I studied abroad in Spain two years ago, and it was an incredible, amazing, life-changing, super amazing, eye-opening experience. I learned things about myself I never knew before. For instance, I now know that I rock sag pants well and extra body meat poorly. I also learned what genuine hatred and fear feels like, and its name is Montse.
Montse was my señora, or home stay mother (from now on I’ll only call her Lady, she don’t even deserve a name. Plus, hers is dumb and I bet you’re already sick of reading “Montse”).
I first met Lady at the hotel where my study abroad program had its orientation. When I walked down to the lobby I saw three ladies — 1) a program coordinator named Ana, 2) a squat smiley lady, and 3) a greasy blonde headed lady with bad roots, a shrunken apple face, demon eyes, yellow fang fingernails, and robot legs. Ana introduced me to my to-be home stay mother: lady number 3, the demon.
I was already disappointed I didn’t get the smiley squat one, but I figured mine couldn’t be as bitchtastic as she looked. I went to shake her hand and when I did, she grabbed my hand, violently pulled me towards her, slammed her bony face into each of my cheeks, and screamed “DOS VECES” in my ear (“TWO TIMES”). Turns out she was, indeed, a mega trick.
Yet as with everyone I dislike, I still wanted her to like me. On the cab ride from the hotel to her apartment, I tried hard to chat her up. I told her how snowy Maine was, and how excited I was to be in Spain, and how nervous I was that I wouldn’t stay regular. Lady only ever responded with dirty looks, grunts, or silence. She yelled at me once, too. (I accidentally said her son was 17 instead of 7… like I was tryna mack him or some shiiat).
When we got to her house things got even worse. Her apartment stank like cigarettes. Her bastard son mocked my accent. She fed me soggy chicken tenders, chicken broth, and stale bread. When I lay in my bed, my head and feet both touched the walls. I used a sweatshirt for a pillow.
The next few days confirmed what I’d already feared was true. Lady ripped butts inside. Lady’s son was a d-bag. Lady cooked craptastic food.
I noticed something else, too. Lady brought men — young men, crippled men, all types o’ men — to the apartment and made me kiss their cheeks while they made out with mine.
It soon became clear. Trick was turning tricks, for real. She was a certified ho. I could’ve dealt with that. When I realized she was trying to murder me, though, I no longer could.
In her apartment, I kind of had my own hallway — there was really no reason anyone should pass my door unless they were going out. So, when I heard someone walking by my room around 3:00 one morning, and I called out “Hola?” to no response, I figured someone was plotting murder.
I’d already requested a new home stay mother — having said I couldn’t deal with tha shmoke — and I was sure Lady was right pissed she was going to lose my room and board. When I consulted my ma, she reassured me by saying, “Yeah you probably right. I bet one of those gentleman callers will do it. They got nothing to lose.”
Now convinced I was going to die, I did my best to take precautions. My bedroom door didn’t have a lock, so I wrapped the long strap of a purse around the doorknob and tied it to a hook on the wall. I put the electric heater in front of the door, so I’d hear it crash when someone came in. I strategically placed bottles of perfume and uncapped pens around my tiny room so, when one of Lady’s boos dragged me out for butchering, weapons would be in reach.
I did that for a couple nights and then moved out to the squat smiley lady’s apartment. No one ever tried to attack me.
Cool story, huh? I’ll tell you again later!