I return to Springfield, ignoring the many, many red flags that were thrown into my face in Paris.
Gomez and I continue to talk. The red flags continue to fly.
"I am so sirsty," he sighs.
"So drink something."
"I cannot. Eet is Ramadan."
"I thought you weren't a practicing Muslim."
"Oh, eet is part of the culture. I must."
Right. Because Christians who aren't serious fast during Lent.
A week after I return from Paris, I lose my job. I am laid off in what is maybe the eighth round of layoffs my company has had in four years. I guess I should be happy that I lasted this long.
I tell Gomez I have lost my job.
"Oh you will find anozer one," he dismisses me.
"I don't know. I had a really hard time finding a job when I got out of the Peace Corps. I'm worried."
He is nonchalant. I have no need to worry! This job thing - pfft! For poor people! Why am I concerned? He changes the subject almost immediately.
I mention a co-worker whose teen son wants her to buy him a car.
"Why she does not buy him ze car?" he demands.
"Maybe she thinks he should work for it."
"But eef she can afford ze car, she should buy eet for him."
"Kids shouldn't get everything they want just because their parents can afford it," I retort.
"Because kids should be taught that you don't get things without working."
He is unconvinced. But then, he has never had to work for a thing.
And yet. I put up with crap because he says things like this:
Mon amour, I miss you, I miss you terribly, I cannot tell you how much I miss you, it has been unbearable not to talk to you.
In French, of course. I am starting to understand why French used to be the language of diplomacy and why countries (=gullible Americaines) surrender to it.