Friday, May 02, 2014

The Solitario

There is a Hispanic man, probably a Salvadoran who comes to the Latin Mass at my parish. He's not a boy but not yet middle aged. He works very hard, you can see it. His body is like a steel cable and his hands have callouses on top callouses. I can't quite make it out but I think he speaks more of a dialect than the version of Spanish I learned in school. I've seen him loud and stumbling drunk. I've seen him sober. I've seen him doing penance on his knees from the church door to the altar rail. I've never seen him with anyone else in church or in the neighborhood and guess that he came to the States alone.   A lot of the single males who do this get into trouble. With no family to keep them on the right path or a wife to live for they drift. I suspect that this man is here illegally but that is so common in Northern Virginia it almost seems superfluous to mention it. Financially he's doing much better here than he would've if he'd stayed at home but he's lonely, a little crazy and drunk. All that cheap labor that is so much a part of Northern Virginia;s economy  comes at a nasty price.


Venerable Matt Talbot, pray for him.

5 comments:

newguy40 said...

I'm not sure this sort of burden is only on the male side. But, I know from my own experience. I had a job for a short time that required me to travel to China and central Mexico for up to 4 weeks at a time. This was a time when my boys were fairly young. All I remember is how much I missed my family. Ultimately, this type of travel caused me to move on.
I believe many soldiers overseas go thru a terrible loneliness too.

Candidly, I cannot fathom being alone without a spouse in foreign country. The temptations to drugs, drink, porn and over work are very very great.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Especially over work.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

The Spanish speaking man's dialect ... first of all, did you learn American or European Spanish in school?

Second, could he be pronouncing calle as "cashe" (soft sh), perro as "pesho" (dito), arroz con pescado as "arroh con pehcao"?

Or is he drawing out the vowels that are stressed and adding a lot of "-ito" to every second word?

Dymphna said...

I learned from a Cuban nun, then a Argentinian and finally a Spaniard. His speech had a hard sound and the other Spanish speakers looked at him like they couldn't make out what he was saying.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Peruvian? Did he look Amerindian?

Or could they have been embarrassed by what he said?

Or perhaps the other end of Spain?

I mean, South Spain is pretty close to Latin America, North Spain is about as far from it as European from Brazilian Portuguese.

I am doing wild guesses, since you did not describe the actual sounds, just the "sound" as harsh.