I
spoke
with
a
Mexican
dancer
as
he
bundled
up
after
class.
I
commented
on
his
brightly
colored
socks.
He
told
me
that
they
were
Latin
colors
and
that
he
was
wearing
multiple
pairs
of
socks.
He
made
a
joke
about
preferring
to
be
like
a
bear
in
winter,
well
insulated.
It
took
me
several
flights
of
stairs
to
figure
out
what
he
meant:
when
he
said
bear,
I
heard
bar
or
beer.
Attempting
to
clarify
his
intention,
he
said
the
name
for
bear
in
Spanish,
oso,
as
if
I
might
understand.
He
spelled
it
out
for
me
B-E-A-R.
Bear
equals
oso.
Like
tentacles,
my
mind
reached
out
in
all
directions
towards
potentially
Latin
bears
that
I
might
know:
Ursa
Major,
Shakespeare’s
Count
Orsino,
and
hairy
pornstars.
Later,
we
chose
single
adjectives
that
might
paint
a
portrait
of
the
other.
Looking
at
his
bearded
face
and
still
thinking
of
pornstars,
I
called
him
osado.
He
took
care
to
correct
me:
the
adjective
has
the
connotation
fearless.
I
like
this
epithet.
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