On The Streets and the Adventures Begin
My first appointment on a summer day was at a bank in Northern Harlem. The travel was short and always interesting. Taking the Lex Line to 125th street and walked across town. I am walking with my eyes wide open and absorbing the colors of the streets. Disembarking the train, I meet panhandlers, blasting music, and fare jumpers.
Upon entering the bank, meeting me were the signors. Roberto said hello, and his wife, Maria, did not say a word with a sour look on her face. Sitting down in a cubicle, the soon-to-be ex-wife; started moving around in her chair — all with an air of uneasiness and indifference. She spitted out “Por Que Estoy Aqui,”- meaning why am I here. The soon-to-be ex-husband turned to her and explained she was here to sign papers in rapid Spanish. I knew a soap opera was developing before me. Maria continued her theatrics, muttering “de Ninguna maneral,” meaning no way.
Roberto told me Maria keeps thinking she is a borrower on the $200,000 home equity loan. The husband told her for the 100th time that she was only signing the deed and not responsible for the borrowing. No matter what was said fell on deaf ears. Maria kept screaming, “Derecha Derecha,” I am leaving!
All of a sudden, she stands up and starts walking out. As Maria opens the bank entrance door, Roberto gets up, pleading with her. The incoherent blasts are reverberating in the bank and on the street outside.
Ay Caramba Ay Caramba
Drama is unfolding; the bank customers and pedestrians are in disbelief!
Policia Policia-The Cavalry Arrives
By chance, a police officer is walking by the bank. Officer Lopez hears the clamor. The officer asks, “Que esta pasando,” what is happening. Rapidly, Roberto explains the situation. All I knew was I was a bystander of real-world theater. After a lengthy conversation, the police officer got all to settle down. The forgoing was act 2 of this ongoing soap opera. At this point, all were ushered back inside the bank, with the policeman taking the lead.
The 3rd Act and screaming continue.
When we all thought everything was under control, Maria started yelling, “por favor no por favor no,” please no, please no. Maria was swinging her arms and hands in all directions. In turn, the husband jumped from his chair, yelling at his wife-” Estas loco Estas loco,” are you crazy. I needed no translation as the police officer told the couple that he would arrest them for disturbing the peace if they could not figure it all out. Finally, after much commotion, all settled down. The police officer explained the documents in Spanish and stood at my side as all felt the moment’s urgency. The wife finally calmed down and agreed she would go forward and sign the papers.
All in all, we had 45 minutes of fighting and 8 minutes of signing. Another day another closing, another adventure with life imitating art. All done and on my way to the next $100 assignment. Special Assist From NY’s Finest
The journey from world trekking to notary trekking and the lessons learned continue-reinvention, discovery, and keeping it real!