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tearing the rag off the bush again
How to Date a Flying Mexican PDF E-mail
Rule #1: Don't Tell Anyone About the Flying Part

After the second night Conchita witnessed Moises flying in his backyard under the moonlight, and after the first night they shared her bed (which happened to be the second night she witnessed him flying in his backyard under the moonlight), she realized that no one, not even her sister Julieta, could learn of her new novio's extraordinary talent. What would people think? Certainly gossip would spread throughout the neighborhood eventually migrating south out of Los Angeles and down below the border to Conchita's hometown of Ocotlán via whispered phone calls, wisecracking e-mails and even terse though revealing postcards. Yes, the chisme would most certainly creep out of the city limits, inexorably spreading like a noxious fog, finally reaching all of her friends and family who would shake their collective head about poor Conchita Lozano de la Peña finally going loca. And, of course, they would proclaim, such madness involved lust. See what happens when you don't settle down like all good Catholic Mexican women and marry a man who can give you children and something to look forward to in old age! No God-fearing woman should enter her sixth decade of life-as Conchita had two years earlier-without having walked down the aisle to accept the sacrament of marriage. And it makes no matter that Conchita certainly doesn't look her age with skin as smooth as Indian pottery combined with a voluptuous figure that would knock the false teeth out of any mature (and eligible) man. But that's the problem, you see. Too much fun, not enough pain. And now Conchita thinks she has fallen in love with a Mexican who can fly. ¡Ay Chihuahua!

So, you see, no one can find out about her novio's penchant for flying. Period. Conchita's good fortune cannot be tarnished by this slightly odd behavior. While keeping this secret, she will proudly introduce him to her comadres at tardeadas, quinceañas and funerals even if they already recognized Moises Rojo as Conchita's recently-widowed but still vigorous next door neighbor. And people will, indeed, nod with approval because this woman (¡finalmente!) had found a solid, handsome and age-appropriate gentleman who maybe-just maybe-will ask her to marry him. And perhaps-they will say-Conchita will come to her senses after all these years of "dating" charming but useless men and allow the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church to bless their union in a proper Mexican wedding. Because in God's eyes, it is never too late for sinners as long as they are still living and breathing and taking up space on this miraculous place we call earth.

When Conchita finally broached the subject with Moises-about his flying, not marriage-he held up his right hand, palm out to his new love, and corrected her: "I do not fly, mi amor," he said softly. "I levitate."

"And what exactly is the difference?" she asked.

"Planes fly," he explained. "Birds and mosquitoes and kites fly. People levitate."

"Oh," said Conchita. "That's clear. But what should I tell people?"

Moises only shrugged. A few minutes later, when Conchita attempted to return to the topic, Moises grabbed her shoulders and kissed her full on the mouth. Conchita surrendered to his taste, smell and touch as if this were their first kiss. Moises pulled back and looked into his novia's eyes.

"Tell people whatever you wish," he said. "To me, it makes no difference."

And so it was: Conchita decided never to share her secret with anyone.

Rule #2: Don't Try to Understand How He Does It

Other than the flying part, Conchita found Moises to be quite normal. He ate, slept, read the paper and loved her as any ordinary man would. When Conchita asked him one day why she couldn't fly unless she held his hand (in which case she would rise effortlessly from the earth as if she were filled with helium), Moises, of course, corrected her terminology ("I levitate, I don't fly"), and then explained that after his wife died, he had fallen out of balance. So he took up yoga and transcendental meditation.

"How did you learn of these things?" asked Conchita.

"I went online to Ask.com and typed in: OUT OF BALANCE," he said. "I found many excellent websites and articles."

"And?" Conchita pressed.

"And after much study, I became a disciple."

"A disciple of what?"

"Of balance, mi amor," Moises answered. "Balance."

"And if I studied yoga and transcendental meditation," ventured Conchita, "I, too, could learn to fly?"

"Of course not," he said. "I read nothing of levitation. It just happened one night as I sat in the lotus position while chanting my mantra."

Conchita skipped asking about what a mantra was but nonetheless continued her cross-examination on the crucial issue at hand: "Must you have moonlight to fly?"

"No, no," said Moises betraying a bit of impatience. "This is not magic. It is pure physics."

"I knew it!" exclaimed Conchita. "No magic, just magnetic fields, right?"

At this, Moises simply sniffed and reached for his cup of coffee. Conchita stood at her kitchen sink waiting for an answer to her question.

"You make the richest coffee I've ever tasted," Moises finally offered. "What do you do to make it so delicious?"

"It's my mother's little secret," she said pleased by the compliment but annoyed at the evasion.

Sensing Conchita's conflicting emotions, Moises said: "Magnetic fields could certainly be at work."

To this, Conchita smiled and refilled her lover's cup with fresh coffee.

Rule #3: Don't Lie About it to Your Dead Mother


On the third night they shared her bed (it was a Tuesday to be exact), Conchita's late mother, Belén, appeared to her daughter. Moises snored softly, curled up like a milk-drowsed baby, while Conchita sat by his side, propped up on two pillows, surveying her new and quite delightful situation. And then, in a blink, there stood Belén at the foot of her bed dressed in the pretty floral print she'd been buried in, holding a cup of coffee and puffing on a fat, hand-rolled cigarette.

"Ay, mija," said Belén after she exhaled a large billow of white smoke. "Another man?"

"Mamá," whispered Conchita. "How long have you been watching?"

"Oh, mija, I saw the whole thing."

"¡Ay Dios mio!" exclaimed Conchita through tight lips. "This is so embarrassing!"

"Don't worry, mija," said Belén. "I'm dead. Nothing embarrasses me. You ought to see what your sisters do."

Conchita was partially placated by this thought but she wondered if, in fact, her younger sisters really enjoyed themselves with their men and whether they were having more fun than she. But her mother interrupted such musings.

"So, mija, your new man flies, eh?"

"I don't know what you mean, Mamá," said Conchita as she crossed her arms and turned to gaze upon her slumbering man.

"Don't lie to your mother," said Belén. "The Fourth Commandment forbids it."

Silence.

"It is useless anyway," reasoned Belén. "I know all. Mothers always do."

Conchita knew that her mother spoke the truth.

"So, otra ves, mija, I ask you: Does your new man fly?"

"If mothers know all," said Conchita with a sly smile, "why do you ask?"

"Because mothers want their children to admit things," she scolded. "Does your novio fly?"

"No, Mamá, he levitates," said Conchita as she turned to face her mother. "Planes fly. And so do mosquitoes and birds and other things. But people levitate."

"Ni modo," said Belén with a wave of her cigarette. "It's all the same. He's up in the air like a plane or a bird or mosquitoes or whatever."

"But his special talent doesn't make him a bad person, Mamá," said Conchita feeling a bit defensive.

"You're right," said Belén. "Sabes qué, mija, before I met your Papá, I dated a man who could do things with his mouth that were simply miraculous."

"No, Mamá, I don't need to hear this."

"Oh, mija, that man," continued Belén, "that man could make me fly!"

Belén let out a little laugh as her mind wandered to ancient memories.

And Conchita let out a sigh.

"His name was Francisco," said Belén after a few moments.

Conchita blinked: "You mean the butcher?"

Belén nodded, took a sip of coffee and then puffed heartily on her fat cigarette. At that moment, Moises woke with a start.

"Did you say something?" he asked without opening his eyes.

Belén blew a kiss to her daughter and disappeared.

"No, mi cielo," said Conchita. "Back to sleep, it was nothing."

"Have you been smoking?" asked Moises.

"No, mi cielo, no," said Conchita as she pushed down her pillows and snuggled near her man. "You know I don't smoke."

Rule #4: Don't Grow Weak in Your Resolve to Keep the Secret

Each morning before 7:30 a.m. except on Sundays, Conchita asks Moises to go back home. It's not because she doesn't appreciate the intimacy that only long, lazy hours in bed can bring. No. It's because her sister Julieta drops by each morning at 7:30 a.m. sharp, Monday through Saturday, to end her power walk and have a little chat with her hermana. After sharing a little family time, Julieta walks home, showers and meets her husband at their camera shop for another full day of keeping their fussy customers happy. Having Moises leave before Julieta arrives is not for Julieta's benefit. Not at all. Julieta knows that, throughout the years, her older sister has enjoyed almost countless men. And being sisters, they have shared many naughty stories throughout though most of them came from Conchita, not Julieta. In reality, Conchita wanted to spare Moises the embarrassment of having to socialize with Julieta after spending the night in Conchita's warm, entertaining bed. He was a sensitive man who read books, enjoyed art and, most importantly, was still recuperating from his wife's death.

So, Conchita would wake to her buzzing alarm clock at 6:00 a.m., slide herself on top of Moises for a delicious bit of lovemaking, serve a wonderful breakfast of tamales de puerco and hot coffee along with the newspaper, and then direct her man out the front door. Moises obliged without argument, subdued by love, food and the morning news. He'd walk next door to his home, shower and then meditate in his living room while Conchita and Julieta visited with each other.

During the first two weeks Conchita had enjoyed her new relationship, Julieta used her morning visits to pepper her older sister with questions. Julieta's preliminary queries were somewhat benign and quite general such as: "Does he snore?" And: "What's his favorite food?" But then after a couple of days, Julieta dug deep with: "How often do you make love?" And: "How big a wedding do you want?" Such questions didn't bother Conchita. Indeed, she'd be insulted if Julieta failed to probe into her love life. But one morning, she surprised Conchita with a particularly insightful query.

"What makes Moises different from all the other men you've been with?" she asked as Conchita served coffee.

This was precisely the kind of question that Conchita had feared. She'd always shared with Julieta the deepest, most personal elements of her dating life even though Julieta, after drinking up every delicious detail, would eventually scold her older sister for not settling down. Would it hurt if Conchita revealed this little secret to her best audience? What's the worst that could happen? Julieta would think she's crazy? No big deal. But perhaps Conchita shouldn't move too fast on this. Maybe she could drop little crumbs of information to see how Julieta reacts.

"He's very spiritual," answered Conchita relying on every ounce of self control that she could muster.

Julieta perked up. "Spiritual?" she asked. "You mean he prays to todos los santos and goes to mass a lot?"

"Not quite," answered Conchita looking over to the kitchen window.

"Well, what do you mean, hermana?"

Conchita turned back to her sister, brought the coffee cup to her lips and said: "He meditates."

"Meditates?"

Conchita drank and then slowly lowered her cup until it met the wooden tabletop with a muffled clink. She nodded and waited.

"Meditates?" Julieta spat out again. "What is he, some kind of…of…of…agnostic?"

"Well, I wouldn't say that."

"But mediation?" continued Julieta. "What kind of man meditates? What's wrong with saying a rosary? That works for me. A good rosary and I'm ready for bed and a good night's sleep."

At that moment, Conchita realized that it would be a mistake to tell her sister that in addition to meditation, Moises also levitated. So much for sharing.

Rule #5: Don't Google the Word "Levitation"

The same morning Conchita decided, once and for all, that it would be best not to share with Julieta her little secret, she decided to do some research on her novio's special talent. She typed in "levitation" on Google and got over two million hits. Too many to go through. How could she limit her search? Ah! One of the books Moises loved to read was entitled, The Gateway to Eastern Mysticism. Conchita added the words "eastern mysticism" to "levitation" and got 263 hits. Much more manageable. After going through several websites, she found one that seemed promising. The first paragraph explained this phenomenon:
"Levitations occur in mediumship, shamanistic trance, mystical rapture, magic, bewitchment, hauntings, and possession. In parapsychology, levitation is considered a phenomenon of Telekinesis, or mind over matter. Most levitations last only a few seconds or minutes."
The first part sent a electrical current of panic through Conchita's entire body. Hauntings? Possession? ¡Dios mio! What did she get herself into? She pushed on:
"Saints and mystics reportedly levitate as proof of the power of God, or in rapture, or because of their saintly nature. The 17th-century Christian saint, Joseph of Cupertino, allegedly could levitate and fly about in the air for long periods of time. In Eastern mysticism, levitation is a feat made possible by mastery of concentration and breathing techniques that control the universal life energy."
Ah! Saints! Perhaps Moises was a modern santo! Conchita wiped her upper lip with the back of her hand and began to calm down. Maybe levitation wasn't so odd after all. She clicked the link to St. Joseph of Cupertino and read:
"Mystic, born in 1603, and died in 1663. Feast day: September 18. Joseph received his surname from Cupertino, a small village in the Diocese of Nardo, lying between Brindisi and Otranto in the Kingdom of Naples. His father Felice Desa, a poor carpenter, died before Joseph was born and left some debts, in consequence of which the creditors drove the mother, Francesca Panara, from her home, and she was obliged to give birth to her child in a stable."
Such miserable lives these saints lived, thought Conchita. But that's why they became santos. ¿No? But what of levitation? She scanned the article further, her heart beating fast. This Joseph of Cupertino was a real misfit who had been teased endlessly by his classmates when he had holy visions at the age of eight. Eight! So young to be seeing things. He possessed a bad temper and little education so that he had been turned away, at the age of seventeen, by the Friars Minor Conventuals. Eventually he entered the Franciscan convent of La Grotella near Cupertino and, in time, elevated to the priesthood. The article continued:
"Everything that in any way had reference to God or holy things would bring on an ecstatic state: the sound of a bell or of church music, the mention of the name of God or of the Blessed Virgin or of a saint, any event in the life of Christ, the sacred Passion, a holy picture, the thought of the glory in heaven, all would put Joseph into contemplation."
And finally, she read that when this saint entered such a mental state, "he would be raised from his feet and remain suspended in the air." His superiors eventually hid him away because his levitations caused great public disturbances. Poor St. Joseph of Cupertino! A prisoner of his special gift. And would that be her new man's fate if anyone discovered his secret? Would the government or even the Catholic Church want to hide him away so as not to cause public disturbances? No, it was clear to Conchita. Moises must keep his levitation a secret from all. Period. End of story.

Rule #6: Don't Forget to Breathe

Conchita and Moises made a compact. If she taught him the secret of her delicious coffee, he'd teach her how to meditate. Moises quickly mastered Conchita's brewing techniques. However, introducing Conchita to the art of meditation was an entirely different affair. Oh, she easily became skilled at sitting in the lotus position due in large part to her great flexibility which also made her a delight in bed. But Conchita wrestled mightily with the meditation part of it.

"I'm distracted," she complained as she sat on his living room carpet. "I can't keep my mind from bouncing from thing to thing."

Moises counseled her: "Mi amor, the most important moment in meditation is when you realize that you are, in fact, distracted."

"¡No es cierto!"

"Yes, it is true," he cooed. "Say to yourself: I am now distracted."

"But I can't empty my mind," she protested.

Moises said, "Meditation is not the absence of thought."

Conchita opened her eyes and turned to her man who kneeled next to her.

"What the hell is it then?" she asked.

Moises gently turned Conchita's head, closed her eyes with his fingertips, and pressed his right palm onto her lower back, his left onto her abdomen.

"Don't forget to breathe," he said.

Conchita obeyed her teacher and inhaled deeply.

"Now exhale," he instructed. "Let your thoughts come and go without clinging to them so that you can focus on the meditation."

Conchita inhaled deeply again. And after a few moments, she exhaled with a soft woosh.

This is really stupid, she thought. I'm such a pendeja.

"Tomorrow," said Moises, "we'll discover your mantra."

"Perfecto," said Conchita. "Perfecto."

Summing Up: Let Us Review


First, never, under any circumstances, let anyone know that your new lover can fly. This will cause great consternation with your family and friends and might lead to the government or Catholic Church locking him up to prevent public disturbances.

Second, don't lie to your dead mother about it. She is dead, after all, so she won't be disturbed by the news. Besides, nothing escapes her so you might as well fess up. The Fourth Commandment is, indeed, the most important one of all. At least for dead mothers, that is.

Third, do not conduct internet research on your lover's levitation skills. What you find will only cause great agitation and cause you to perspire profusely. Sometimes controlled ignorance is the only way to get through life.

Fourth, enjoy your flying Mexican. Life is short and we all need to take delight where we can find it. A corollary to this is that you should learn to accept your lover's special talents even if they're annoying.

And finally, we hope that you do not forget the most important lesson of all: Do not forget to breathe.
 
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