Brother, You Don’t Understand…

Jorge Milanes Despaigne

Ayme Amargos is a journalist who for several years has reported the news from the city of Camaguey for the National Television News (NTV). Very serious about her work, I’m sure she could never imagine what my co-worker has done with her name.

This co-worker of mine is a real funny guy. He jokes all the time and is always having fun with everybody. Nevertheless, a few days ago he tuned plaintive.

I wanted to find out what had happened so I asked him, but he refused to respond. Several days went by with him remaining in that pensive state, not even lifting his face from his papers to say hello to people.

Other co-workers in the office shared my same concern. They thought I knew what had happened, but they discovered that I was as bewildered as they were concerning his behavior.

This morning that same co-worker who had been downcast for several days showed up at the office jubilant. He was giving out hugs, kisses and smiles to everybody with whom he came in contact. All of us were speechless seeing him like this, back to his old self, but we were careful not to ask him about his previous behavior.

At lunchtime, both of us shared the same table, and since it was just the two of us, he decided to be frank with me. I was fearful about what he was about to say, so I braced myself and listened.

“Little brother, I didn’t want to say anything to you so you wouldn’t worry. But what happened is that my mother-in-law — who has Alzheimer’s — slipped away from my wife and we couldn’t find her anywhere. Strangely enough, she showed up by herself back at our house. Well, actually we found her wandering around on the block where we live,” he explained.

“Compadre, I changed her name because of this incident,” he added.

“Seriously, but do you think it’s worth it at her age?” I asked, rather naively.

“Guess what name I gave her,” he continued.

“Christ, I don’t know,” I managed to answer.

“Ayme Amargos,” he said laughing.

“Isn’t that the name of the journalist from Camaguey?” I asked, never imagining that it was another joke.

“Compadre, you don’t understand… Ay-me-amargó  (English: “Oh-she-makes-me-mad”).