The point is that her name was María Cristina Rojas (by the way, if you’re reading this, María Cristina Rojas, then: “WTF?”). This is significant because she told me last night on the phone that if I was unsure about where her house was, I could “ask around” to the neighbors and they’d point me in the right direction. So I got to the approximate location she’d indicated–a bar seriously named “Fory Fay,” which is actually just “45” in English, mispronounced and then subsequently misspelled–and I noticed two old guys sitting on a retaining wall. I got out and asked them if they knew where María Cristina Rojas lived.
“She’s been dead for a few years now,” one of them replied. Doubtful about having spoken the previous night with a ghost in the market for a 2001 Toyota RAV-4, I asked again.
“María Cristina Rojas,” the man asked, “or María Cristina Rojas Rojas?” I told him I was looking for the one with only one “Rojas.” “Oh,” he replied, pointing, “it’s that house over there.” Evidently our double-Rojas was the dead one.
How weird that in a country of only 4 million people or so, there can be so many people with similar and even identical names. And that’s taking into consideration that people here usually use four names instead of just three.
Another weird fact: my wife is named Ángela Jiménez (well, she’s named Ángela Rosa de los Ángeles Jiménez Mora de Sitzman, officially), and while growing up she lived next door to an Angelica Jiménez. And they weren’t related.
A final weird fact: There was a family in Berlín that had the customary 16 or so kids, but three of them ended up being named Francisco. Supposedly, while at the hospital after giving birth, their mother had forgotten that she’d already used that name. Twice.
My new theory: I have an archnemesis somewhere out there, and his name is Bryan Sitzman. I’ll have to check Facebook.