The month of December and a status update.
So much has happened
I have wanted to write but none of the events have been full of balloons and party favors.
I was asked what happened to @lvj
The short answer:
I was there a week ago and he was not there, so I gave his Steemit earnings to Jorge, the super at the building where he Juancito used to live.
The long answer:
We left off expecting Juancito's birthday on December first. The last day of November I had dropped off a cake and candles to Jorge, and he placed them in his refrigerator. I saw Juan in his usual spot across the street, but I had just come from the supermarket and was headed to a family thing with other perishables.
The next day was Juan's birthday and I stopped to see him pre-sundown, not really sure what the plan would be. I had pictured a song and candles in the lobby of the building where Jorge works. While I was still a block away, I heard him. He was billowing insults into the air as if yelling toward the balconies of all the people that he had introduced on his blog here on Steemit. I was told about this side of Juan but had not seen it.
When I got closer, he stopped. I asked him to calm down and tell me what was upsetting him. First and foremost was that his phone had been stolen, "and they nearly pulled my arm off" he said. Juancito does not realize that he is really big. He thinks like a kid but looks like a human fork lift.
I tried to cheer him up and have him look on the bright side. He still has the tablet which is all set up to vote and comment on Steemit, but that was not what he was worried about. He was worried that he could not send messages on Whatsapp or surf Youtube. He would not stop talking about how he cannot make any money unless he has those two programs. He told me to go talk to Jorge about buying him a new phone. Jorge speaks no English.
When I walked across the street, Jorge was working and I spoke to him about a phone and gave him the money meant to be a birthday present. Jorge put the money in a box where he keeps Juan's other earnings. "He is like a brother to me!" said Jorge. "I will see what is available on Monday. Something used maybe." He looked as though he had not slept. He hadn't in fact. Nobody in the building had slept because Juan - the man that they all stopped to chat with daily - had kept them all up all night. Today, on the other hand, is his birthday and I was the only willing participant. Nobody wanted any part of him, at least until they were able to recoup their sleep. That is my own assumption.
Jorge went and got the cake I had purchased, there were candles in the bag with it. He handed it to me and tried to express the things Juan had said and done, but the words were not in my vocabulary. I could tell they were insults because of the expression on his face when he punctuated some of the words. I was not good at acting with outrage at yet another word with a rolling 'R' in in it.
The plan had been to have a few people in they foyer and let Juan blow out his candles, maybe film it and post it. Ruined. Instead of a celebration, I found myself walking back across the street armed with a chocolate cake and a maybe on the phone for him. Juancito took the grocery bag and dipped his huge hands into the bag and scooped out handfuls of cake. He asked if Jorge would be buying him a new phone. Yes, Monday he will check into it. A birthday this pitiful was not the kind I would even think about capturing. No photos. Sorry.
I needed to tell Juan about the price dropping severely, some of his post going to zero and why. I asked if he wants to cash out his earnings in the twenty-cent range or wait for it to go up. I had been busy the previous week trying to defend some on-line friends from turning invisible, and every unpaid comment of mine did so as well. Of course when that happens, anyone I support is a target. Yeah, even the one sleeping on the sidewalk. Juancito chose to take the money as soon as I could cash it out.
Getting back to the short answer, and also moving forward to mid December, I cashed out his liquid steem and dropped off his money after all posts and comments had past the seven day mark. Juan was nowhere to be seen. I dealt with gestures and words as Jorge spoke to me, gave me the news that Juan was taken to the hospital and was at risk of losing his leg to gangrene. Ambulance, hospital and gangrene can all be easily understood if you put them on paper and read them with a Spanish pronunciation. I was able to understand what had happened.
I was not pleased to hear about that and wondered if I had only been able to to get Juan into a hostel or apartment somehow it may not have happened. The answer I got from Jorge was "Forget about it." Apparently Juan had yelled even louder in pain for an entire night two days earlier. They found him out there in the morning with his leg all opened up from his heel to the calf. He was put into an ambulance and taken to the hospital having suffered considerably through the night. You cannot blame people for not responding at 2:00 a.m. because of Juan's habit of yelling like that for less serious reasons.
This post has been on my mind
I have been meaning to make one. It is not the easiest thing sit down and write on negativity and misfortune. I have been awaiting a call from Jorge, who now has my number and promised to update me on Juan's condition. I do not have his number and Juan has no phone. I will head over there if I do not hear anything shortly. I was not planning to write this until I had the rest of the story but @xpilar sent a message in my wallet. I know that you all have to be wondering. I knew I had to write something and this is as far as I can go.
On a positive note, ambulances and hospitals are all free in this country. If you are human, they treat you for free and charge nothing. Health insurance exists if you want to go to a private hospital, but I have waited less time at a public hospital to be seen for a cough than I had at a private hospital for pneumonia. He is in good hands.
The best news would be to see a post from LittleJohn on @lvj - I check to see if he has every day.