“I need you,” newfound friend Javi asserts.
“Why do you need me?” I demand.
Javi: “Para cuidarte, amarte y estar a tu lado” — to take care of you, love you and be by your side. His words sound lovely but remarkably familiar. They come directly from music lyrics.
Tinged with sexism, many of my conversations with Dominican males took a — romantic turn. Out of nowhere, men love me, need me and miss me. One suggested that I make him “feel brand new” — straight from a 1973 Stylistics hit song. We listen to merengue and bachata music, traveling to daily excursions on our chartered bus. Sometimes, the lyrics are in English, unmistakable. Hence, I know the source of Javi’s quixotic lines.
Music profoundly impacts Dominican discourse.