Yesterday, we returned to the Hospitalito. It was a bit of a come-down after spending an amazing weekend in the beautiful Casa Colibrí across the lake in Santa Catarina. The house is like something out of Grand Designs and boasts incredible views of the lake and volcanos from the north (see next post). I began to forget last week, or rather, I washed it off in one of the 14 soaks I took in my bathroom’s mosaicked plunge tub.
Let’s work backwards though.
I had a real day planned yesterday morning. I was going to phone my mobile phone company in England, then eat a taco salad, and then ask our neighboring hotel here in Santiago if I can pay to use their pool. Then I was going to use the pool today. Full agenda.
But at around 8:30, my mother, who was staying over upstairs, came down the outdoor staircase (design flaw). She was running because she’d just heard A scream after banging her face into a chair. On the last step, she fell. Or was she thrown? She went down hard and landed full starfish. Since birth, I have smashed my elbow into a doorframe at least once a week. It’s inherited from my mother, who is slightly more coordinated; she only suffers a monthly fall. Yesterday I watched as she crumpled like a dropped puppet.
A friend drove us to the Hospitalito, my new home away from home, where she was deposited into a vacant wheelchair waiting outside the entrance. In this instant, her transformation was complete. It is a fact that on her 50th birthday, a certain kind of Latina retires from her previous life of walking around. This woman is always a mother to many grown children and often a grandmother to even more able-bodied grandchildren, so that the chair can travel with plenty of company. Because the chair is not going to push itself. Part of the chair’s appeal is that it demands a slavish obedience from younger family members who must accompany it around the grocery store four times a week and wait for it outside the hair salon. And chairs congregate. At airports there are just empty wheelchairs sitting around, waiting for the next healthy, middle-aged woman to give up. Just check the arrival and departure areas at SJU or GUA. Also, any grocery store.
Anyway, no fractures, just a bad sprain for mom. This was confirmed by her X-Rays, which were taken atop a 7-foot metal table that she ascended via the attached Barbie’s Dreamhouse steps. The climb was especially difficult as they’d given her a giant syringe of mystery liquid that can only have been a horse tranquilliser. So she felt great. It’s a huge relief to me because my mom is my friend here. She is my Friend. My One Friend:
The other two calls were to my laundry service.
Update: she is now on the mend, so I will have my taco salad today.