Episode 35: 1958—A mysterious uncle

Episode 35: 1958—A mysterious uncle

It was two days before Christmas. The weather was pleasant. A cool, soft wind blew from the east across the fields carrying the fresh aroma of the morning vegetation. My two little brothers and I were coming home after a short hike to the hill that faced our shack. I crossed the room and entered the kitchen to get a glass of water from the jarro when… SCREEECH! A grainy face across the table stopped me cold on my huaraches. It kept watching me. Coming from outside on a bright day into a poorly lit kitchen, my eyes did not adjust fast enough. My huaraches stayed firmly planted as I gazed at the face trying to make out its features. Soon it was becoming familiar. “Is that—?”

“Rufiano,” DJ interjected. “Come and meet your uncle Juan.”

Juan? That was the strangest, silliest thing I’d ever heard Father say. He ain’t no uncle! He knows that. Mother knows that. My brothers know that. So why is he calling him Uncle Juan!

The mysterious face kept grinning. Squinting, I slowly raised a finger. “That’s A—”

“Uh, Uh, Uh!” said DJ quickly. “He is your uncle Juan. Don’t forget that.”

What’s going on here? What the devil has gotten into Dad’s head this time?….