One night in a Catholic-run hospital…

Funny story? I was bidding goodnight to a friend in the hospital, standing over her bed in my long coat, scarf and black stockinged cap, when two nurses burst into our near-black room to announce the shift-change. At once they leaped into each other’s arms in fright! When we’d all regained our composure, laughing, one explained it was because I’d looked so tall –probably none of us prepared to suggest that the iv-stand beside me might have passed for a scythe.
(Patti is recovering just fine, btw.)

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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2 Responses to One night in a Catholic-run hospital…

  1. Avatar Jonah says:

    I’ve had such close encounters of the Papist kind. In El Paso.

    My closet at the time looked like Dracula’s wardrobe, lots of black clothes. And I lived in Barrio Logan Heights. Didn’t speak much more Spanish than “Buenos dias, perdon pero no hablo Espanol” but people were really polite to me. Part of that is because of the culture not being watered down much at the time at least.

    And one day I turned around to ask the very pleasant older lady I had just passed some question, and forgot the question because she was making the sign of the cross.

    I guess it’s taken for granted there, none of my friends had ever taught me how to BE chicano. I never learned that somebody named Jesus would more commonly be called Chuy because of how close it came to blasphemy, that a girl with the first name Maria usually went by her middle name because until 1966 every Catholic kid had to have a Biblical first name, and there really aren’t that many women in the Bible who are called by name. Noah’s Wife, what was HER name? Answer: Noah’s Wife.

    And they never taught me stuff like the Juan Oso stories. Mexican or Spanish fairy tales, Cuentas de Abuelita. Stories your grandma would tell you. Like the Devil going around always dressed in all black, walking because no horse would bear him… Looking for souls to steal.

    I found that out when I started taking formal spanish classes.

  2. Eric Eric says:

    “walking because no horse would bear him”

    Jonah your storytelling never misses.

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