In the town where she grew up, there isn't very much to do except accompany the aunts and godmothers to the house of one or the other to play cards. Or walk to the cinema to see this week's film again, speckled and with one hair quivering annoyingly on the screen. Or to the center of town to order a milk shake that will appear in a day and a half as a pimple on her backside. Or to the girlfriend's house to watch the latest telenovela episode and try to copy the way the women comb their hair, wear their makeup.

The narrator describes Cleófilas’s hometown of Monclova as Cleófilas views it. The town is dull and there is not much to do. What activity there is hints at the family’s poverty. Playing cards with relatives or watching TV at a friend’s house are free. Watching a film at a low-budget theater and drinking milk shakes are relatively cheap forms of entertainment. When Cleófilas looks back on these everyday activities, she may see them in a better light. Spending time with family or friends in Monclova ultimately becomes preferable to the isolation Cleófilas feels in Seguin.

The town of gossips. The town of dust and despair. Which she has traded for this town of gossips. This town of dust, despair. Houses farther apart perhaps, though no more privacy because of it. No leafy zocalo in the center of the town, though the murmur of talk is clear enough all the same. No huddled whispering on the church steps each Sunday. Because here the whispering begins at sunset at the ice house instead.

When Cleófilas thinks of running away, back to her family in Mexico, she worries about the town gossips, what the neighbors might say. The things she hated about Monclova, “the town of dust and despair,” she now hates about Seguin, “[t]his town of dust, despair.” The only difference between the towns that Cleófilas can think of is that the houses in Seguin might be farther apart. The distance suggests Cleófilas’s isolation. Seguin is also lacking the “leafy zocalo in the center of town” that Monclova has. Zocalo refers to the main square in Mexican cities. Cleófilas suggests that Monclova has at least some greenery, which implies that Seguin does not. Whereas Monclova has a church, suggesting at least the appearance of a community in which religion is central, Seguin has an ice house, where alcohol is important.

This town with its silly pride for a bronze pecan the size of a baby carriage in front of the city hall. TV repair shop, drugstore, hardware, dry cleaner's, chiropractor's, liquor store, bail bonds, empty storefront, and nothing, nothing, nothing of interest. Nothing one could walk to, at any rate. Because the towns here are built so that you have to depend on husbands. Or you stay home.

Cleófilas further expresses her disillusionment with Seguin, her new home. The town has the big, bronze pecan statue near the county courthouse because it claims to be the Pecan Capital of Texas due to the trees’ abundance in the area. Cleófilas calls the town’s pride “silly,” which suggests she still considers herself to be an outsider. The businesses in Seguin can be seen in almost any town in Texas. Three key things to note are the liquor store, bail bonds, and the empty storefront. The liquor store shows the importance of alcohol to the community. The bail bonds store suggests a population of people that have difficulty staying out of trouble with the law. The empty storefronts indicate a town that has experienced an economic downturn. All three together hint at a grittier side to the town. The repeated use of the word nothing emphasizes Cleófilas’s despair. In addition, “nothing, nothing, nothing of interest” recalls Cleófilas’s criticism of Monclova as being “the town where . . .  there isn’t very much to do.”  Monclova didn’t have much, but Sequin has nothing. The description of Seguin as having “nothing one could walk to . . . so that you have to depend on husbands” reinforces the idea that Juan Pedro isolates Cleófilas, making her dependent on him and more susceptible to his abuse.