Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

By Dick Geary
Guest Columnist 

No more blind faith


April 18, 2018

It's like this. I'm now bankrupt in one country and stone broke in another. That takes some work.

I've written about Beré. She works in the restaurant on the weekends and occasionally other holidays.

When I first arrived here, I took note of the horrendous tasks she faced, almost always alone. When she arrived on Saturday mornings, she walked into a four-foot-high stack of dirty sauce pans which had to be cleaned with cold water and steel wool. After two or three hours of that task, Beré

had to clean and organize the kitchen before she could begin the job of actually cooking. When she finished her difficult day over the stove, Beré had another couple hours of cleaning the pans she used that day. It was cruel what they expected of her.

After a week or two, I started cleaning the week's detritus so Beré had an easier start to her day in a 100 degree plus kitchen. That started our friendship which was never more than an easy camaraderie, devoid of physical attraction.

Beré is amazing in her work. She attacks every task with a vicious enthusiasm that would shame a Spartan. I've only seen her sit down for lunch a few times, and she works with a rapidity that's startling.

She's well-liked and respected in the community, but her husband, who tends a small property for an absentee owner, is despised and disliked by the entire town. He's the only person here of whom I've never heard a positive comment.

They say he's lazy, that he gambles, and will slap Beré around if she doesn't give him the money she makes. He's a pariah here.

So Beré and I became close friends, working together on the greasy pans. Neither of us wanted more than that.

When my bad hip gave out and I took a fall that made me bed ridden for some days, Beré and Waldivino, her husband, were here every morning, at time spending almost the entire day. Waldivino helped me to and from the bathroom and Beré maintained the apartment. He was wonderful, and I began to think that the community was too hard on him.

But he was strange, at times appearing like a phantom at my door, entering quietly, checking out my refrigerator and commenting as to how much I was eating, and if I had plenty of water to drink. I didn't put much importance on his behavior, but certainly took note of it.

Then Maycon, the friend who has the restaurant next door, told me that a lot of expensive things were coming through town on the back of Waldivino's motorbike. I paid little attention, thinking it was Maycon's paranoia.

The credit card companies finally got in touch with me, saying that there had been a lot of unusual activity on the two cards I have. When I looked for the cards, plus the debit card, they were gone from the 1,500-page book where they had been well hidden. Beré is the only person in the world who could have found them. Wanting to help a struggling woman, I had hired her to clean this tiny apartment, and when Beré cleans, nothing is left untouched. The cards later appeared as mysteriously as they had gone missing.

So evidently, I bought a 40 inch TV, two air conditioners, and three top end cell phones, plus some clothes and various gee gaws. Without definite proof, I have absolutely no recourse. The slightest accusation will get me sent to jail.

The most disappointing aspect to this situation is the betrayal of Beré. I thought that any person with a work ethic like hers would be incapable of perfidy. I guess not.

We're still friends, but things have cooled on my part. No more blind faith.

So that's how it is, but I'm too old for lessons like this.


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