July 20, 2005


My sister used to say she would never learn Spanish because she hated the way it sounded. “Escalaflolo, escalaflolo” was her imitation of how she heard it. “what does that mean?!”, she asked, sure she’d hit on some really clear phrase, since it Really Sounded like that. “It means nothing,” I’d tell her, but now, I think I may have an answer that is more satisfying.
Okay, there’s some liberty taken there, but just for the sake of argument, let’s break this one down a bit better. Escala with an accent mark over the last “a” means I climbed in the past. F is just stuck in there to mean #@%!. And then Lolo means mud. The mud here, oh, the mud. The sucking sound of it is so satisfying, and energy-sapping at the same time. The horses step in mud at the same pace, one after another, pulling mud up with their feet that drops before they place their foot in the next muddy place, thus creating ruts 2 feet deep separated by 2 ft tall mud walls—the compendium of so many horses passing in the same footsteps, literally.

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