Journal, April 18, 1976 AM (Easter Sunday)

I decided to finally give Doña Carmen the towels I brought her from El Salvador. Easter Sunday seemed like the most appropriate time. I set them out on the table at 6 AM and am waiting for her to find them. She’s up & around so it shouldn’t be long.

I also decided to leave the 100 Colones I want to give her in an envelope on my bed when I leave. That way she or Marielos will find it, & she won’t be able to refuse it. I hate scenes like that!

<I spent all day yesterday in the house here; until 6:30 when I went up to see Sofia.> I was reading “Another Roadside Attraction” by Tom Robbins, and went through over 200 pages. I only have 15-20 pages to go to finish, but anticipate an anticlimax. I’m afraid the book itself will fit the Johns Hopkins professor’s description of Marx Marvelous’ Ph.D. thesis: “brilliant. but frivolous.” There are some fine insights into such things as authority, identification with symbols instead of the morals they purport to represent, and mysticism. It is really a study of religion more than anything, terminating with an indictment of Christianity for separating spiritual & natural man, & thus being largely responsible for our present state of existence, which Robbins contends is frustrated, callous and self-destructive. I think he comes down a bit heavy on well-meaning little Yeshua, but I say ‘right on!’ to his indictment of the Church’s authoritarian structure.

Being in the house all day I was made painfully aware of the really tragic state in which the Castillo Murillo family lives. They either watched T.V. or gambled all day long. They play a game where you divide the cards into piles, & place your bet on top of one. Everybody bets against the dealer (usually Don Fabio who of course has the most money). The entire family, down to Mauren, gets into it, and they yell at each other & bicker but apparently enjoy it. The poor kids. They are good kids, but they’re being taught to gamble & waste time away, instead of reading, playing sports, or caring for animals. They’re being molded in the same mold that produced Don Fabio & Doña Carmen. Too bad! Too bad for Marielos, 16 and a real charmer with eyes as big as saucers. Too bad for Mauren, 5 and a blonde, green-eyed skin-flint with the quick wits and playfulness of a healthy young animal. Children are so brand-new and malleable - such potential, such potential!

<Sofia was telling me last night about a neighbor of her married sister in Heredia. The battle-axe had the nerve (balls?) to tell her that when her husband goes off to the mountains Saturdays hunting, she should refuse to fix him lunch when he returns. The bitch apparently doesn’t hesitate to fight with her spouse, & yell at & hit her own kids liberally, so she figured Sofia’s sister ought to follow suit!> There is no other combination of traits quite as disgusting in a human being as naked, callous brutality and supreme self-assurance. How ugly some of God’s children let themselves become.

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