Every day is the same. Or, every day is similar. We wake up, we walk down to the pool; we share snarky lines down the stairs (we don't want to use the elevator, because whomever suggests it would be the lazy one) -- and then the competition begins.
"Pool first? Or, are you going to read?" one of us endeavors to ask, laying out the gauntlet -- you can't throw one here, it'd be too crude.
The response is crucial.
"I might do some laps."
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking -- too hot."
Begrudgingly, we strip down to our swim gear and wade into the pool, which is unfortunately populated with little Latin American children at the moment because of Holy Week.
Old Margs is a much better swimmer than I am, but we learned early on that when it comes to swimming or speaking Spanish (two things for which we should hang our heads in shame) or finding a Colombian husband (Margs' mother asked her if there was a Colombian version of match.com -- oh, the expectations) it doesn't matter the level of expertise: all that matters is who sticks it out longer.
After swimming, we prepare to head into the Old City, or some small barrio where we want to eat ... when one emerges from their room wearing a dress or silly baubles, the other squints in suspicion and re-enters their own room, ready to one-up the traitorous "friend."
"You put on your face, I see what you did. You put on your face. Don't think I don't know what you did. Doesn't matter, your hair looks like slime when it's wet like that," one will say, with endearment.
We compete over everything; how many pages we read in one sitting, how many words we've written, how many pitches we've sent out, how many minutes we slept, how many loads of laundry we've done, how many ridiculous professions of love we hear while we observe the salsa dancers. It usually starts with how many laps, though.
One thing we never have to compete over, I thought, is the obscene or absurd things told to us in bars. Benjamin (Ben-ha-meen), our good friend, recently told old Margs that he wanted to shave off her hair (blond, una rubia) and stick it in his pocket. When he made the motions of shaving off someone's head and then shoved his hands in the pockets of his pants, I knew she'd won -- that night.
"It's all a competition, Morgs, all a competition."
It should be mentioned, however, that we've gotten into one actual fight -- a fight that nearly made one of us tumble over the Old City's walls. We were walking around and one of us was upset that the other had tipped too much at our most recent destination.
"It was, what, 50 cents?! YOU said you were going to have peso coins ready to go! What was I supposed to do?"
"Oh, what, you don't have lips that move? You can't speak up when we're over charged?!?! I don't have a JOB!"
"I don't have a job! I don't have any money, god, you putz, get it together."
"Ooohh, you want to climb up on this wall?"
Then I jumped up, sans cowardice, then jumped down so quickly that I was the biggest chicken from here to home.