Julian turned to him, looked straight into his eyes and paused, he then smiled, stretched out his hand, and replied that everything was fine, but Julian knew something wasn not right. The man introduced himself as Doctor Cortéz and Julian introduced himself as Jose. Julian sat down, but not before rolling the chair back another foot or two, adding more space between them, the doctor opted to sit on the edge of the desk. The only details that Julian was provided by cubículo was that the doctor he was there to audit went by the name of Fonseca, but it wasn't unusual for accounts he often deals with to use fictitious names, of course, it goes both ways.
"¿En que te puedo ayudar Jose?" the doctor asked.
Julian decided to go along with this unexpected situation and see where it will lead to. He was no longer in a rush to complete the audit, although there was still a chance others would soon show up, from the moment he stepped into the building, things were no longer going to go the way he planned. Julian figured he would hide, wait for the doctor to arrive, break his neck and then leave. The moment he saw the doctor approach him, Julian felt he was not a threat.
"Tengo problemas en dormir Doctor." Jose-the patient, admitted.
Julian proceeded to tell the doctor about his sleepless nights, of course with out revealing the true cause-that he has not been able to sleep since that tragic event that changed his life two years ago and now has him on this path. He wakes up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat; his way of dealing with it, several shots of tequila before going to bed. In the middle of probing questions from doctor and not so honest responses from the patient, the doctor suddenly changed the subject.
"Discúlpame José por la pregunta, pero ¿hablas Inglés?"
"Si lo hablo ¿porque la pregunta?" Julian replied, curious about the question.
The doctor began to speak English with a heavy Spanish accent.
"You speak like a pocho, and I haven't spoken English since my time at the University. I don't get to practice often in these areas. I thought I would take advantage of this opportunity and have the conversation in English instead, if that is fine with you."
Julian, like many Mexicans, that end up in the United States as children, go through the erosion of their Spanish tongue. With the passing of the years, the Spanish accent diminishes as English becomes their primary language, and as such, are branded a pocho. Julian is accustomed to being mocked for it. Just as the doctor eagerly wants to practice his English, Julian too often finds himself wishing to speak only Español; obviously, it still needs improvement.
"Si está bien supongo." Julian reluctantly replied.
"¡Perfecto!", the doctor's response was followed by a loud clap and that friendly smile on his face.
"You know Julian, my favorite city is San Francisco? My wife and I spent our honeymoon there years ago and kept going back every year."
The doctor paused for a moment, gazed upward with a sigh, and reflected on what seemed to be unforgettable memories.
"So tell me, Julian, how long did you live in the United States, and what brings you back to Mexico?"