Monday, February 27, 2012

Guess I like letters

Dear Flaco,

People say when you want to believe a lie, you will. You fed them to me with a spoon and I willingly eat it up, looking the other way when something was too obvious, drinking it away when it was unbearable, clinging to you when I couldn’t breathe. I knew better and I fought everyday to not know better. Now I am willing to open my eyes and the pain washes over me. When did it start? That New Year’s, when you were fighting? My missed doctor’s appointment, your phone off? Disappearing for two days, stating you were helping you’re uncle move. When you hear enough lies, even the truth sounds like a lie, so I don’t know anymore. Shall I go on? One night when I was at your place in Compton I saw the old valentines, behind your mattress, from her. Why save it, and why save it there? That night I knew. That night, I should have run with every muscle in my body away from you. Instead I stayed and I found myself looking for you at 5am in the streets of Compton. It dawned on me then. You’ve always had her haven’t you? When I was in New York and she checked you in to cirque de solei, that wasn’t a coincidence was it? The engagement on facebook. I believed all the lies. You ran into her, she was worried about you, so now you’re having dinner with her and her mom and yours. My head is spinning. Suddenly I don’t hear from you for a week. I find calm. Then you call again. Suddenly your at a bar, upset, calling me because she called and “stirred up old things.” Instead of running I consoled you. Another ditched doctor’s appointment. That MRI was fun on my own, by the way. Your brother came, you didn’t introduce me to him. That broke my heart, again. There I am, at my house, dressed up, waiting for you. Your bike broke. You told me that, so it must be true. I think there was a period in which you loved me. I think there was a moment I felt safe with you….

Then you let go. Days with no phone call. Need money to fix your motorcycle? Need to pay your rent? Can’t make the phone bill? Need a laptop charger?

I did it all and I clung, afraid of what might happen if I lost you.

So I clung more tightly. The day we got our phones I had a panic attack because I knew it was the wrong choice. Then I saw the truth. Placing me on the blocked call list whenever you felt like it, taking her call when you were on the line with me, stating you were taking a shit, you had to go eat, you don’t know who just called, you’ll call right back. The list goes on. Calling her everyday, texting her everyday, receiving texts as you were fucking me. I let it all happen, even when I saw the texts. I let you lie to my mother. I listened as you said you were just friends and you still loved me.

I have been nothing but giving and that has been my mistake. You continue to feed me the lies. Why? Were not together.

I think it’s because it feels good to feel loved. It’s convenient to have someone there no matter how much you screw them over. No matter how blatant the lies are.

Do you lie to her, too? If she’s reading this now, hello. Did you know all of this? Did you know he hasn’t stopped talking to me? Has he broken you in the same way? Are we eating out of the same spoon?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

education- old

I never recognized the sense of being an alien until I went home. Thanksgiving, turkey in the oven, ponche on the stove. I inhaled smells that I knew growing up. As I set the table, I rehearsed.
"The diathesis-stress model tells us that a stressful situation, in light of a preexisting risk factor, ignites the disease. Stress-reactive rumination may exacerbate these effects and last night I was reading Shakespeare and finally saw how his sonnets are probably all addressed to this one person, and don’t you wonder about the state of our economy in light of recent events?"

Diathesis-stress model? Really? How would you even say that in Spanish? Rumination must therefore be scratched. And as for Shakespeare? That puts it too over the top.

“Escuela va bien, como han estado ustedes?”

Silence. The absence of sound has never been part of our household. Neither has that look on my mother’s face, forcing a smile. I look down at the floor and think of someway to occupy my time. I go back.

My house was a house of running. My older brother would come chase me around the living room to capture me, at which point my mom would come in for the tickle fight to end all tickle fights until I finally yelled “Me doy por vencida!” (Mercy!) Tears of laughter would roll down my face and too riled up at night to go sleep, my mom would transform into a train. Mimicking the sound of the engine and the honk of the horn, she would give me a piggy-back ride as we boarded the dream train. Destination-my room. The favorite part of the night- mom would read to me in our language. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Federico Garcia Lorca,
her own poetry.
I realize I haven’t heard these stories in years.
In elementary school I grew passionate with my studies and wanting to play teacher, and as I now realize to fill an egotistical need, I would come home with presents- lists of spelling words in my hands, history textbooks, and later essays, novels, and grand ideas. Armed with this, I would proudly assign my mother homework. At first she played along, excited to learn along with me and proudly keeping pace. My lessons continued. Edgar Allen Poe, then Wordsworth. Eventually some philosophy. Then the lessons stopped. Novels were left unopened on her bedside table and silence became a new family member. It wasn’t that I hadn’t tried. It was that my Spanish was too broken to express complex ideas and her English too primitive. That moment was the first time I could accurately define the word “shame”.

Since then the silence has become part of our life.

“You graduate in a couple of months. You know we’re proud of you.”
The word stings with a force I’m sure they don’t intend. I try again. In English.

“We’ll, you see, I’ve been reading a lot and I just finished a paper on societal discourses of gender identity disorder and…”
It is then that I realize that what I thought had become emptiness, really wasn’t. The air was heavy, not with words but with the absence of them. All possibilities, of things unsaid, lingered like fog on a cold winter night.
I look to the oven. The turkey is ready and doing the only thing fitting I place it on the table and begin again. “Te bendiga padre por los dones que hemos recibido en este ano…”
I wipe away a tear.