beer is cheap and plentiful. When I drink beer, I can know for certainty that I will not be going home with any gringa because chances are I will not even be able to walk. If you see a gorgeous Guatemalan on a park bench, I was drinking beer.

Miguel is the opposite. He can drink beer all night long and you’d never know it. He’s even a better driver when he drinks.

Tequila, is better with me. If you find yourself being lured by an irresistible mustached Guatemalan, I’m either sober or was drinking Tequila. Miguel, bueno, Miguel is the opposite.

Miguel should not be allowed to drink Tequila. Ever. Nunca. Every bar in Washington DC should have his picture up with the words NO Tequila next to it.

Last night was a Tequila night. I know this for a couple of reasons. Miguel is on my floor beside the couch. You may ask why he is on the floor, but I put him there. Actually, I shoved him there. And then after I shoved him, I punched him a couple of times.

He didn’t fight back. Don’t worry. He’s not dead. Not yet.

Why the violence? Bueno, let me explain. I wake up this morning and see that my restroom trash bag is full of urine. It seems that Miguel felt it would be better to urinate in my trash bag than in the toilet, inches away.

Oh, it also appears that my stereo speakers also resemble a toilet because, well, my speakers are a bit sticky. I just got these speakers.

I don’t even know what to say right now. I think I’m going to punch Miguel some more. That seems to make me feel better.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Update 11:28 PM: The smell of Guatemalan urine is so putrid, that I don't know what to do with myself. I threw away my speakers and dumped the urine in the alley where the homeless usually go. I later discovered that mi "amigo" went in the corner behind a bookshelf. I don't even understand what that's about. In order to get the urine back there, he had to wedge his... Nevermind. I hate Miguel.