The feeling I experience when hanging around Lita, I imagine, is like the feeling girls get when shopping.
'Ooh, where can I wear this? Can I mix and match it with different things?' they might ask, enjoying the thrill of getting new stuff. My new stuff comes every time Lita speaks. The woman is a goldmine of writing material. Every once and a while she'll say something just too good to be true, something about race relations or politics or picking cotton, and I'll think to myself: 'That was awesome! When can I quote that? Can I make a story around that?'
Having one crazy Mexican lady around is more than I need for two books worth of material, but when I hear that her sister is coming into town, I mark it on my calendar. "Hey JP, want to hang out on Friday?" My best friend might ask, to which I'd respond "NO! Lupe is in town!" It's a matter of having my priorities straight.
Theirs is a story of two sisters that have been at each others throats since WWI, and when they're in the same vicinity, it's like a Mexican cockfight. I once had the privilege of observing one of their battles when Lupe came to Wichita Falls, Texas, no more than a thirty minute drive from us, to visit a relative. It went a little something like this...
"Well I'm so glad you stopped by Lupe, I know you miss out on everything in Colorado." Lita said this in a way that insinuated Lupe was actually missing something. It was as if the second she packed up and left we would give the all clear sign and bring the carnival back into town.
"Oh yes, I'll have to come more often. The sun is so strong here during the summer though, look you're getting darker." The little room abounded with foreign accents and Mexican phlegm.
"Well, anyways, have a good time. We'll be going now. Vaminos"
I was very disappointed at this announcement, I had a front row seat to what was supposed to be a fight. It was like getting box seats to a Yankee game and then hearing that it was canceled five minutes into play, or preparing to watch two lions fight over a gazelle carcass on a safari and then driving away from it.
We were walking through the front lawn to our car when I heard it,
"God, you've gotten short. I didn't notice until you stood up."
'Yes, yes, YES!' I thought, putting my 'TEAM LITA' shirt back on and racing to the battle scene.
"Lupe, I'm not having this argument. You've always been shorter than me and you're just jealous. That's all, bah. Vaminos"
"I doubt it, you go like that to me." At the word 'that', Lupe pounded her flat open hand on her neck to show that, were she standing in front of her, the top of Lita's head would go there. She did this in a hard way that made me hold my own throat and gag.
Lita's eyes narrowed, she pointed an accusing finger, "Lupe, you have always been shorter than me, you always will be shorter than me, and you will die shorter than me!"
"Let's measure and go back to back. What? You scared? Si, si, you scared! Get in your car and drag yourself back to Oklahoma, shortcake!"
"What what? I'm not scared! C'mon then," at this point I was jumping for joy, thinking that Lita might actually hit her, "let's go, back to back, let's go!"
The two slowly backed into one another, and noticing that Lita might in fact be taller, Lupe pulled another insult from her arsenal,
"Maybe if your ass wasn't so huge I could go back to back! But bah, I don't even fit!"
I danced like a happy dolphin dances at Seaworld for tuna.
"Aver, uh huh, uh huh, you know I'm taller! You see it, you all see it! Deal with it Lupe! Baha--ah--hack-ah!"
When we got back home, I was asked how my little day trip was.
"Perfect." I said.