Barrio Frio

In Israel this summer, I lived with three girls from Bogot‹¨«. They were insane. Every night, we drank and smoked and danced to Latin pop. They moved their hips really well, and wore tight fitting pants. "Gasolina," by Daddy Yankee, was one of their favorite songs. At the chorus, they sang along in Spanish: "Give me more gasoline." It's a great metaphor.

One of the girls wanted to sleep with me, I found out, and of course I was floored -- I'm not an ogre or anything, but girls don't approach me for sex. It would have been amazing and, caught off guard, I definitely would have done it. But I deferred to my pride. It wasn't me she wanted; it was U.S. citizenship. She kept talking about marriage and Hollywood and winter homes in Aspen. It was so obvious.

"I don't think we're ready for this," I told her. "We don't even speak the same language."

"El amor no tiene idioma," she said.

"Yea, I guess that's true."

In the end, we spent a lot of time together that summer. I became disconcertingly well acquainted with the music of Shakira and Daddy Yankee, and my dancing hips became gloriously agile. But I stuck with my gut and denied myself the ultimate guilty pleasure. It wasn't sex for love or even sex for mutual interest -- it was sex for citizenship, and that's a little too much guilt for me.

-- Jon Levin


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