When my Aunt Dorcas was 15 years old, she fell in love.
Late at night, when her grandmother snuck away to cry over the shoes of her dead son, Aunt Dorcas would sneak away into the attic and dream of her true love.
Sure, lots of teenagers fantasize about getting a shiny new car, but with Aunt Dorcas it was different. This car was her escape route from the funny farm. Living on the mango plantation was like living in a third world country. There was no electricity, no indoor toilets, kitchen sinks, or telephones. They were living like monkeys in the trees. They were like the mountain gorillas of Zanzibar. Aunt Dorcas knew that there was a better way to live. She had communication with the outside world and knew that there was a world out there with toilets that flushed.
She had a dream that one night she could wake up and use an indoor toilet. Images of bathtubs filled with candy apple scented bubbles filled her head.
She wanted one of those magical machines that would wash the clothes for you and leave them smelling April fresh, and she desperately longed for big electrical box filled with food that was already made.
Truly, there was an amazing world that was out there filled with fabulous luxuries. And it was all out there waiting for her. It was calling her name, begging her to leave the jungle and partake of all the riches that the modern world of the beast had to offer those who would only bow down and worship him. And it would all be hers, if only she had a midnight black 1957 Chevrolet with red velvet seats and little purple pom poms dangling from the windows, and perhaps even one of those cute little bobble head dashboard jesuses. That would be just groovy.
And then one bright and glorious day it happened. There she was scrubbing her old flour sack dress outside in a big bucket of cold water and lye soap, when the car of her dreams pulled up. It was like jelly beans had fallen from the sky and landed on her doorstep. It was like magic, and she herself had made it happen with her mind, all thanks to the divine power of the Kundalini.
This is how she met her future husband, Don Pedro Sanchez.
She was fifteen going on sixteen, and he was seventeen going on dead at the time, because less than an hour before the car drove up to the mango plantation, Don Pedro had been shot twice in the stomach. He had come there, with his brothers, because it was the closest place around to get medical attention. With this bazaar injury came their story to explain the horrible gunshot wound.
They were poor coconut farmers from Peru, and had driven thousands of miles to try and find buyers for their coconuts.
They said that they lived on a huge coconut farm and had grandparents, cousins, nieces and nephews that they had to support by selling these coconuts. All they wanted was to live a life of harmony with their family. “Family and love are more important than gold and silver and all we want is to care for them and support them.” So they said.
And then they came to this place and tried to sell their produce and were told that just a few weeks ago, the government banned imported coconuts because of the Peruvian coconut worm. According to their story, someone brought some coconuts that were infested with worms that would spread and eat all the crops and even mutate and live in the intestines of cattle that people would eat. The authorities feared it would cause an epidemic and told these poor coconut farmers to go back to their country. The officials tried to burn the coconuts because they were afraid the worms would spread, and then they shot poor Don Pedro when he tried to save the fruits of his labor.
Grandmother Mabel pulled the bullets out, sewed up the wound, and gave the poor gunshot victim some medicine. She had no sympathy. She told them they could support themselves just fine if they weren’t drinking the blood of the unholy beast that is taking over the world. She explained how it’s so much cheaper to live on the land without modern conveniences and the beast is tearing families apart by tempting them with the pleasures of modern life. She sent these evil doers of iniquity on their way. But it wouldn’t be the last time she saw them, because them. Guess what the coconut smugglers found stowed away in their trunk a few hours after they left the mango plantation?
That’s right, it was good old Aunt Dorcas, and boy did she get an earful of scandalous information while riding in the back of that 57 Chevy. It turns out that they weren’t just smuggling coconuts into the country.