Magda is both stubborn and sensitive, “takes to hurt the way water takes to paper,” and so in retaliation she changes: “Cuts her hair, buys better makeup, rocks new clothes, goes out dancing on Friday nights with her friends. When I ask her if we can chill, I’m no longer sure it’s a done deal. A lot of the time she Bartlebys me, says, No, I’d rather not. I ask her what the hell she thinks this is and she says, That’s what I’m trying to figure out.”
Wooing her and hoping for redemption, Yunior splurges on a vacation to Casa de Campo in Santo Domingo, “The Resort That Shame Forgot.” The Casa “has got beaches the way the rest of the Island has got problems. These, though, have no merengue, no little kids, nobody trying to sell you chicharrones, and there’s a massive melanin deficit in evidence,” with Europeans who “look like philosophy professors, like budget Foucaults.”
Meanwhile, “Magda’s rocking a dope Ochun-colored bikini that her girls helped her pick out so she could torture me,” and “every time I dip into the water for a swim, some Mediterranean Messenger of Love starts rapping to her.”
At a resort party that night, Magda announces, “Time for you to do your thing and me to do mine.” So Yunior loiters at a bar where he meets a high government official and his bodyguard, and on the following night they take him to “the birthplace of our nation,” a remote, bauxite hole in the ground called “the Cave of the Jagua.” Hanging upside down inside it, Yunior scans a flashlight beam over “some odd colors on the eroded walls,” and thinks, “This is the perfect place for insight, for a person to become somebody better.” Instead, he finds himself remembering meeting Magda at a Rutgers bus stop. “And that’s when I know it’s over. As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it’s the end.”
“The Sun, the Moon, the Stars” provides the pattern for most of the stories that feature Yunior, a pining, self-lacerating, weed-smoking schmo who confuses lust with love and generally wrecks his relationships with jealousy, infidelity, machismo or the sheer inability to act.