I Don’t Wanna Be No Parigüayo

The most difficult and time-consuming aspect of painting walls takes place before the first roller is dipped in paint. Applying tape to protect trim and other materials on which paint is NOT to be applied is both exacting and mind-numbingly tedious. Properly covering floors to protect against drips takes patience. I know this because I have done it many times. And I am about to do it again, because my tendency to be frugal and miserly won out over wanting to paint the inside of our new house without personally intervening to do the work. When the quotes came in (between $5,200 and $6,200), I drew in a breath so deeply I feared I would suck in all the air in the room. The size of the bids sealed it: we will do it ourselves. That means, of course, the process will take longer than we had imagined. Such is life. Today, we will begin the process of transformation. Actually, the process began in earnest yesterday, when a contractor applied texture to the walls of the master bathroom; the walls, which had been stripped of wallpaper and painted dark, dark grey by the previous owners, desperately needed rescue. Today, I will apply tape, one of my least favorite of the tasks included in household transformations. Onward. After coffee. And after the sun rises.


Yesterday began in what can only be described as a bizarre fashion. I got up around 4 and went about my usual things: making and drinking coffee, blogging, reading the news, etc. Three and a half hours later, my IC got up. Shortly thereafter, when she glanced down, a look of confused horror crossed her face and she pointed at my feet. I followed her gaze and instantly realized what had triggered the distressed look: on my left foot, I was wearing a flip-flop and on my right foot I was wearing a slipper. Apparently, I had managed to leave both pairs of footwear on the floor next to the bed; when I got up in the dark, I slipped one foot into the left side of one pair and my right foot into the right side of the other pair. I never knew it until my IC pointed out that I appeared to have transformed overnight into a demented old man who can no longer properly dress himself. I wonder: how wise is it that this same man plans to paint the entire inside of his new house? I suppose I’ll need to remind myself that the primer goes on first, before the color coat, and not vice versa.


My fingers sometimes get ahead of themselves. That reality presented itself just now as I finished up the final sentence of the paragraph above. Instead of typing “not vice versa,” my fingers typed “nice versa.” It’s not that I left out letters, it’s that my fingers attempted to respond to my thoughts at the same speed I had them. My digits tried to outperform their abilities, resulting in gibberish on the screen. Usually, I catch such failings before I post my thoughts online, but occasionally I see the mistakes after I’ve already clicked on “publish.” And sometimes I do not realize what I’ve done until someone else points it out to me. And, I’m sure, sometimes I never know that I’ve published a piece laced with what may appear to the casual observer as a typo, when in fact it is a brain-finger-disconnect, which today I’m calling a “smattercast.” But I’m fine with calling it a typo.


I came across an intriguing neologism this morning. Parigüayo. My understanding is that it’s a Dominican Republic bastardization of other words unknown. Its meaning has evolved over time, but I think it now refers, essentially, to person who is a dolt, a loser, a socially awkward jerk. I hope to retain my memory of the word so I can  use it appropriately in my writing in the future. Of course, using such a word invariably requires a follow-up, unless a definition accompanies its use. But what is the point of using a perfectly descriptive word if no one else understands its meaning without requiring an explanation? I don’t know. Maybe I won’t use parigüayo, after all. It might suggest I wear different shoes on my two feet.


I got sidetracked. It’s late. I have to get a move on. Onward with the day!

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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