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Tuesday, February 05, 2008For Dannie:Wig Wam Bam
Guay and I were standing outside a bar Saturday night celebrating her birthday. Well actually the celebration was inside, we were outside because Guay needed a cigarette. Next to us also feeding the need for nicotine was a man surrounded by several women, all of them looking at him as if he were the last low-cal cookie at a weight watcher’s meeting.
He was gorgeous and he knew it. Every now and then he glanced our way and gave us a smile trying to get us to join him and his harem in conversation. One of the women asked where he was from. “I’m from Alaska. I’m an Eskimo.” He replied as he looked at me. I looked at him and studied his features. “You’re an Inuit?” I asked.
His eyes opened wide in surprise and a huge smile crossed his face, “Oh shit!” He came over and stood in front of me. “How did you know that? No one ever knows that!” I looked up at him and smiled, “Hey man I’m down with the brown.” He shook his head and laughed. “ Actually I’m mixed. My father is ½ Puerto Rican, ½ Inuit. My mother is a full blooded Inuit though.” Now it was my turn to be shocked.“Holy monkey! It's true! Puerto Ricans are like God! They’re everywhere!” “Puerto Rican are you serious? ” “Yeah.” Guay looked at him and declared that on him it the mixture of Puerto Rican blood and Inuit looked good. Mentally I had to agree with her.
He laughed again and moved closer to me “Seriously how do you know about Inuits?” he asked.“My mother has Native American friends.I read. I watch documentaries. My next guess would've been Yupik.” He smiled again and said, "Oh shit." “Oh my God you’re an Indian, like Geronimo?” one of the women standing beside him asked. “No. he’s not an Indian like Geronimo. Geronimo was an Apache. This guy is an Inuit like Pitseolak Ashoona ” His jaw dropped and he stared at me. “You know who Pitseolak Ashoona is?” “Yeah I read Pictures of My Life years ago." The woman rolled her eyes at me and repeated her question to him. He turned to look at her and said, “Yeah, Native American all the way.”“Oh how nice” she cooed arching her back causing her large chest to look larger. He turned from her and focused his attention back on us and leaned down near my ear.“White women are impressed when they find out I’m Native American. It gets me laid… a lot.” I looked at the women staring at him, “No shit. I can see that. It's cause you’re exotic looking.” “Yeah” Guay added as she playfully shimmied over to him and took her place beside him,“Ohhh let me stand over here next to Mr. Exotic looking. Maybe he'll rub off on me.” Oh yeah Guay was a little tipsy.
He touched the scarf I was wearing around my neck, “This is really nice,the colors complement you.” “Thank you, I’ll tell Dannie you approve.” “Dannie?” “Yeah she’s a friend. An amazing woman part NA who seems to have a knack for knowing what I like.” I pulled at my scarf to emphasis my point.The action of the scarf being fanned caused the scent of my body spray to kick up.“Umm you smell wonderful." “Again we have Dannie to thank” He eyed my scarf again, “Seriously it looks good on you.” "Seriously thank you." Guay chimed in , “Well you know us tanned skinned people can pull shit off like that." He smiled at Guay and gave her a high five. He took a step back and shook his head. “Shit! I can’t believe know what an Inuit is! This is fucking awesome!” he said as he ran his hand through his hair.“What are you?” he asked. “We’re Puerto Rican.” He stared at us for a second, “Taino right?” “My friend Guay here is more Taino than anything.” He looked at her, “Yeah I can see it.And you?” “I am so mixed it ain’t funny but I have some Taino in me as well.” He dipped his head low to look into my eyes “You know that makes us cousins. We share DNA. Taino’s and Native Americans are cousins to each other.” “Oh yeah I read about that study a few years ago.” He smiled at me again and held out his hand, “Hey there cousin, my name is Charlie.” I took his hand, “Hey there Cousin Charlie my name’s Mia and this is your cousin Guay.” He laughed and shook Guay’s hand, “Nice to meet you Cousin Guay.”
The women standing to the side of us looked at him as if they were waiting on him to rejoin them and when he showed no sign of rejoining them they glared at me and Guay. The woman called out to him, “Charlie?” He shot an annoyed look at her as he lit another cigarette, “You know Charlie that’s type rude. What would your mama say treating your friend like that, especially in the middle of a family reunion?” His whole body shook from laughter. “She’s not my friend Mia. I just met her she bummed a light off of me." I arched my eyebrow at him and he gave me a sheepish smile. He turned to the woman and said, “Hey I’m just going to hang back here for a few. I’ll see you inside later okay?” The woman nodded and flicked her cigarette onto the pavement. She didn't appear to be a happy camper.
“So what are you doing here?” He asked. I gestured towards Guay as she lit up another cigarette as well. “Working on getting lung cancer due to second hand smoke.” He laughed and put out the cigarette he was smoking. “Actually we're celebrating Guay’s birthday.” “Happy Birthday! How old?” “25”. “What about you Mia how old are you?” “I’m 25 Cousin Charlie.” "Wow you look younger.” “She gets that a lot” Guay offered. “ People think she’s a kid because she’s so damn short." He offered me some solace, “Well you know Mia they say good things come in small packages." “True that,"I replied, “but I’m pretty sure a short person coined that phrase Charlie.”
The three of us talked of things both light and heavy for awhile. In between jokes and laughs he gave us the condensed version of his life story 31 years old, photographer, single, father of four. "Mia I've got to admit you've impressed me." "Really, why?” “Well for a bunch of reasons. The fact that you’re so intelligent for one.Plus there's still that whole Inuit thing blowing my mind.” “Ahh Cousin Charlie you are too easily impressed I fear.” I teased. He smiled at me and rubbed at the back of his neck. “I see you’re a bit of a smart ass.” “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” Guay chimed in. I smiled at her and gave an exaggerated sigh, “It’s a gift Charlie. Lord knows I’ve tried to return it but since I lost the receipt God refuses to take it back.” Charlie let out a huge laugh shoved his hands in his pockets and fidgeted a little like he was smacked by the god of shyness all of a sudden. “So uh Mia are you here alone?” “So uh Charlie no I am not. Guay and I are here with some friends and my boy friend." He frowned for a second and the pulled his hands out of his pockets and lit up another cigarette. “Your boyfriend let you come out here by yourself?” he asked as if he was amazed by that.“I’m not out here by myself Charlie I’m with Guay.” “I’d never let you out of my sight if you were with me.” Guay took care of the come back for me. “Oh well then you’d lose her for sure dude. The quickest way to lose Mia is to try to hold onto her too tightly” Guay informed him.“Free spirit huh Mia?” “Something like that.” "Cool." "Well at least I think so Charlie."
We hung out for a few more minutes and even though I was enjoying myself I had to bounce. I held up my hand and said, “Well Cousin Charlie it was really nice meeting you. Say hi to the family for me. I better go back in before my boyfriend thinks I ran off on him." “Yeah me too.” “Oh your boyfriend is inside too?” “Funny, very funny.” He shot back at me as he followed us back inside. Before we parted ways inside of the bar he gave me what we Latinos call a baja panti (underwear remover) smile which I was sure had seduced many a female, and said,“It was such a pleasure meeting you ladies. Mia, I’m still shocked by the way.” “It’s okay Cousin Charlie much like a hang over it takes time to get over it. Take a couple of aspirin you’ll be fine in the morning.” I replied. He laughed again and nodded his head. “Hey Mia if you’re ever in Alaska…” “Yeah, yeah I’ll stop in and see my cute little Eskimo” I joked quoting the lyrics to a favorite song. I guess he got the reference because he laughed. I waved goodbye to him and headed in the direction of our table.
When were out of ear shot Guay looked back at him and said, “You could’ve had that! He was so interested in you. He was dying to ask you for your number! " I arched my eye brow at her and pointed ahead. “And what was I going to do with that Guay?I have a boyfriend." “Yeah well you better tell Cousin Charlie that because he’s staring at you again.” I looked over to where Charlie was with his friends; sure enough he was looking at me again. He must have said something to his friends because they all turned around to look at me and raised their beers in unison as if in a toast. I smiled at them and then looked away. Someone was calling my name. I had been spotted by our crew.“How cool is it that we learned something tonight?” I asked Guay as we made our way to our table.“What was that?” “Duh Guay, that Puerto Ricans are like every where! Last week I met an Australian-Puerto Rican and now we met an Inuit who’s got some Boricua in him too.” “Well it looks like he’s going to have some white in him tonight!" I laughed as the woman from outside walked past us making a beeline straight to Charlie.
“Yo Guay how sick is it that the wig wam bam song just popped into my head?” I adjusted the beautiful dress scarf around my neck and thought of my friend Dannie as I got ready to serenade Guay. I mentally sent Dannie a message, “This one’s for you hermana.” Knowing that like Dannie Guay has never been able to resist the lure of the infectious song I began… “Hey Guay did you know that Hiawatha didn't bother too much 'Bout Minnie Ha-Ha and her tender touch Till she took him to the silver stream?” “No! No! Please Mia No! For the love of God No! Stop!” I wiggled my eyebrows at her and began dancing 1960's style. “Oh gawd stop Mia! I’m never going to get that song out of my head now!” she shouted before she joined in on my dance and started singing with me. “Wig-wam bam, gonna make you my man, Wam bam bam, gonna get you if I can….”
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