My Misses the Writer
“What?!… Ay, damn it. I just broke another one of la misses’ favorite platters. Al rato te hablo, sister…. Ay no. No worry, she makes a fuss about everything and everything is her favorite thing. I keep all the crazy glued stuff in the back of this one kitchen cabinet. She don’t know. But, I might need a bigger cabinet. Okay. Love you too. Bye.”
Damn it, cuantas pieces… let me see, una aquí… this one under the table. Okay. Now, let’s glue this back together before I hear, “Is-a-bell! What happened, Is-a-bell?!” Ding, ding, ding! Is what I hear in my head every time she says calls me. But, I no take it personal. She treats everybody like that. To her, I’m a bell, Pancho is a lawn mower, Olga is her needle and thread, and Carmela is her frying pan… and pues como she thinks she’s a princess… lo único que nos falta is to dance around like the cups and candles in that musical. If only a beast would come so she would stop being so grumpy. Pero, bueno we need the job y la pobrecita she’s lonely. No friends. No family. The only one who visits is her daughter and only because she needs money…. Hijole, I’m missing a couple of pieces. Where did they go? Ssh, hold on. Hear that? The pinche little bell. “Yes, miss?! No, nothing. Everything okay! Yes, sorry. I be quiet!”
No, if she know I break this. She say, “Is-a-bell. This is irreplaceable. Is more expensive than your house. Isabell.” That’s all she knows about her stuff. It’s expensive. That’s it. Andale, here’s the last piece. Let me crazy glue it. No glue on my fingers… ssh. The bell?…. No. Now, I hear it even when it’s not ringing. Me va a volver loca. Ssh. Wait. “Yes, miss?! Your head? Ah, yes. Okay. I bring medicine.”
Eleven o’clock every morning is time for her migraine medicine. The tray, water, and a glass of Chardonnay. Ay! The glass! Ay, this can’t be saved. “No, miss, no worry! A glass I brought from my house!”
Dónde está la broom? If she sees this one, she’ll freak out. There’s only eight left in the set of twelve. La misses, she spend all day in her room thinking. She thinks a lot. Her favorite things are her books. She cannot talk to anyone when she is thinking of stories. Right now, she is writing a children’s book. My misses is very, very smart. Pale like porcelain: No scars. Her skin is perfect and she’s allergic to everything, but very smart. So, ay, what was I going to tell you? Ah, si. My sister, she told me that mis tíos found buried treasure in our grandmother’s hacienda when they were digging for to install the drain system yesterday. Our grandmother used to tell us stories of buried treasures all the time when we were kids. Legend has it that there was much gold and silver many centuries ago in our little town and to hide it from the foreign invaders; you know, the French, the Spanish, the Gringos… the indigenous people, they built so many tunnels that went from the secret caves in the mountains all the way into our little town.
Puta madre, con este crazy glue…now I have it all over my fingers. A ver, this piece has to fit here… yes. Okay, let me just hold it.
So, anyways, all this gold and silver was untouched for centuries because of the curse. It says that anyone who tries to excavate the treasure will die the instant they reach it. And many tried and they all died so there are hundreds of dead souls underneath the town. It’s very haunted our town. Fire suddenly bursts through the ground as a warning to everyone to leave the treasures alone. I saw it myself when I was a kid. We had to be very careful when we were playing in the street… hold on. She coming? No.
I always tell la misses if she want stories she should talk to Pancho the gardener, but she no listen. She just gets mad at Pancho with his noisy lawn mover. Pero, hijole, if you ever hear Pancho’s stories… his great-grandfather was the only surviving member of a tribe that suddenly and mysteriously disappeared after thriving for hundreds and hundreds of years in the Mayan jungle. What he saw was unbelievable. He was… ah, que la chingada. The little pinche bell. Damn, she coming! I guess she had an idea. She always leaves her room all excited to drink some wine when she has an idea. Blue platter in the cabinet, andale. “Hola, miss. Here, your two medicine. A glass of Chardonnay. Hmm? Yes, I know Heidi. The story with the grandfather? Yes.…Aaah, pero pues…They no tell that story already? Ah, the same pero different. Oh, okay. More wine? The bottle? Oh, okay, pues.”
Pobrecita, she needs a life to write about. You know who has the most interesting life? Olga, the Ukranian lady who comes once a week to tailor her dresses. La misses buys clothes from her computer every day and every week Olga comes to fix them. La misses she has this whole room just for her clothes. Very fancy. Last time la Olga and me we were drinking coffee while la misses was getting a massage in her room… she says relaxing helps her think, pues la Olga she was telling me that in her country she was table tennis champion when she was young. A table tennis champion. Can you believe? But, then, when she was sixteen, she had to flee her country. She left everything and everyone. She was all alone running through this freezing dark forest in the middle of the night, dogs barking, the police shouting… she was so scared and so lost. She tripped and fell into this deep, deep ditch, full of dirty stinky water, she says. She banged her head against the rocks, she still has the scar, and her legs were all bloody, but this fall saved her life. The dogs couldn’t smell her no more because the water was so stinky. And, when she woke up the next morning…puta madre, la pinche bell! “Yes, Ms?!!”
Ay, andale, I have to go; time to buy the groceries for Carmela. She comes to cook, but wait till I tell you why she’s really in this country…Ooops!
Ruth Livier starred in the groundbreaking, award-winning TV series Resurrection Blvd. Among her voice-over work, she played Lolita opposite Val Kilmer’s Zorro in the 2012 GRAMMY nominated The Mark of Zorro. As a writer and Digital Media pioneer, Ruth was featured on the cover of the Writers Guild of America’s WRITTEN BY magazine for being the first writer to join that union via her work in New Media with her award-winning web series, Ylse.net
Ruth has been a guest speaker on content creation at USC, LMU, EMERSON College, Hanson Film Institute at UofA, SAG, WGA, NALIP, NHMC, and DIGITAL HOLLYWOOD. She has written for Northwestern University about her experiences in the digital world and has been interviewed by Al Jazeera and Japan’s NHK network, among others. Ruth has testified at the FCC and at the US Senate on Net Neutrality and is currently studying English literature and Chicano studies at UCLA.