I write notes three times weekly in my limping Spanish for Yolanda, not because I won’t see her, but because I probably won’t remember by then what I need to tell her. She has asked me to order more vacuum cleaner bags from the states. I use the words I know, and tonight the word for vacuum has escaped my memory. So I leave this note on the kitchen island, taped to a filter I’ve found in the laundry room:
“Is this the bag for the machine for clean the floor?”
Es este la bolsa para la machina para limpiar el piso?
Then, taped to the stove top:
I’m sorry, Yolanda, but a potato broke in my oven and it is very bad! I worked for one hour and a half but it is still bad now.”
Lo siento, Yolanda, pero una papa romper in me estufa y es mui malo! Trabajo por una hora media pero es malo ahora.
A potato broke in my oven? I don’t know the word for exploded, but I think it must put a bit of levity into her morning to try to interpret what I have said.
Later, she will go home and report today’s pleasure. “The senora? Today she broke a potato in the oven. She tried to clean it for awhile, then went to write another poem.”
There will be no rancor in her statement, for the humor of the unlearned words that still stand between our total comprehension of each other will be gentled by the total understanding that compensates for those lost words.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Handwritten.” When was the last time you wrote something by hand? What was it?