Esperanza shows readers Earl, who brings a procession of different women home with him to Edna's basement, night after night. "They walk fast into the apartment, lock the door behind them and never stay long."
This brief vignette reinforces Esperanza's, at this point, lack of understanding of sexuality. She knows enough to know that, traditionally and conventionally, people who are together in the way that Earl and his women are together are married; she does not know enough, however, to recognize that the reason no one can agree on what Earl's "wife" looks like is that Earl is sleeping with a number of different women. The scene is one of the last innocent moments Esperanza will have in regards to sexuality.
The House on Mango Street: Novel Summary: The Earl of Tennessee