Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Metaphor in Monica Puig

I hadn't been writing for a while, but today my heart is full and I just can't keep quiet.  We are so proud of you, Monica!  Hija de mi tierra, luchadora, nueva reina de los corazones, humilde y genuina, Dios te proteja siempre.

Well, we heard that the match was going to begin at 2:00 PM so I turned on the TV and the time went by as slow as molasses.  There is something about watching a game where you have no interest.  Of course everyone in Argentina was routing for their guy to beat the Spaniard but hey we had no one in the game.  They both spoke Spanish, and since they did that common denominator cancelled them out.    Any way, their Spanish is so different to ours.  Why in Argentina they sing their Spanish with an Italian flair, and the people from Spain have a lisp. And Ole and Bravo.  And of course they conquered America.  But anyway that was centuries ago.  There might be a little bit of resentment for all the gold they plundered but no biggie. That is water under the bridge.  

But back to the game.  We had to wait until finally the Argentine beat Nadal. What a relief.  I was starting to feel bad for Nadal who seemed to have been crowned the favorite and was losing to his dismay.  Finally, our gal, Monica came on the screen with her good tan and caramel skin with high lights in her hair pulled back in a braid.  She looked buffed with a mixture of sweetness and raw determination.  She looked away a lot as she studied her tennis racket over and over as she picked on it or twirled it with her rhythmic swing. Waiting was perhaps the hardest part, as we waited for Kerber to serve.  And did she serve?  About 7 to 9 slicing perfect serves.  Always a fake one first just to get Monica off balance and then followed by a supersonic knife in the air.  But our Monica was not going to be denied. 

On the other hand, Monica, simply took the long route by weakening her opponent with Pica Power.  She subjected her to long volleys back and forth, making the German move side to side,  then the volleys became tiresome.  It was long, hot, and grueling   The difference between them was that la Puertorriqueña woke up this morning with a golden medal in her cafe con leche.  Sure, once in a while she got unfocused but she bounced back.  

On the other side of the court the German gal started realizing this Monica was not backing off. Didn't this Puig know that she had just won the Australian Open? That she was number #2 in the world?   She looked at her coach with a look, saying, I can't stop this chatita.  I can't stop this gal, she keeps coming back.  Coming back and coming back until she was unnerved and worn out. It was a battle of the wills.  And Monica won.

So how did we react in Puerto Rico?  Con alegria, algarabia y griteria!!!  We shouted and cheered wildly from one little corner of the island to the other.  This island of 100 by 35 suddenly became a very loud neighborhood!  

We were taught a lesson in fighting.  You stick at it.  It doesn't come easy.  You might fall, do the splits, slip and slide, and you dust it off, jump a little, shake if off, and dream of the goal.  You think of your Abuelita back in Puerto Rico watching you, you see the Puertorriqueños waving your flag in the stands and remember hearing la Borinqueña playing in your mind for the first time in the Olympics.  Can I do it?  I'm not quitting.  No me quito. No me quito.  I'm not quitting.  No me quito.  And she stayed.  

Beautiful metaphor.  A message for all of us battling some giant.  I'm NOT quitting.  I am going to fight this to the end.  

Bien hecho hija nativa!  Bien hecho!

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