El Trompo/The Spinning Top

Puto means exactly what you think it does.

For the past three days now, I’ve had a snippet of a Simon and Garfunkel song running through my mind:

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you

Except I keep mentally replacing nation with world. Because the world’s eyes really are turned toward the United States right now, with an outward gaze and engagement it would serve the spinning top of my homeland well to adopt.

On Sunday, El Pais started things off with a lovely little civics lesson on the Electoral College and listed what time — in Spanish time every single state’s polls would close. Since then, every single story on its Spanish-language landing page has centered on the election. For the time being, COVID has been completely erased from its pages. Are hospitals overwhelmed? Are cases rising or falling? Are things more or less dire? I have no idea, except in the tiniest micro-sense: The confinimiento of the Guzman el Bueno health zone hasn’t lessened cases at all.

This of course is not surprising: it hasn’t been enforced at all, either. I thought we weren’t supposed to leave the neighborhood, I told my Spanish teacher.

That’s because you’re not Spanish, he responded. This is right before one of my previous teachers, the one who loves rap and America, stuck his head into the classroom to tell me a certain candidate is a certain Spanish curse word.


Meanwhile, things grind on across the Atlantic. As I write this, Trump has only 463 more votes than Biden in the state of Georgia — the state that only once in my voting lifetime has gone to a Democratic candidate.

My lonely gaze is so fastened on America that I have a twitch in my left eye.


  1. All eyes on the remaining states and the mail-in ballots. Count them all? Is this a new idea? Hope is….Jean Rhys said, Thst vulture Hope. But better than constant grinding anxiety! Xxx Laura

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