The narrator of “Fiesta, 1980”...
"Fiesta, 1980" is one of ten stories included in a collection of short stories entitled Drown, written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz and published in 1996. "Fiesta, 1980" was also included in the 1997 edition of The Best American Short Stories.
The narrator of “Fiesta, 1980” is 12-year-old Yunior, who was born in the Dominican Republic and has been living in the United States with his family for three years. The story takes place on the night that Yunior's family is going to the Bronx neighborhood of New York City to attend a party, a "fiesta," which is being thrown by Yunior’s aunt, Yrma.
Yunior's father, Ramón de las Casas, is called "Papi" (meaning "Daddy") in all of the stories in the book except in "Negocios," where he's referred to as "Ramon."
When Papi is first mentioned in the story, he's just returned home from "work," which to Yunior and his older brother, Rafa, means that Papi has been visiting his girlfriend or sucia (mistress):
He [Papi] didn't say nothing to nobody, not even my moms. He just pushed past her, help up his hand when she tried to talk to him and headed right into the shower. Rafa gave me the look and I gave it back to him; we both knew Papi had been with that Puerto Rican woman he was seeing and wanted to wash off the evidence quick.
Papi's girlfriend's name isn't mentioned at any time in "Fiesta, 1980." She's simply referred to throughout the story as "the Puerto Rican woman."
Papi apparently has no problem with his sons knowing about or even meeting "the Puerto Rican woman," and he seems to have no fear that either Yunior or Rafa will tell their mother about the affair:
I met the Puerto Rican woman right after Papi had gotten the van. ...One day I was sick outside of Perth Amboy. Instead of taking me home, he [Papi] went the other way on Industrial Avenue, stopping a few minutes later in front of a light blue house I didn't recognize. ...The Puerto Rican woman was there and she helped me clean up. ...She was very thin and had a cloud of brown hair rising above her narrow face and the sharpest blackest eyes you've ever seen.
On another occasion, Rafa and Yunior both visited with "the Puerto Rican woman":
Me and Rafa, we didn't talk much about the Puerto Rican woman. When we ate dinner at her house, the few times Papi had taken us over there, we still acted like nothing was out of the ordinary.
Yunior provides an interesting perspective to Papi's relationship with "the Puerto Rican woman":
The affair was like a hole in our living room floor, one we'd gotten used to circumnavigating that we sometimes forget it was there.