Freewriting: More of the Unreliable Lolo Ortiz

(Here is another freewriting improvisation I put together. It adds a bit more to Vy and Manito’s coversation after they meet.)

While Lolo slept Vy and the sister got to talking while I listened and drank their RC Cola. That’s when the old stories came in to the conversations. Like old memories on breezes through tired old New Mexico neighborhoods—down Vy’s unpaved street and driveway—over the lost dogs and the smoke from a hundred smoked cigarillos. I remember the windows were open wide and my belly was full and I saw what Lolo meant when he had called Vy’s place a home.

That Uncles of mines, Vy told me, reminds me of your Tio, Manito.

Who? The sister questioned, Manual.

No. Ignacio.

Oh, yeah. Ignacio, the sister repeated.

That old man was loaded with dollar bills and used to bury his money in the backyard.

My Lolo’s pockets are always empty, I said.

Yeah, well, that’s not what reminds me of him. What reminds me of him is this one time he was out working.

He was always working, the sister added.

Yeah, Manito. He was out working out in the campo plowing. He was a farmer in those days.           

Farming what? the sister asked.           

No say, Vy said. Maybe lettuce. I don’t know. That’s not the story. The story is he was plowing and he dropped the wallet. Dropped the bank roll while he was working.           

Why did he keep it on him while he was working? I asked.           

So the wife wouldn’t get into it, Manito. Didn’t want her getting the cash and getting out to town to buy groceries.           

Why wouldn’t he want his wife to buy groceries? I asked.

You got a lot to learn about marriages, Manito. Anyway, so he’s out working hard and so he pulls his handkerchief, right. He pulls it and out drops the wallet and then he plowed right over it. So half the night he’s out digging up the money and looking for the bank roll. And the shit of it is he lost the the whole family’s roll because he didn’t trust, you know.           

What does this have to do with Lolo?           

Yeah, the sister added.           

Your Tio has never been that way is what I’m trying to say. Never hid money from nobody. Whatever he’s got is yours. If Lolo has money, then everyone has money.           

The problem is, the sister said, he never haves no money. And that suits him just fine, no.


(the Latest Failure:

Dear John,

Thank you so much for your submission and interest in Sakura Review. Your work was carefully read by the editors, but unfortunately, we do not have a place for it in the journal at this time. Our next issue will be released later this summer; we hope you order a copy, and we sincerely encourage you to submit again in the future.

The Editors

Sakura Review)

Published by

john paul jaramillo

John Paul Jaramillo’s debut story collection The House of Order was named a 2013 Int’l Latino Book Award Finalist, and his most recent work Little Mocos is now available from Twelve Winters Press. In 2013 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature listed Jaramillo as one of its Top 10 New Latino Authors to Watch and Read. He is currently a professor of composition and literature at Lincoln Land College-Springfield, Illinois.

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