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Marcelo in the Real World

Marcelo in the Real World


by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo in the Real World Chapter 5 Summary

  • It's the following Monday, and Marcelo and Arturo are taking the train to work. Why? Because the train's normal.
  • Marcelo's ready first. He waits downstairs for Arturo dressed in his usual white button-down, on which he fastens the top button.
  • Arturo comes downstairs and, of course, unbuttons the top button. Normal, you see.
  • Aurora hands Marcelo that other symbol of normalcy: a cell phone. She's programmed in her number, Arturo's, Rabbi Heschel's, and Yolanda's. 
  • Marcelo calls Yolanda, who's away at Yale now but once worked at the law firm. She tells him to watch out for the a-holes. Now there's a good tip.
  • On the train, Marcelo comforts himself by praying the rosary in Spanish, like his grandma Abba did. 
  • But Arturo puts the kibosh on the religion thing. It's not normal to obsessively quote scripture at work, he says, but there's a chapel nearby if Marcelo needs to go pray at lunch.
  • What's more, Arturo says, Marcelo needs to understand a thing or two about competition if he's going to get into a decent college. And what better place to learn about competition than at a cutthroat law firm?
  • Marcelo ponders the fact that people in the "real world" don't say what they mean, so how are you ever supposed to determine the truth? He's getting way nervous about this law firm thing.
  • But hey, Arturo's happy to make some parallels between his job and the battlefield that totally ease Marcelo's fears. Not.

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