There’s a lump in my breast that has become sore.
My father’s cancer is back.
I’m afraid of losing my job.
I’m afraid I’m a terrible friend and that I’ll never get it right because it requires a level of commitment I’m unable to give.
I am afraid that love is playing a sick joke on me and that it will leave as soon as I let my guard down.
I am afraid of my ribs, my heart and my fists.
I am certain that this face, this body, this apartment and this husband do NOT belong to me.
I am afraid that all of my choices were the right choices and that this goodness I feel is all mine but I’ll ruin it by not accepting it in the soft way that I should.
I’m afraid of crying so much I’ll have no tears left for the important things that have yet to happen.
I’m nostalgic for all the things that live inside my head.
December 9, 1985
I got two of them sometimes, depending on how good I was.
Sometimes, they’d have two tiers and wafers, candy and sweet creamy frosting that would end up all over my face; a typical Hispanic family joke of frosting on the face.
Pictures were still proofs.
I didn’t think it was so funny. I thought it ruined the whole thing. I
f I was in a particular foul mood or pouty from unmentionable abuse, I’d throw a loud tantrum. Shrieks and cries would fill the full house and uncomfortable glances would circle among my family until finally the party was put to rest. I’d sit quietly at the table, smiling, almost proud of getting to have the cake all to myself.
February 2, 1986
There were no warnings, just packed luggage and a new coat.
The taxi driver stood outside smoking a cigarette and fumbled with his pockets.
I ate the last piece of watermelon and asked no questions.
My mother was a nervous wreck and seemed to be preparing for a future that others couldn’t anticipate.
My father on the other hand, looked bored and ready.
I knew that we were leaving somewhere, somewhere far away, where things like furniture and T.V. sets weren’t necessary.
A place where all I needed were the clothes I was wearing.
The drive to the airport was a blur.
Matchbox houses frightfully spread on sides of highways and costumed soldiers at random checkpoints.
Looking back, I can see the rush, the rush to leave from point A to point B.
I remember being hungry, starving really. My stomach churned with medicine and crackers, thirsty for juice and a new bed.
Thirsty for a new language, a new bike, new friends.
Nothing sounded as good as leaving though.
I closed my eyes and my father pushed me to the window seat.
I’m exhausted of the chaos.
When will I ever be calm?