El Guapo in DC

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Behind Compliment

“So, what do you think?”

“It looks great! Get it and let’s go.”

“Yeah… I like it too, but does it make my ass look too big?”

I was dragged to Saks by my newly 18 year-old hermanita for her birthday present when I overheard this conversation. Normally I find a corner with the purse I am being forced to carry and cower in fear. I cower because I know my eyes will be forced to see and my mouth will be forced to speak opinions over perfectly similar outfits. However, today, I wanted to wander.

My eyes wandered to places they hadn’t in a while. My eyes liked what they saw. I never realized how many blondes there were in DC. So many blondes with ten pound diamonds on their hands. Saks… My eyes thank you.

El Guapo felt like he was in a flan specialty shop with all the sweet things around. It was truly a marvel.

Then, then I heard that conversation. Make your ass look too big? What? Too big? I, I don’t understand. Too big?

American women, no, lo siento, women, women of the world. Por favor. Too big? Mira, I get bumps on my skin when I think that there are women out there ashamed of culos. In the eyes, mind and heart of this Guatemalan, there is no such thing as too big.

Too small! That is what you should be uttering. You should worry about your culo looking too small, not too big. If you have the ass, own it. That’s your ass hermana. Jesus Christ gave you that ass. Let the world know that you’ve arrived. And if you knock them over with your backside, so be it.

I love curves. And when a woman walks into a room loving her curves, I fall in love with them. Just a little bit.

Hi. May I? You, mi amor, look amazing. Amazing. Ninety-five percent of the women in the world would dream to have a behind like yours. You should never be ashamed. Yours, bueno, yours is perfect. Just perfect.

Both women smiled uncomfortable smiles as I walked away. I was not looking for a response. I was just spreading the gospel.

“Great. Guys with mustaches are going to think I look good.”

“HOT, guys with mustaches. Latin guys dig your booty! That’s a compliment!”

You better believe it’s a compliment.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Monday, February 26, 2007

The rat, the hammock and memories

Today, I saw a mouse stuck in a trap. It was a small mouse; about half the size of a thumb. It was a humane trap. One that didn’t kill the mouse with a metal snap, but simply used glue to render the mouse immobile. The mouse doesn’t die instantly. It starves to death. It seems starvation is more humane.

One afternoon, when I was young and innocente, I lay with mi madre on a red hammock enjoying a rare summer breeze. When I lay in the hammock with mi madre, nothing was wrong with the world.

There suddenly was a commotion and I saw several of my cousins run with broom handles. There had been a trespasser.

I stood up to go and see, but mi madre held me back.

“El Guapo, stay here.”

Mama, I want to see what they’re doing.

“El Guapo, stay here with your madre. It’s a rat. They caught a rat. They’re going to get rid of it.”

I want to see mama!

My cousins. My older cousins. I didn’t want them to have any fun without me. At this, I escaped the grasp of my mother and ran to see my cousins jump around with their broom handles.

When I got closer, I saw the rat trapped in the corner among some shrubs that never really gave life. The rat went back and forth, wall to wall, side to side as the broom handles muffled the ground.

I will never forget when the rat made eye contact with me. It was only for a split moment, but there was eye contact. It was look. An almost human look. A look that asked why I wasn’t doing anything to stop this. I didn’t know. I didn’t know what was going to happen.

Just as quickly as I got the look, one of my cousins pressed the broom handle against the rat’s stomach and it squealed. It squealed and tensed up around the circular handle in a way that I have never seen before. It cranked its head up and squealed. It bit the handle with such force that it momentarily eased the pressure. It squealed a squeal that resonates in mi mind to this day. My body became cold and I took a step back as I looked at the smiling faces of my cousins.

Then, just as quickly as I escaped my mother’s grasp, I ran back to it. She had been watching me from the hammock. When our eyes met, she knew that I had seen pain and suffering. I had seen what mothers shield. I jumped into the red hammock and cried in my mother’s arms.

“Shhhhhh, Shhhhhh, Shhhhhh, it’s ok El Guapo. Mama is here. Shhhh, Shhhh, Shhhh.”

The look. I never did anything to help. I didn’t know. I didn’t know.

Today, however, I knew. I ripped open the paper trap and poured vegetable oil on the glue, dissolving it. The mouse was weak, not moving, but it came to. I took it outside and it disappeared amongst the bushes.

I know that it will never make the memory go away. Bad memories are meant to remain. I just hope happier ones will overshadow them.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Baby Baby Baby Baby Baby SLAM

“Baby, how is your food?”

At this table, no one seems to care about my food.

“Baby, wasn’t that a great movie?”

No one seems to care about my opinion in this matter.

“Babe, you look beautiful tonight. El Guapo, doesn’t she look beautiful tonight?”

Oh, look at this. I’m being involved in a conversation. This is nice. How do I answer this? Bueno, is there any other way that I can answer this question?

Very beautiful. You are a very lucky man.

“I know. I’m lucky to have the most beautiful woman in the world next to me.”

It has been a long time since I wanted to lose my hearing and my sight permanently. It’s incredible what being single and around the ‘perfect couple’ can do to you.

Mi amigo Roberto has a new woman and he is deeply in love with her. I do not think that he has uttered those words, but I can tell.

I can tell by the way his attention moves to her every movement; how he hangs on each word as if it were the gospel according to Mary; how his blinks seem to be a bit slower so that he can visually digest her a little longer.

We all remember being like this. Some will say that they detest being around couples in love. And while there were times that I secretly hoped I would slip and knock myself out on the marble floor, I was happy for mi amigo. Then, I realized, I was jealous.

I remember having this and loving every moment of it. Better to have loved? Now I understand.

Now I understand that stupid saying that had haunted me for so long. The saying that made me cringe upon hearing it.

Better to have love and lost… I agree. I continue to be a better man because of the love I had. The love that changed me. The love that will hopefully (please, God make it so) lead me to happiness.

“Baby, you want to share a dessert?”

I wanted a dessert. This restaurant has flan, but he doesn’t care about El Guapo right now. And frankly, that is ok. His baby is more importante. It is not always about El Guapo.

Even when flan is involved.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Friday, February 23, 2007

Wind Dancing

I was walking down the street today and tears were streaming down my face. Not because I was sad, but because the cold wind was fighting with my tear ducts, forcing them to fight back with salt.

The people walking down the street were not being friendly and most stared towards the sidewalk in the hopes that the wind would forget about them due to their averted gaze.

Then, randomly, I saw a piece of paper fluttering in front of me. At first I didn’t pay much attention, but it was dancing in such a way that it grabbed my attention.

My walk and my destination were put on hold as I followed the piece of paper that seemed to be enjoying its last moments of life.

I stopped its dancing as it flew past my chest to see what it was. It was a handwritten note torn out of a lined notebook paper:

I am going to order pizzza and listen to music and dance and try to remember what it felt like to be happy

I read and re-read then read the piece of paper again. It was beautifully sad and I wondered about the author. Had they indeed danced? Did it make them feel happy? What song did they choose? Was the author a he or a she?

I stood motionless with this piece of paper in my hand not noticing the wind induced tears.

Then I looked up towards the God who is always conveniently above my head, closed my eyes, and said a prayer for the anonymous writer.

The happiness will indeed return someday and know that your words began their journey towards joy by beginning the dance in the cold wind.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Monday, February 19, 2007

Purple Wall

Purple wall. Purple wall. Purple wall. Not my wall.

The secret, if I remember correctly, is to not change your breathing pattern. You always notice a change in breathing patterns. I do not know why this is, but you can not change your breathing patterns.

Yellow sheets. Yellow sheets. Yellow sheets. Not my sheets.

The sun had not yet come out completely and the blues of the morning were beginning to filter in through the wooden shades. Oh, wooden shades. Definitely not my shades.

I felt a warmth of skin against my left calf. Oh tequila… Porque me tormentas? Why do you torment me?

Pieces of the night before begin to come back to me. An arm drapes around me. It’s a white arm. Hairless. Some freckles. Soft. Warm. An arm drapes around me. Breathing pattern theory is done. My heart doesn’t seem to follow my rules and my breathing must keep up with the faster blood pumping through my body. My heart does not follow my rules. Does it ever do what it’s told? What is right?

The hand, manicured, but not painted, begins to rub my chest.

“Good morning.”


“I’m Marjorie.”

El Guapo.

“So, it looks like we met each other last night.”

Oh yes?

“Oh yes! See that pile over there? That’s my shirt and those are your pants.”

Well, at least we put them neatly in the corner. Mi mama always told me to put my clothes away.

“Wow… Talking about your mother in bed with a stranger? El Guapo, come on!”

I realized how ridiculous it was, but I am out of practice. I hadn’t been making much eye contact, but I looked over after she made that comment and realized that she had a look of playfulness that made me have a relieved smile.

Feel free to talk about how your father never hugged you to make up for it. We’ll then call it even.

It went like this back and forth for several minutes. The conversation came easily. I saw what she was doing. She was trying to put me at ease, make me relax, make me laugh. It worked.

“You’re quite a dancer.”


“You definitely have some moves I wasn’t aware of.”

She winked as she said this and once again made me laugh. I needed that laugh.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


“El Guapo, we must prepare. Tomorrow is a big night.”


“Do not play stupid with me El Guapo. You taught me about tomorrow. You were the one who walked me through the rules and the importance of tomorrow.”

What day is it tomorrow?

“Ay Santa Rosa! El Guapo, mira, por favor, please, pay attention to the words that are coming out of my mouth. You, need to find your cojones. I don’t know where you put them, where you left them, or who has them. Enough is enough. Tomorrow is a holiday. And you, mi amigo, are coming out with me.”

I’m not going out.

“Oh, but you are. You see, I am tired of your little cry for me Argentina attitude lately. Basta. You, tomorrow, are coming out with me. We are going to have a fun. If I see you grimace, make a smart ass comment or hang in the back of any room, I will kick you in the groin. Your groin will be kicked. Hard.”

Fine! Jesus Cristo! What day is tomorrow?

“You actually forgot. How sad. The famous El Guapo forgot about tomorrow. Tomorrow, mi mustached friend is Valentine’s Day. And we are going to make some new friends.”

I’m not going out tomorrow.

“Oh yes you are. Because your heart is broken. We’re going to use that. Because even though you are a pathetic little Guatemalan right now, there are going to be many many many gringas out tomorrow who feel empty inside. You are going to make them feel less empty. And I, bueno, I am going to be there for their friends. I am going to be there for every gringa who is sad. There is plenty of Miguel to go around.”

I’m not going out tomorrow.

“Oh yes you are. You are coming out tomorrow. I know your heart is broken. I know this. But I’m going to get you laid tomorrow. Because you don’t have no girl and you don’t have anything to do. Tomorrow you will smile. You will make a nice gringa smile. I am going to make a gringa smile. Hopefully I will make two smile at once, but there will be smiles. You are going to return to being my wing man. I have waited a long time to have you back. Tomorrow El Guapo returns.”

I’m not going out tomorrow.

He winked at me and walked out the door. I guess I am going out tomorrow. It can’t be that bad. I’m still not back.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Jam in New England

“El Guapo, yet gain, you are being an idiota. Un grande idiota.”

Look, I disagree with you. Yet again.

“Men can not be friends with women. I saw it on Sabado Gigante and know from personal experiences.”

I just don’t agree. Lo siento. I think you are able to be friends with women.

“If you are ugly, maybe. MAYBE, but you always have the sex on the mind. The Sex, El Guapo, as you know, gets in the way. How many female friends do you have? Not the ‘hello, how are you’ friends. I am talking about friends that you hang out with often. The kinds that you talk, cry and drink with? How many?”

“Exactamente! Not one. You may have had female friends while dating, but after you stopped dating, you stopped seeing them as much. They are your acquaintances. They are not your friends.”


“Interesante is right! There are men out there, who are the friends of females. Every man in the world has had run ins with this type of man.” They are the type of man who hang on every word your girlfriend is saying, laughs at all of her jokes and always seems to be around when you are trying to have a night out with your woman. This is the man who is feminine enough to make you wonder about him, but you get yelled at if you ever bring it up. He is the type of guy who annoys you, but, out of pure pride, you are unable to actually get jealous of him. Because he has glasses, can’t kick a soccer ball to save his life, is allergic to animals and is likely lactose intolerant. We have all experienced this guy.”

Mi amigo, through his rant, was right. I was indeed familiar with this guy. Well, some derivation of this guy, throughout mi vida.

“Remember that waitress I dated from the fancy seafood restaurant? Remember that little manager that was always around? The one with the bad hair and horrible taste in clothes? The one that made every man pray that his son would grow up to be the complete opposite of him? I am serious. I have lit candles to ensure my sperm is unable to make something like him. Do not laugh. Bueno, about three weeks after I broke up with the waitress, he got down on one knee and declared his undying love for her. Pathetic, really. And you know what? The waitress bought into it. They dated and everything. It drove me crazy at the time because I always saw it coming. But, it just made me laugh.”

Are they still together?

“No El Guapo! He is married to some guy named Richard and sells jam in New England somewhere, but that is not the point. The point, is that every man who is physically attracted to a woman, and probably vice-versa, is unable to have a true friendship. And trust me, since I know nothing I talk about with you is sacred, and you will post this on the Internet, feel free to ask your readers. Every single one of them has someone that is just lurking in the corners waiting to pounce on their “waitress”. Ask them. They all have someone. But you know what? They will all end up selling jam out of a pastel-colored station wagon with some guy named Richard. Trust me!”

I am not so certain, but mi amigo had a point. I just pray and thank God that I am not, nor have I ever been a lurker. Jam…Richard...New England... I love Miguel.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Friday, February 09, 2007


Lately, I have found myself closing my eyes before looking into the mirror.

It is not anything unnecessarily dramatic, but there is a pause.

Do you ever fear that you will not like the person looking back at you? Do you ever feel that the smiles will stop?

Mistakes. I have made them. I have learned from them. But what if I made a mistake so big that no lesson can be learned? What if a mistake is so great that I have to go through life constantly pausing before looking in the mirror? What if the mere sight of my own face results in a reminder of that mistake?

An anonymous commenter (it’s always the anonymous ones) suggested I take some Prozac to stop complaining. Maybe he is right. Maybe I need some chemical influence to stop my mind from racing and making me pause before looking in the mirror.

I have memorized every crevice of my bedroom ceiling because I stare upwards as I pray for sleep to take me away. Yet when the sleep comes, she is there. She is always there. She haunts my thoughts and my dreams.

What do you do when you are reminded of a woman when you feel a cool breeze across your face? Do the pauses stop?

Patience. Time. These things, they say, heal all. I do not believe this. Not today. Some things do not heal.

I would like to meet they. Ellos. They who come up with the sayings that are supposed to make you feel better. Misery loves company; better to have loved and lost than never loved at all; time heals all… They are idiots.

Today, I saw a man stop in the middle of the street to enjoy the sunshine on his face. He stopped, looked upward and smiled. I think he even sang. How amazing it must be to enjoy the warmth of the sun on your face. I would like to have this again.

Give me the Prozac. Por favor.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Monday, February 05, 2007

Depeche Mode Part II

I could see words. They were coming out in different colors depending on the sound the made. Any kind of a hard “c” or “k” came out in an orange hue. The “y” sound was a teal color. I wasn’t as much hearing what people were saying, but more translating through the colors coming out of their mouths. It was surreal, but funny. I liked it.

As the short-on-one-side-hair-cut-girl spoke to me in her prism of colors I put my hand against the wall to hold myself up. Seeing colors come out of someone’s mouth isn’t for the weak. As I placed my hand on the wall I noticed the wall ripple against my hand as if someone had thrown a pebble into a pond. The ripples spread throughout the bathroom and the bear kept waving at me through his new plaster pool.

“Dude, you are seriously tripping.”

Pisada… Who does this to someone? A drug through a kiss? What color could I hurl at her to make her know how I did not approve of this? The walls kept increasing in their movement and I was getting dizzy. The bear was starting to get afraid as well and showed it by jumping up and down.

I looked down at her legs which would normally soothe me, but her black and white leggings turned into running zebras jumping as fervently as the little bear on the wall.

The music filtered through the door in a gray-blue tone and that is how I shall forever associate the sound of Depeche Mode. It sounds horrible sober and it looks horrible through my newfound color language.

The little bear was angry. He was doing flips now. Backward and frontward flips. I no longer wanted to look at myself in the mirror because my mustache was doing strange things. I saw the light of the bathroom ceiling. I actually saw each beam of light come down and rest on my body. Each individual beam dancing on my body declaring it his. To feel light is one thing, but to see it, well, I needed out.

I rushed out of the house to go home. Every time I blinked a wave of psychedelic colors, psychedelic waves, haunted my vision. I tried not to blink. I didn’t want to blink. Too much color. Dry eyes...

Each step I took created a wave on the sidewalk and I had to steady myself on the bleeding cars parked on the street because the sidewalk was acting like a bucking horse. Waves of cement rippling higher and higher bringing my knees to my chest. Where was I? I needed to get home, but the waves were too big. They were getting too violent. I don't have sea legs.

I saw a bench that seemed to be withstanding the onslaught of cement waves and I stumbled towards it. I could see that the ground had become a stream of monkey skulls opening and closing their mouths in no particular order. Each step I took would send the monkey skulls scattering across the street as if I were parting the Red Sea. I was kicking monkey skulls away because I was afraid they would bite. Get away monkey skulls!

The bench provided me shelter and the wooden planks grew to protect me from the monkey skulls. I looked over my new bench boat and breathed a sigh of relief that the monkey skulls wouldn’t get to me.

The moon was out, but there were no stars. The moon spoke with me. Soothing colors came from the moon and I eventually fell asleep on my bench boat and dreamed of hiking to find a God. I didn’t go high enough, because I could only hear him. Yellows and pinks, all yellows and pinks.

I woke up at Miguel’s place with him passed out on the floor. I wasn’t angry, but I was perturbed. He must have carried me home.

I opened up his fridge, ate all his flan, then left.

And while I was able to see speech, light beams and a waving teddy bear, the running on monkey skulls is something I would rather soon forget. A beautiful Guatemalan like myself shouldn’t be running on monkey skulls.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Depeche Mode Part I

Sometimes I don’t like Miguel. Not because I sometimes think that he is actually certifiably crazy, but because of the situations he causes for me.

This weekend was interesante for me. Miguel made me come out with a couple of girls that he met because, as he says, “I need some gringas on my mind.” Whatever. I’ve been blowing him off for so long that it didn’t make much sense for me to stay indoors.

So I find myself in a group house full of East coast educated women with colorful tapestries on the walls and Depeche Mode on the I-Pod. I looked at the ladies in the room and noted their very black mascara and ill-washed hair. One had black and white leggings with a short skirt and a one side longer than the other hair cut. It was that type of crowd, they were cute, but I wondered how in the name of everything holy did Miguel get hooked up with them.

Then, I realized why. I looked up at mi amigo and noticed that he became very chatty. He was using his hands a bit too much and really being more annoying than normal. One of his new amigas, a quiet one, wearing all black, was also rubbing her nose. I understand. They found each other through a love of snow. How romantic. Miguel has always loved the nieves, but I wasn’t aware that he was playing with the snow too. Oh well, it is his nose. Who am I to judge?

Then the woman with the black and white leggings suddenly began dancing, well, “dancing” in front of me while I sat on a futon covered by yet another colorful tapestry. I smirked and wished that there was a TV I could watch or maybe a baseball bat that could hit my head. She was nice looking and everything, but the Depeche Mode and nose rubbing was beginning to make me nervous. I politely smirked.

“You’re shy aren’t you. You’re the silent type. I like that.”

Baby, I’m not silent. I just don’t want to be around when the music stops. Then she straddled me while still gyrating her hips and arms. Interesante. Depeche Mode chicks dig me. It is the mustache. Then, she kissed me. It was not a good kiss. Mostly because I did not want to kiss her and mostly because it was a kiss full of teeth. Her teeth clanked against mine and I could feel my face tighten as I felt her wetness.

“There, that will cheer you up a bit.”

I didn’t know what the hell she meant by that. Did a dentist teach her to kiss? Why would that cheer me up? God, is this what being single is going to bring me? Sitting in a ill lit room with Depeche Mode in the background?

Then I tried to put that moment out of my mind and listened to the words of the music and watched Miguel Latin dance with the women to Depeche mode. This man will dance to anything as long as he can move his hips.

The laughing, the dark lights, the tapestries, the music. They were all becoming one. The nose scratching was making me dizzy. I needed to go to the restroom.

The restroom had a picture of a pink teddy bear that seemed to smile at me. I did my business and watched my hands. Then, I looked at myself in the mirror. I was looking particularly good looking today. Look at that mustache! Perfectly trimmed. I think I’ll just stay in here and look at myself. That bear, I can see it in the mirror. It waves at me and winks at me. I like that bear.

“What are you doing?”

Just looking at myself in the mirror. Have you seen me?

“Yeah, you’re hot. Come out here and dance.”

No. I rather get punched in the back.

“Well, I’m going to pee.”

Go ahead.

This scene repeated itself several times. Several girls came into the bathroom and talked to me while they relieved themselves. One tried to kiss me, but I was having none of it. All I would allow them to do was speak with me and wash their hands. The mirror was mine.

Then the kisser came in.

“Ah. Didn’t do what I thought it would. I was hoping it would relax you, but out there.”

I’m just going to look at myself in the mirror.

“Yeah… I’ve never seen someone trip in the bathroom before. At least you’re not freaking out.”

How can I freak out? I have a mirror in front of me. And that bear. That bear is so nice. Waving at me.

Then, I realized it. The tooth grinder put something in my mouth when she kissed me. I had felt something, but just thought it was my imagination. No. I was “tripping” on something. No wonder I was starting to enjoy Depeche Mode…

To be continued….

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo