A Fear and a Dream (In English and Spanish)

(Winter of 2002, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA) Those who saw her descend from the large U. S. Mail Truck off 4th Street, in the inner-city down by the Mississippi River, on the chilly morning of December 22, saw a short woman (four-foot eleven inches tall), a little stiff from the cold, with a bronze Peruvian face, and a cute smile that stretch from each corner of her mouth, and almost pure dark-brown hair, that looked to be more black, than dark-brown.

“A determined little driver,” someone said, out of the group standing outside the post office, eating their lunch, smoking cigarettes. They were remarking about her size and determination to drive a big truck, that usually only men drove, she was a post office carrier Viajes a Jordania, paquetes a Jordania, only having learned how to drive a year earlier, at the ripe old age of forty-three years old. The men that had never saw her before-this being her first month driving-thought there was

something inaccurate with their eyes; because of so many people, men and women too, in the state of Minnesota driving mail trucks. So they watched her go on about her business, with a grunt, strained eyes, yet purposeful as she vanished into the large front seat of her truck, with one big pillow behind her to support her back, and push her forward a half foot, and another big pillow under her to bring her up to the steering wheel, and arranged the seat to allow her short feet to reach the gas pedal. And then they left to do their work, and perhaps thought about it little more, knowing they’d see her around. And that was all of that.

And those who saw this little beauty, in the post office a year after she drove those big trucks, saw her as one of the main tellers, a job that required six-years working at the post office-not one, plus, sharp skills in math and social skills dealing with the public, a job that needed a person to know two languages, but not a requirement (because she was one of the few, very few that filled that needed-prerequisite), and she’d move big bags of mail, dragging them here and there when not working as a teller, and in time a very short time, promoted, and receiving for reply, the workers glare she didn’t expect, but envy and jealousy, penetrates deep, especially in the

indolent, but to those doing the glaring and complaining-the superiors put it to rest very quickly, put them into a second-class status, saying, her skills were far above theirs. That made things all right; victory had been accomplished twice, for this non American, in the breadbasket of America, who was working with a working permit, married to an American, had all her requirements fulfilled to be an American, and who (in the year of 2004) at the age of forty-five years old started a sport that would change her life-(that would take fear and replace it with a dream), she would be called secretly by many-during those days, “A late bloomer!”

She was laughing heartily now, at her little successes, during those years. She had married in 2000, met her husband in 1999 (had been talked into taking a trip to America, Disneyland, by her mother, so she could enjoy life before she was put into her grave-and had been given a course in English, a birthday gift by her brother David, for whatever reasons, I never knew-had met him (her husband to be) at the airport in Atlanta, and that in itself is a story by itself) while he was on a trip to Peru. For this reason, she would leave Peru, to live with her future husband in Minnesota (prior to this they met in Guatemala to see the old ruins called Tikal for one week) and then they were married two weeks later; there was an element of sadness among her family, but also elation for her. Asked by a few of her friends “How can you take such a chance and marry a stranger, of sorts?” she replied, “Why would God give me a bad man?” And that was that.

She walked off the airplane, and walked onto the cold ground of Minnesota in February, of 2000, going forward a little unsteadily, life had not yet expressed itself fully for her, definitely in her mind, and for three of those six years she would live in Minnesota, she she’d roll about awkwardly.

At any rate, for her a second life had just begun. She would travel the world eleven-times; get her car license, a permit to carry a gun (an expert shot). She plunged again and again into the unknown, run her husband’s tenant apartment business, helped with the taxes, and did the maintenance on the six buildings they now owned together and sent money to Lima to keep up their home there, and had a crew of five men to include one woman, who rebelled against her being a female boss. “You wait,” her husband said, “I’ll talk to the employees (to include his daughter, and son-in-law);” and he approached all of them, said in his stern voice, “If you can’t work for my wife, you can’t work for me!” Thus, that settled the issue of equal rights.

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