On our way home from the home of friends one day, we popped over to pay the wife’s sister and her husband for a visit. Miguel, “Miguelito” directs me to the back of their property where I find Lucilla, dressed in shorts and a tee shirt, drenched in sweat, machete in hand, hacking away at dead branches and vines. She’s 71!
She sees me, stops what she’s doing, slams the machete into the earth and immediately starts telling me a story. Though Colombian and not Puerto Rican, she has adopted the rapid-fire way of speaking enjoyed by so many Puertoriqueños. Though I have been described as being “more animated than a cartoon character,” I have to say that Lucilla has me beat by a country mile! I am not sure there’s a word for her. Hands flailing, mouth moving, words coming out too fast to even pick up a familiar word here and there, I have no idea what the hell is going on. However, because she’s an excellent storyteller, I know exactly where in the story to laugh, or react with a “si” or an “Hay Dios Mio!”
Apparently satisfied that she had such a responsive audience, like a wind up doll, she suddenly stops talking, removes the machete from the ground and continues killing those dead branches and vines. I guess this is my cue to leave.