Mia: Shaken Not Stirred
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Sunday, August 31, 2008coconut
It’s my way of thinking that usually when someone sees a man with a very large knife hitting a coconut in the palm of his hand their first inclination is to move out of his way. Well it turns out not everyone shares my line of thinking.
--C’mon baby move your hand let me get a look at it.
-Leave. Me. Alone.
-I want to see how you’re going to explain this to my father.
--It was an accident
-Yeah sure that’s what they all say.
--Babe just move your hand and let me see how bad it is.
-In the words of my late grandmother vete al carajo (go to hell).
--Damn it Maggie let me see!
-Don’t you dare swear at me.
--You swore at me first.
-I’m entitled to you hit me with a fucking coconut… a coconut dude! Shit like this never happens to me shit like this happens to Mia.
---No need to bring me into this lady. Hello I saw the knife, I saw the coconut, I saw father swing said knife at said coconut and my ass moved into the next room thank you very much. Had a blonde moment did you?
she moved her hand and looked up at my father. He winced.
--God baby that’s a bad one it’s going to leave an ugly bruise.
-Yeah well my dad is going to flip when he sees it.
--Na he’ll be fine.
-Oh yeah? What’s the first thing my dad told you when we got married?
My dad narrowed his eyes and started thinking back.
--He said if I ever make you cry he’d kill me.
-No not that one the other one.
--If I ever cheat on you he will kill me.
-No, no! The other one!
--Honey it’s hard to remember for god’s sake I lived in fear for the first seven years of our marriage. Woman the men in your family were always threatening to kill me. All ten of your uncles threatened me!
-Oh please you exaggerate.
--No I don’t. Don’t you remember your uncle Harry? The man took me to the kitchen during our wedding dinner and told me that if I ever laid a hand on you that he would gut me like a pig and feed me into his wood chipper. Then he had the balls to put his arms around my shoulder and welcome me to the family.
-I forgot my uncle Harry threatened you.
--The only one who didn’t threaten me was your deaf uncle.
-Oh Uncle Angel threatened you I just refused to translate the threat. So Uncle Harry’s threat was from both of them. It was Angel’s idea to add the wood chipper part.
dad bent over and kissed her forehead and she winced.
--God honey I am so sorry. Does it hurt?
she nodded her head
-So you don’t remember what my dad told you about leaving marks on me?
--Oh shit. Yeah I do he said that if I ever as so much leave a love bite on you he’d kill me.
-Wanna guess who is coming to dinner tomorrow?
my dad tilted the coconut over a glass and let the water drain into it as soon as it was full he handed it to my mother. My brother walked into the room and did a double take when he saw the knot on my mother’s forehead
--Here drink this.
---What the hell happened to mom?
-I got hit with a coconut.
my brother arched his brow and surveyed the dining room and then tilted his body towards the living room before turning to face our parents.
---News flash people we have no coconut trees in this house.
my dad explained how the coconut flew out of his hand and hit my mother.
---Oh crap dad grandpa is going to kill you!
--So I’ve heard.
mom finished her drink and handed it back to dad. My dad held up the coconut and offered some of its meat to her which she declined.
-Babe that’s the reason your ancestors left the island and came here you know. They heard that here in America that stuff is available in packages.
my dad flashed a smile at her and popped a chunk of coconut meat in her mouth, kissed her on the nose and then laughed.
--Give me a break woman you’re dad is going to kill me tomorrow.
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8 comment from: FrumiousBandersnatch, Tapsalteerie, Ritardo Gariferis Anvil, Mia, Darla, Mia, Mia, Mia,
Friday, August 29, 2008The Principal and The Mom
As a rule I am not attracted to older men but every now and then you have to give the over 40 crowd their props and I had to give him his and I had to give my mom hers. In a room full of women trying to get his attention his eyes were only on her. It was my second time seeing him and my reaction was the same as the first time. wow there really is a god… I thought when I’d spotted him. Handsome didn’t come close to describing him. Over six feet tall with medium length thick dark hair that had a hint of silver in it, eyes the color of gun metal, a dazzling smile, and a solid body that had obviously taken the words “milk does your body good” to heart. The man had obviously been dipped in the blessed side of the genetic swimming pool.
Despite the fact that the air conditioner was set on arctic there were several fans going strong in the school’s main office. I have a theory about this I’ve noticed that in offices where you have a high concentration of women over a certain age fans seems to go hand in hand with air conditioning. I call it the menopause theory, make of it what you will. She sat in the school’s waiting area a languorous expression on her face as she read Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. Despite the brutal heat wave she looked radiant. Her full lips and fair complexion were flushed a subtle pink from the heat. The unruly mane of auburn curls framing her face seemed to be behaving nicely despite the humidity. Her hair and long airy skirt fluttered around her every time the industrial sized fans rotated her way keeping her free hand busy trying to keep the hair out of her face and her skirt from flying up. The white silk t-shirt she wore fit her fit a little loose and tired of sliding it back up it she sat there revealing a slightly freckled shoulder which only served to accessorize her charming bohemian look.
He was walking past the waiting area when he spotted her and stopped to stare as she pushed away a fall of errant curls away from her face. After several seconds a tiny smile pulled at his lips, he ducked into a nearby office only to return quickly with something in his hand. He stepped directly in front of her “Hi, my name is Matt” he said as he opened the chilled bottle of water and offered it to her. I shook my head as I answered my ringing cell phone. Wow he’s good, crazy for approaching her but good. She glanced up at him and smiled, “Hi Matt, I’m Maggie” she said as she accepted the water. He sat down next to her and tilted his head to read the cover of her book and from there a conversation was born. From the double takes the staff was doing at seeing him there it I got the feeling that this wasn’t normal behavior for the man. Their conversation was interrupted when one of the secretaries approached with my sister Caitlin in tow. The counselor was ready to see the woman now she said. “I’m the mom” she said pointing to Caitlin. “I see where Caitlin gets her beauty from,” he said and added “I’m the principal.” as he took the now empty water bottle from her hand and chucked it into the recyclable bin. He grinned at my sister and Caitlin laughed and rolled her eyes at him.
Maggie was there for a meeting with her daughter’s counselor the secretary informed him nothing serious that required his attention. I don’t think he cared why she was there he was happy that she simply was no way his enthusiasm at her presence was faked. “Come on Maggie I’ll walk you” he offered as he stood up holding out his arm to her. She took his arm and he led her to the other side of the building stopping occasionally to show us some of the student’s art work decorating the walls of the new school one of them a painting by my sister.
The counselor met them in front of her office door and stepped forward to embrace mom informing the principal that they were old friends. After a few seconds it became obvious from the way he was standing there that he had every intention of sitting in on their meeting. The counselor looked at him curiously but he ignored the look and reached for the office door following closely behind mom when she finally entered.“Hey Matt don’t you have some principalling you need to be doing?” Caitlin asked. “No” he replied as he pulled out a chair for mom and took the seat closest to her.
His eyes never left her as she spoke with the counselor a fact that had not escaped the counselor and Caitlin who stared at him with a tight lipped smile and a whole lot of mischief in her eyes. His eyes darted from mom’s moving hands to her expressive face when she talked and when she’d laugh he’d smile. He seemed to find a thousand excuses to touch her. A hand lightly grazing her shoulder or a brush of his finger tips on the back of her hand to draw her attention to something. When counselor’s fan blew several stray ringlets into her face he lifted his hand and tucked them behind her ears. I guess that had been a totally unconscious move on his part because it seemed to shock him as much as it did her. Despite her shock mom gently reprimanded him. From across the room I mentally chuckled my mother had no idea of the effect she was having on the man.
When the meeting was over the principal insisted on walking us to the school exit , “Did you bring a car or would you like me to get you a cab?” he asked when we reached the exit. “We walked” Caitlin replied. “They live right across the street” the counselor added. He looked down at my mother and inclined his head slightly and flashed a smile at her “So then I will definitely be seeing you around” Mom stepped forward and held out her hand, “It was a pleasure meeting you Matt.” He held onto her hand for a little longer than necessary and smiled at her, “The pleasure was mines Maggie.” My little sister looked up at him, “You can let go of my happily married mother’s hand now Matt.” The principal laughed and playfully tugged the end of her braid. “Okay well that’s our cue to leave, come on girls.” She said as reached for the door. The principal reached it first and held the door open as we stepped outside.
We were halfway down the block when Caitlin turned and saw he was still watching us “Matt stop staring at my mom!” Caitlin chided she then giggled and leaned into me, “here we go again another Mr. T and Doug” she whispered referring to a couple of teachers at her former school who’d developed crushes on our mother. I gently punched Caitlin on the shoulder and nodded my head “Shut up it kept you and Stevie out of detention for years.”
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8 comment from: Ritardo "Gar the Conqueror", FrumiousBandersnatch, Mia, Ritardo Gariferis Anvil, Mia, Darla, Mia, Mia,
Tuesday, August 26, 2008Some Advice For Mr. Columbia, South Carolina
People often come to me for advice you know general stuff…
Are these jeans too tight on me?
If you can sit down and are still conscious after 5 minutes no the jeans are not too tight.
Should I take a semester off of school?
No! Wait allow me to rephrase that… hell to the mother heffin’ no.
My man says he’s allergic to condoms what should I do?
Tell him you’re allergic to unwanted pregnancies and disease and that unprotected sex makes your thighs slam themselves shut so tight that not even the Jaws of Life can pry them open.
Sometimes people even stop by the blog looking for the occasional nugget of wisdom and advice nestled in my stories. However someone recently stopped by looking for a tip I know for damn sure I’ve never covered in this blog well at least not until today. Someone from Columbia, South Carolina recently (see screen shot above) was led to my blog in answer to the query, “What is the best way for me to put my dick into my girlfriend if she is a virgin.” Uh yeah that’s a new one even for me but I’ve never been one to turn someone away when they need advice so here we go…
1: First of all make sure you wear a condom unless you want to back here in a month searching for tips on how to tell if your girlfriend is pregnant. Yes, she can get pregnant her first time. Yes, she can get pregnant even if you do it standing up in the shower. Yes, she can get pregnant even if she has her period. Oh yeah check the expiration date on your condom because just like pop tarts they too have an expiration date.
2. I’m assuming you know about foreplay so we’re going to skip that here. If you don’t then look it up. I’ve got a degree in psychology not sex therapy.
3: When inserting said penis into said vagina do it gently with great care and respect. This moment will stay with her forever so make sure she doesn’t regret it . The last thing you want to be is a painful wince in someone’s memory. Remember the gift the female is giving you is precious so make sure you treat it as such. It can’t be taken back once it’s been opened. After you’re done make sure to hold her and tell her how beautiful she is and how much she means to you.
4:Don’t jump out of bed like your ass is on fire and run off to text message your friends. This moment is private and it is not show and tell.
5:If all of this is too much work for you or if you have to fake it then back away from the hoo ha you have no business being that close to it. Let her save it for someone who is going to treat it with the reverence it deserves. Sex is a big responsibility Mr. Columbia, South Carolina it’s more than just a physical release remember that.
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5 comment from: FrumiousBandersnatch, Tapsalteerie, Just Jane, DannieS72, Mia,
“You’re a snob, and you’re stuck up!” I laughed at his assessment of me. My boyfriend and I were arguing well actually he was the one arguing I was letting him vent before I spoke my piece. The subject of this particular argument was my refusal to associate with his family. This has been a sore spot with him for the past year.
He’d just returned from his cousin’s barbecue and was angry, “My family kept asking me why you never come over.I keep talking about this wonderful girl I want to marry and they want to get to know you and you won’t even give them a chance! I told them I didn’t know what your problem was and that you can’t stand them!” I shook my head in disbelief. “Did you bother to tell them why I don’t like them?” “I don’t know why you don’t like them.” “What?! Dude are you on crack? You know damn well why I don’t like them. Your family has done nothing but attempt to demean me and talk crap about me.”
My boyfriend is frustrated because he’s finally realized that no amount of brooding, nagging, whining, guilt, pushing, or cajoling is working to get me to do what he wants and it is driving him crazy. He never realized just how stubborn I am. Sure he’d heard rumors but he’d assumed it was just that. Now it was my turn to vent….
“Let me get this straight I’m stuck up and a snob according to you because I refuse to deal with oh let me think here…your aunts who never once made me feel welcomed in their homes because your grandfather constantly held me up as an example for their chicken head daughters to emulate. I’m stuck up and a snob because I refuse to deal with your cousin whose insecurities took over when her man kept using my tattoos as an excuse to keep feeling up on me. The same cousin who talked mad shit about my uncle to your family and why was she talking shit because some friend of hers caught a beat down from my uncle for trying to sell drugs in my building but did she ever bother to mention that part? No she didn’t. I’m a snob because I refused to go to your cousin George’s cook out because when we were first introduced he sneered and rolled his eyes at me like I owed him money?" I felt angry tears building up behind my eyes. "What you’re really asking me to do is to swallow my pride and be a hypocrite. I can’t do that not even for you. As for you buddy if I am such a horrible person why are you with me? There’s the door feel free to use it. “Mia I don’t want to break up.” He took a step towards me and I held my hand out, “Look dude I don’t want to talk to you. As of now you’re on probation.”
He ran off in search of my mother so he could vent. My mom listened to him patiently and then spoke. “Look I don’t mean to offend you but your family is full of shit. All of this sudden concern about them wanting to get to know Mia is bullshit they speak with their mouths not their hearts. Do you want to know why I say this?” “Why ?” “Think back to a couple of weeks ago when we were at your grandfather’s funeral .” “Okay” “How many of your cousins or aunts for that matter approached Mia to say hello? Not one. Although your aunts sure as hell bum rushed my husband a few minutes after we got there to say hello to him, hug him, and thank him for coming. As far as I know they’d only met my husband once while they’ve seen Mia a bunch of times. The only people that approached Mia at all were your mom and step-dad, so please tell me again how much your family wants to know Mia?” “My mom and step father love Mia and he has never liked any of my girlfriends.”
“Here’s the thing kid, " she continued,"you are a people pleaser when it comes to your family no matter what they do to you will bend over to kiss their asses each and every time and it’s obvious that’s what you want Mia to do”. “No” “Don’t interrupt. Yes, that is exactly what you want her to do so that your family will approve of her. I got news for you my daughter doesn’t need your family’s approval. She is better than all of them put together.” He nodded his head and sulked “She’s mad at me now.” Mom laughed “I can’t say I blame her if you would’ve called me a stuck up snob I would’ve made you swallow your teeth but then again my kid is a better person than I am. Oh by the way the way I hear they have a gum for ass kissers it masks the bad breath that ass kissing leaves behind”. Somehow I think that’ll be the last time he turns to my mom for comfort.
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Sunday, August 24, 2008So Help Me God!
I snuggled into my pillow and felt myself smile it was like sleeping on a fabreeze scented cloud.From somewhere deep within my sleep I heard a door knob jiggle and a door slowly creak open. Someone had entered my sacred chamber.
Damn I really need to WD40 those hinges. I heard someone softly call my name, “Pssst Mia-ah, Mia” This better be good someone better be missing a limb or on their death bed. My dog Cleo jumped over me scraping the back of my calf with her cone. Ow!Fucking Cleo and her cone! I heard all 45 pounds of her hit the floor with a thud. My bed is fairly high so high up infact I have to hit it running and jump into it. My parents made a reference to The Princess and The Pea when they first saw it and joked about how much fun it would be to watch me struggle to climb into bed. My folks have a sick sense of humor what can I say?
I tried to pry open my eyes but it wasn’t working. I’d been up all night writing. Inspired into a frenzy of creativity the sandman had refused to pay me a visit until I finished a chapter which happened to be around 6 am. Whoever it was in my room was liked by Cleo because instead of tearing them limb from limb the traitor was jumping up and down in greeting like a hyper Mexican jumping bean.“I don’t know who you are but go away.” I mumbled and pulled the sheet over my head. “Miaaaah” the soft voice croons again, “Go toooo hell.” I croon back. Actually it was more like a three pack a day cigarette croak rather than a soft croon.“Come on Mia wake up. Who the hell is that? “Hey Mia” as the cobwebs begin to clear I recognize the voice, it’s my boyfriend. What the deuce, what is he doing here so early? Who the hell let him in and are they old enough to take a flurry of punches to the kidney without sustaining too much damage? Where are my parents when I need them? I really need to lock my door before I go to bed
“Are you coming with me to my cousin’s barbecue?” he asks. I flip him the bird. I’d told him the night before I wasn’t going and the reason but that’s another post. He sits at my desk and turns the computer on as it loads up he starts humming. My hands feel around my bed for my phone,the cat,or the TV remote control anything I can fling at him across the room. Oh for the love of Mary and her bloomers! Is that bastard singing country music? My hands flay desperately where the hell is that remote or the cat?
“Miaaaaaa” Ah hell that’s it! I shoot straight up in my bed my Elmo t-shirt is askew pulling on me from the left while my body is leaning forward, my curly hair is all over the place,the sheets are tangled around my waist, one of my pj pants leg are riding all the way up to my knee, and I’m balancing precariously on the edge of the mattress. I squint at the clock across the room it was 9 am. Oh my friends I am mad. I point my finger at him my long manicured nail making it look longer than it really is and I shake it at him as I clench my other fist at my side… “So help me God nigga,”his eyes open wide in shock, “Yeah I said nigga, nigga with an ‘a’ not “er” there’s a difference you know.” I hissed. "You said the 'N' word!" “Yes, I went there I uttered the 'N' word whatcha gonna do snitch me out to Al Sharpton? I can do that my melanin challenged amigo I got some color on me and am from the ‘hood!” I rolled my eyes at him and continued my rant kneeling on the bed as I spoke. I raised my hand in front of my face pinching an imaginary grain of salt between my index finger and thumb. “So help me God nigga I am thismotherfluffingclose to considering a poly-amorous lifestyle!”
I let myself fall back on the bed and grabbed my pillow and slammed my head into it trying to will myself back to sleep. “Damn you’re so cranky when you don’t get enough sleep.” He said. My mouth pressed to my pillow I growled,”Poly-amorous life!”
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3 comment from: FrumiousBandersnatch, Just Jane, Mia,
Saturday, August 23, 2008Thank You
“How do you over come it”, I asked “how do you survive it?” “One fucking painful day at a time kid” she replied, “but you can’t let the pain define you or dictate your life. Instead you focus on the good and then one day without even realizing it you let go of the pain and you’re reborn.”
I was asked to write an essay as to why I chose my field specifically why I want to work with troubled children and adolescents and I froze. I could give a standard answer of wanting the world to hug and kumbaya their ills away and to do this we must first treat the children but the reality is that the answers that spring to mind are myriad and complex. Ultimately it comes down to this. I’ve been blessed in life and I know it. My work is a debt I owe and gladly repay with love because if someone had not taken the time to save a child’s life over thirty years ago I’m certain that the person who stands before you today would not exist. I’ve always felt that my path was chosen for me during my freshman year of college but in retrospect I guess the path was already being mapped out for me as far back as 1965 …
She was running again running from the demons in her mind running from her illness. Running away was nothing new except this time she took off with her three year old daughter. In a city the size of New York it is not so hard to get swallowed up especially when you don’t want to be found. Eventually her condition deteriorated to the point where she had to be committed. No effort was made to locate her family and the child became a ward of the state.
To look at her now you would never guess that she’d done hardcore time in hell. Her little body had been tortured and used in ways so vile and repugnant she’s never revealed the details to anyone including her parents. What is known is that she was often beaten to the point of unconsciousness her skin flayed with leather belts or whatever they could get their hands on, “Did you know extension cords are really multi-functional? You can use them to tie someone down or as a whip. Amazing how versatile those things are.” She dead pans. There is no anger in her eyes, no self pity. “It is what it is,” she says “ but I survived and didn’t let them break me. If I’d done that then they would have won.”
She was their prisoner four years. you’re ugly that’s why no one claimed you…your eyes are evil, no human has eyes that dark. When she was older she wore dark tinted lenses to hide her eyes but now she wears them because,” I look fucking good in them!” While the women found nothing they liked about her that was not the case with the father. If only she’d been so lucky. He thought she was beautiful and would often tell her so. Every night he ate dinner with her in his lap and fed her from his hand. He called her “mia bambina” (my little girl) and at night he would walk into her bedroom and slide into the bed with her.
As an adult she can no longer recall the names or the faces of the adults. She blocked them out long ago but she still remembers certain things, the name of their teenaged daughter for instance. The way the mother always wore her gray hair in a bun, and chain smoked Viceroy Cigarettes. She remembers his brown uniform and his smell. He reeked of cigars and old spice after shave. Their hateful legacy still lives on in the form of little quirks she has. She hates people whispering in her ear or breathing on her because he would do this to her. She hated having long hair because they always grabbed it and twisted in their hands using it to keep her pinned down while they violated her body. For years she kept her hair short, cropped close to her head.
“I used to call the man fat pig and he used to find it funny; his wife was always yelling at me for something or other and cursing me out in Italian. For the longest time I swore puttana (whore) was my first name and stronza (shit) was my middle name. Their daughter was named Leonore. Good lord she was something. Thick glasses, acne, braces and her breath was always hot and putrid. I remember her clearly she always hurt me with her braces, drew blood from me on purpose. I took it like a champ though. When I was old enough to realize they wanted to see me cry I learned to keep it inside. I guess that’s why they escalated their beatings because I refused to give them the satisfaction of crying or begging for mercy. Even when they… no, no you don’t need to know that. Ah shit. Okay…You know I saw her once when I was pregnant? She was standing right next to me getting ready to cross the street. She didn’t even see me. Honestly it took all the strength I had not to push her into traffic. For as long as it took the traffic light to change I was suddenly a kid again and so scared I wanted to run and hide and then I felt a flurry of little butterfly movements in my belly and that brought me back to reality and it made me smile. I looked over to where she was and I realized she had no power over me. I remember thinking to myself that she had probably been his victim as well and felt sorry for her.”
Once in a fit of rage they’d set her on fire. The father was furious when he came home from work and found out the little girl had been hospitalized. It was an accident they told the officials she’d been playing with matches and the child had been too scared to refute the lie. He rarely left her bedside while she was in the hospital such a devoted father the nurses had whispered among themselves. While in the hospital her new family had been approved for public housing so when she was sent back to hell the location of her prison had been changed. Sometimes fate can’t help but to intervene to right what never should have been in the first place. What they didn’t know was that their project apartment was located smack dab in the middle of the very neighborhood where her parents had grown up together, where she had been conceived and born and had learned to walk and talk and had ridden her first tricycle and most importantly where someone would recognize her.
It had been nearly a year since the fire when a home attendant paid her first visit to the family. The mother had been ill and needed an attendant. Even though the child was older the home attendant recognized her and recalled the young mother’s family looking for her when she’d taken off with the little girl. “Where are her parents?” she casually asked the mother over a cup of coffee after being told the child was adopted. “Dead, her mother killed herself and her father died in a car accident.” Despite the fact that they had moved away the death of the parents would have spread through the neighborhood like wild fire the attendant thought to herself, tragic news has a way of getting around. “What about her family?” “No one wanted her.” The attendant remembered how the child’s feet barely were allowed to touch ground; she was always in the arms of her mother or father, an aunt or uncle. She was the youngest female member of a very tight clan and she’d been a child who had been loved and cherished by an entire family. La muñequita (little doll) her family had called her.
When they were alone the attendant asked, “Como te llamas?” and in a voice barely above a whisper she responded, “I don’t speak Spanish.” Maybe she was wrong maybe it wasn’t the same girl. “What is your name?” The little girl whispered her name. The attendant knew she had the right girl when she heard the name a name so unusual that 39 years later I’d google it out of curiosity and discover that in the entire United States of America and Puerto Rico there is only one person with that name. The little girl picked up a dust rag and began to help the attendant dust. She had finished dusting the ceramic statue of the Virgin Mary on the mantle when Leonore entered the room. “Momma says it’s time for you to take a bath. ” The little girl reached out and grasped the attendant’s hand, “No.” The teenager leaned over and pinched her arm. “You have to.” The little girl didn’t even flinch despite the fact that the pinch had left a wicked red mark. “She’s such a pig she doesn’t like to take a bath.” Of course she didn’t want to bathe Leonore always saved her worst for the tub knowing that the running water would wash away the evidence of her assaults.
“Mi muñequita can I give you a bath? ” asked the attendant. The little girl stared at her weighing her options trying to decide if the attendant could be trusted. “Why are you calling her muñequita? That’s not her name” Leonore asked. “In my country muñequita is what we call pretty little girls.” Lenore snorted,”She’s not pretty.” The attendant ignored the teenager and turned her attention back to the little girl."Will you let me bathe you muñequita?” The girl shyly nodded. As she bathed the child the attendant saw something that disturbed her and she knew she had to get the little girl away from those people. When she was done the attendant asked the mother if the child could accompany her on her errands. The mother nodded her consent as she handed the list of errands and some money to the attendant. “Can I go too?” Leonore asked “We’re going to be doing a lot of walking.” The attendant replied. “Never mind.” Leonore said as she clicked on the TV and walked over to the sofa.
They took the elevator down in silence the attendant formulating her plan as they got closer to the lobby. They walked three blocks down towards Broadway just in case someone was watching them before the attendant hailed a cab to her apartment 19 blocks away. After several phone calls the attendant was able to locate a friend of a friend who was still in touch with the family. Several hours later five cars, 1 motorcycle, and two police cars pulled up in front of her brown stone; five aunts, six uncles, an anxious looking set of grandparents, and one 22 year old father who looked as if he’d been crying followed by several policemen climbed up the three flights of stairs and knocked on the door of apartment 3S. The little girl was my mother, the attendant was Maria and until she died holding my mother’s hand at the age of 90 my mother thanked her everyday for saving her and now by virtue of my career her namesake does as well.
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Thursday, August 21, 2008Fancy Yourself The Dog’s Bollocks Do You?
After nearly two years of friendship my buddy with the cockney accent had developed a craving for Latinas."So Mia do you have any Spanish friends you can hook me up with?” After careful deliberation I nodded. “As a matter of fact I do!”
So there I was sitting in a local pub sipping on a Guinness as they got to know each other. As predicted my girl was shy at first but he’s a great conversationalist and in no time at all managed to draw her out. Sensing my job there was done I pulled back a bit until it was just the two of them talking. When my cell phone rang I glanced down to the caller ID and excused myself to take my boyfriend’s call. I’d just ended my call when he came over, “I got worried so I came to check on you. You’re so tiny someone can just scoop you up in their pocket and we’d be none the wiser.” “Ha-ha. Where’s this chick at?” “She went to the loo.” “So what do you think?” “She’s great.” “I knew you would like her!” “You were awfully quiet in there pet.” “Well duh both of you already know me the point was for both of you to get to know each other.” He reached over and yanked my pony tail “Jealous?” “No” “Not even a little?” “No” “No?” “No” “Damn” I punched his shoulder and he laughed holding his hands up in surrender, “I’m only winding you up love.”
My friend joined us and smiled at me she really liked the guy. I figured it was cool for me to leave, “Alrighty then since you guys are all set I’m going to head out and meet up with my boy toy. I promised I’d check out The Dark Knight with him.” He put his arm around me and looked around the pub, “Let us walk you to the Uncle Gus I don’t want some fecking arse-over-tit ponce getting his chalk farms around you.” “Don’t worry this area is safe besides I’m not taking the bus I’m going to call a cab.” I said as I punched in the cab service’s number. “What the hell did you just say?” my home girl asked. He laughed and explained he’d just offered to walk me to the bus because he was afraid one of the drunken guys outside would try to grab me. “And Mia understood that?” he nodded his head,”Yeah I’ve been teaching her the slang for a couple of years now getting her ready for when she crosses the pond.”
“Okay people now is when I must say toodles to thee I’ve got to bounce, the driver will be here in a minute he’s around the corner.” I said as I winked at my home girl. “Oh well then give us a frenchy before you leave” he said as he leaned down and offered his cheek to me. I gave him a quick peck “Remember I’m not here to translate so could you please stick to English?” “I am speaking English pet.” “American English.” I warned. “Oy you know I’m a dab hand at that!” “Are you really you arse, fancy yourself the dog’s bollocks do you?” he barked out a laugh and pulled me to him for a bear hug. “Mia what the hell did you just say?!” home girl asked as she tried to visualize the picture I painted. “Gah, I’ve taught you well.” He said as they walked me towards the door.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008I See Dead People
I looked out the window and spotted one of our neighbors walking his dog across the parking lot. At first I didn’t believe what I was seeing and I rubbed my eyes a couple of times.
-Hey mom I thought you told me that the big dude with the pit bull died?
-Are you sure?
I closed my eyes and slowly opened them again and whispered to my mother…
--I see dead people
My eyes followed the ghost as he waddled across the parking lot.
-Ma I’m talking about the really BIG guy, the one with the ugly pit bull.
--yeah I know Corina’s uncle.
I stared at the ghost below resting under the big elm tree as his dog sniffed around and lifted his leg against the tree.
-Well I don’t think anyone bothered to tell him he’s dead because I’m looking at him right now.
-He walks among us woman.
--Mia, what the hell are you talking about?
-Look out the window ma. Hurry up he walks kind of fast for an obese ghost.
She glanced out the window and laughed.
--That’s not Corina’s uncle that’s Alicia’ s son.
-So is he dead or not?
--Corina’s uncle yes. Alicia’s son no.
-Oh thank god because I was about to say that it’s messed up that whatever unfinished business he had here on earth has doomed him to walk that ugly ass dog for all of eternity.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008Miss Beverly
We were on the way out of the parking lot when I turned around to check on my car and spotted the outrageously drunken woman popping wheelies in her motorized wheel chair. Mom, my brother and I stopped to watch her maneuvering her chair around the parked cars. “Should she even be driving that thing?” I asked. “I have no clue.” “Seriously ma isn’t that like drunk driving?” My brother laughed,“Let me go get her”, he said as said as he jogged towards her.
“Hey Miss Beverly!” he called out to her. “Hey Steven how y’all doing, where your mama at?” she shouted back in her thick southern accent. Steven jerked his head towards where we were standing. “She’s right over there Miss Beverly." Miss Beverly turned her chair towards us and waved with one hand as she balanced the chair on its rear wheels, “Hey Miss Maggie, Hey there little Mia!” “Miss Beverly,” my brother said, “it’s awfully hot out here why don’t I take you inside?” She shook her head and attempted to wave him away nearly falling out of her chair. Oh yeah she was polluted, she was blotto. “Na don’t you worry about me boy I don’t even feel the heat no more.” “Miss Beverly,” he pleaded, “Miss Angie was looking for you earlier. Please let me take you upstairs to her.” she shook her head again reminding me of a mischievous child especially when let out a laugh and squealed “Tag!You’re it!”
Miss Beverly took off and Steven quickly gave chase “Aw come on Miss Beverly don’t make me run my feet hurt!” “Whoa look at her go!” I said as she deftly avoided my brother giggling like a maniac. “Miss Beverly please you’re going to hurt yourself!” Steven yelled. My mom doubled over in laughter and yelled “Go Miss Beverly go!” “You is never gonna catch me little boy I just charged my battery!” Miss Beverly taunted. “Mom don’t encourage her!” Steven whined. Mom wiped a few tears from her eyes. “Oh man I swear that is too funny! Hey Mia do you think I should call the security guard and have him shoot out her tires?”
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Monday, August 18, 2008So Mia, whatcha thinkin’?
Lately no matter what I do the subject of marriage seems to be coming up. The BF and I were just chilling in my room yesterday afternoon. He was watching the Olympics and I was working on my book. Oh yeah I’m working on book, professors and what not are always telling me I should write so I decided to give it a shot and test my creativity. So I’ve been spending every spare moment writing much my BF’s annoyance.
--So Mia, whatcha thinkin’?
-How I’m going to end this chapter.
--Hey Mia, pay attention to me.
--Pay attention to me
I looked up at him and gestured towards my laptop.
-Dude I’m trying to focus on a scene here.
--I’m feeling neglected here all you’ve been doing is writing.
-I’m on a roll here.
I continued to write as talked
--Awww come on pay attention to me.
-Stop whining, what are you like five?
--Stop working on your stupid story and pay some attention to me.
-Look I was really having trouble with this scene and now I’m visualizing it perfectly so let me finish it off please.
--you’re always writing.
- Play one of your video games.
--I don’t want to.
-Read a book. Didn’t you promise Liza you were going to read the Twilight Series?
I had to laugh
-Look I can’t help you. You’re 25 years old you should be able to keep yourself entertained at your age.
--You’re supposed to pay attention to me I’m your fiancée .
-How about I punch you in the face, would that be enough attention for you? And you’re my boyfriend not my fiancée.
--Why do you always say I’m your boyfriend?
I waved my left hand in the air to show the lack of engagement ring.
-Do you see a ring here? No you don’t and that is why you are my boyfriend. The day I have an engagement ring on this hand is the day you get upgraded to fiancée.
--You want a ring? I’ll get you a ring tomorrow.
-It’s okay the moment has passed I don’t need one. I’m still going to marry you.
--Come on Mia.
-Let me finish this scene first I promised Iman, Tati, and Mom I was going to have it done by tonight they’ve been pestering me for it. They’re really into the story.
--Oh you’ve got people reading it already?
-Proof reading and getting their opinions.
--Can I read it?
--You should let me read it you’re neglecting me because of it.
--Mia what are you thinking about?
punching you in the throat.
-Some research I have to do for this scene about meritorious service and freed slaves.
--Want to know what I’m thinking?
I wrinkled my nose playfully at him and he laughed.
-No, not at this moment.
--Well I’m going to tell you anyway.
--My family was asking me today when we are going to get married.
Uh huh…I feel the slight twist of pressure coming on…
--Yeah I told them it was on you. I mean if it were up to me we’d go to Las Vegas this weekend and get married. I could be the Big Bopper and you could be Peggy Sue. I’m all down for the funny theme wedding you suggested.
My dad a man of few words just happened to walk by and hear the Big Bopper comment “Cante Sangano! (you idiot) ” he yelled as he passed my room. I giggled.
-I don’t remember saying anything about the Big Bopper. I said Elvis. We could get married by an Elvis justice of the peace. Besides we still have to do the traditional wedding for our families.
-Well I hope you told them this is not happening until I’m done with grad school. Then again we could get married after I settle down in Ireland or the UK.
--I told them that. You know that it’s up to you to set the date.
--Yeah and they were asking when are we going to have kids too.
-Wow you’re family’s been really busy thinking about our future eh? Don’t they have any hobbies they can focus on?
--They really love you. Even my step-father adores you. He’s always going on about how pretty you are and he’s never liked any of my past girlfriends.
-Well next time they ask tell them I’m not in a hurry I’ve got some things I need to do first and so do you like get your first degree. Tell them I said to relax I’m not going anywhere.
--Guay is moving in with her boyfriend right?
-Yup they were looking at apartments last week.
--Is it true Nalini got married?
-A couple of weeks ago and dig this she’s pregnant too.
--So all of your friends are settling down huh?
-Yeah I guess so and dropping out of college like roaches dropping dead after a run- in with a can of Raid.
--Ahem. But they’re all settling down.
-True to the ooo, my man true to the ooo.
I looked up at him and he was staring at me as if to say “what’s the hold up with you?” If it were left to him we’d be married already and I’d be heavy with child.
-You know I’ve always been a late bloomer. Ask my parents. Like I said I’m not going anywhere just in case anyone is wondering. I love you. I’ll marry you when I’m ready.
He nodded his head knowingly. Okay he’s ego has been reassured.
--Can I read your story now?
--So Mia, whatcha thinkin’?
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Sunday, August 17, 2008Oops My Bad
Somewhere in the city of New York a guy is walking around with his heart firmly entrenched in his ass courtesy of yours truly and I am deeply sorry for that. Oops my bad.
I looked up from my book several times and noticed him staring at me as we rode the bus through midtown traffic. When I got off at my stop he held the door open for me and smiled. I thanked him and smiled back because my mama raised me good and proper. After a couple of blocks though I noticed he was following me. I looked back at him. He’s not following you. Stop being so paranoid he’s just walking in the same direction. I thought as I slipped my headphones on and continued navigating the 7 blocks to my bf’s office building.
I'd just made it to the elevator bank when a heavy hand tapped me on my shoulder. I nearly gave myself whiplash turning my head to see who'd tapped me. Ordinarily I wouldn’t be so rude but I got pissed off when I realized he’d been following me. I shrugged his hand off of my shoulder and glared at him “What the hell do you want?!", I growled at him, the crazy look on my face ust have startled him. He backed up with his hands in the air doing the universal sign of I come in peace. “Well what is it?", I snapped. He took a step towards me and placed a business card in my hand just as the elevator door opened I narrowed my eyes at him and backed into the elevator. “Stay there don’t you dare follow me." He stared at me again and chuckled as the elevator door closed. I pressed the button to my floor and glanced at the card he’d placed in my hand it had his name and business info printed on it and directly below that were the words “Hi I’m deaf but I can read lips and I’d like to talk to you." Uh so yeah I’m feeling rather special right about now.
Labels: special moments
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Thursday, August 14, 2008Triplets
My mother had just introduced the petite blue eyed blonde at her cousin’s wake to my father for the third time that night; she had also introduced him to two separate men twice. He looked at the glass of wine in her hand and reached for it. “Babe I think you’ve had enough.” “What are you talking about?” “I think you’ve had too much wine.” “Honey I haven’t been drinking wine my aunt knows I hate the stuff this is grape juice.” He sniffed the glass, it was grape juice. “You’ve been drinking grape juice all night?”She nodded her head. “Well I think someone slipped you something because you keep introducing me to the same people over and over again. That’s the third time you’ve introduced me to that blonde.”
She looked up at him and chuckled. “Babe my cousin is a triplet.” “What?” “I introduced you to a set of identical triplets and the guys are two sets of identical twins. The clue should have been when I gave their names. You weren't paying attention were you?" He gave her a guilty smile. "You're messing with me right Mags?" She shook her head and handed him her glass. “Here hold this I’ll be right back.”
Several minutes later she returned with the set of triplets and two sets of twins. "Oh shit" he said just before she re-introduced them. He stared in amazement at the multiples. "We got them on sale at Cosco." my mom joked. One of the twins winked at her, "Yeah our family believes in buying in bulk." One of the triplets laughed, "Our parents were into coupon clipping buy two kids get the third one for free!" The cousins all high fived each other as they laughed. Dad pulled my mom out of the arms of one of the twins and wrapped his arms around her. He kissed the top of her head and asked, "So your entire family, pretty much smart asses like you huh?” The twins, triplets, and mom looked at him and answered in unison “Yes!”
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Sunday, August 10, 2008Poke...Poke...Poke
--Ouch! Cut it out!
I turned in my seat and to observe the action going on behind me and stifled a laugh. They were at it again.
--Ow! Will you stop?
She narrowed her eyes and spoke through gritted teeth.
--I. Am. Going. To. Snuff. You.
-Ouch damn you hit hard you animal!
--I told you to leave me alone.
Complete and utter silence for about a minute
--What the fuck am I the only person you know in this car?
-No, but you’re the only one with the cute little elf ears.
The SUV filled with laughter. Those in front were glad that the dueling duo were in the back by themselves.
--Seriously you’re working my last nerve I’m going to put you in a headlock.
-You wouldn’t dare.
--Poke me again and watch what’s going to happen. Swear to my mother.
-Don’t swear to mommy she’s dead.
--I swear to my half of mom!
She let out an exasperated sigh.
--How about dad?
-Okay that’s cool.
--Fine I swear to daddy.
---Hey no swearing to me. Leave me out of it.
--Well tell your son something.
---Leave your sister alone.
--Yeah you bastard leave me alone!
-I’m not a bastard mom and dad were married when I was born.
I watched as his hand slowly inched towards her thigh in pinch mode, she pretended not to notice.
--Yeah well being a bastard is not necessarily a status of birth it’s also a state of mind.
--Did I stutter, were the words too hard for you to understand?
-- I think you’re a bastard therefore you are.
She looked down at his hand which was now resting on her thigh
--If you pinch me it is so on.
--That’s what you get for pinching me.
-Well don’t call me a bastard.
--You’re right I’m sorry. We have no solid proof that you’re an actual bastard. You were adopted after all. Found in a dumpster.
- Ha! Totally worth it.
-Take it back I’m not adopted. Plus you look too much like me anyway for that to be true. Take it back or I’ll pinch you again.
--Fine pain in the ass, you’re not adopted but I don’t look like you, you look like me I’m older than you remember that little brother. I don’t know why they had to go and have another kid.
---You wanted a little brother
--I also recall wanting a motorcycle for my birthday and yet I never got one of those did I daddy?
---Are you two going to keep this up the entire trip?
--Ah I won’t if you tell the poisoned demonic fruit of your loins to stop picking on me.
-She said demonic fruit of your loins dad. She’s calling your stuff evil and funky pop.
Their father had no choice but to laugh.
--Not so little brother.It’s not daddy’s fault. He was having an off day when he made you. I am calling you evil. You’re the anti-Christ. Rosemary’s Baby has nada on you.
--Keep it up. I am going to kill you in your sleep tonight I hope you realize that .
-I can’t help myself you’re too cute when you’re mad. Are you mad? Huh are you really mad at me sis?
she laughed and rolled her eyes at him.
-It’s the dimples isn’t it? You can’t stay mad at me because of my dimples.
--No it’s just my parents taught me to be patient with the feeble minded.
--- Mira demonic fruit of my loins leave your sister alone.
Laugher…two minutes of silence…
Poke...poke... She’d decided to ignore him…poke…poke….poke…. he would not be ignored…poke…poke…poke…. She looked out the window and sang along with the radio…poke…poke…poke…poke…she rolled her eyes moving away from him…he kept sliding besides her on the seat until she was pressed up against the door…poke…poke…she jumped on him and true to her word put him in a headlock. The more he struggled the tighter she gripped.
--Come on say it!
---Let go of your brother.
--come on say it you damn anti-Christ!
his hands were flaying, his legs were kicking, and he was turning red but he refused to give in as he struggled against her. The driver laughed.
--say it now ! Don’t act like you don’t have it memorized ‘cause you know you do. You’ve said it often enough. Come on you know what comes next. Say. It.
---Let go of your brother. NOW.
She relaxed her grip on him but didn’t totally unwrap her arms from him.
he started giggling
--Fine. Now say it
-You’re the queen of the universe.
-I’m a lowly peasant unworthy of licking the mud off your shoes.
-Peasant? I thought it was peon?
--I don’t remember I could’ve sworn it was peasant.
satisfied she released him and sat back
--You hurt me.
-Aww I’m sorry girly man but I warned you.
she shrugged her shoulders
--Yeah that was kind of weak.
---You two okay back there?
-Yeah daddy we’re fine.
-Oh for the love of sweet baby Jesus cut it out !
she lunged at him again raining slaps on him wherever she could catch him, the more she slapped the harder he laughed.
-Yeah boy how you like that? Huh how you like me now?
The car stopped and their father whipped his head around pinning them still with a death stare and shook his finger at them. Hey I know that look mom gives me the same look.
---Am I going to have to come back there? Because I will and I promise you won’t like it. I’m making a list here you two and you know what’s going to happen when I reach the end of that list!
The terrible two stopped and looked at each other bursting into laughter at the same time and high fived each other.
--Oh shit dad broke out the list! When was the last time he threatened us with the list Maggie?
-Ah like 1976 , ‘77? Na it was ’78 !
again they shouted in unison. God this was scary it was like they shared a brain.
-That party in Spanish Harlem! Remember we snuck out through the attic and shimmied down the drain pipe?
---I still haven’t forgotten that one.
Uncle Joey winked at mom and draped his arm over my mother’s shoulder
-Neither have we right sis?
----Grandpa were they always like this?
---Worse. I tell you nena I barely survived raising those two.
I turned back in my seat and faced my grandfather he had a big smile on his face. These were his children, his pride and joy, the result of his marriage to my grandmother. My mom’s other brothers the ones she raised are her half-brothers from grandma’s second marriage. This uncle is the only one old enough to have grown up with mom. She is his big sister while to my other uncles she is more mom than sister.
This uncle is old enough to remember her as a child. The love between them is way different she is his big sister, his partner in crime as he calls her. When they are together like this it’s easy to imagine them as kids. It was us against the world my uncle Joey always says. My granddad was a teen dad and raised his two children with no one’s help. He refused to give his children up to either side of their family. In many ways he grew up with them too. I watched his face as he laughed at their silliness today. In his eyes they were still his babies not the 46 yr old mother of three and certainly not the 45 yr old grandfather of one. In his eyes they were still his little boy and girl.
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Saturday, August 09, 2008Bernie Mac, Thanks for the laughter
I love going to comedy clubs I always sit in the front tables even though it never fails I always get singled out by comedians. I guess it’s because react to my laughter knowing it comes from the heart. I’ve had Lisa Lampanelli commiserate with me on men, and Dave Chapelle call me a Puerto Rican keebler elf. He brought the house down when I got up from my table to allow someone to pass by and when I asked how he knew I was Puerto Rican he pointed to my butt. Comedy is my thing and Bernie Mac one of my all time favorites he’s right up there with George Lopez in my book. I have literally cried from laughing so hard at his routines and was lucky enough to catch his perfomances live...amazing.
When I was doing the new layout for my blog yesterday I was actually listening to one of my favorite Bernie Mac routines and thinking about adding a comedy section below the music section as soon as I got a chance to upload my comedy CD’s onto a server.
This morning I was shocked to hear the news that Bernie Mac died earlier in the morning. Somehow this realm world has just become a little less funnier, heaven’s gain is our loss. The man was amazing and I’m grateful for the laughter he brought into my life.
If you’re offended by blue lingo then these routines are not for you.
You Don’t Understand
My Sister’s Kids
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Friday, August 08, 2008Nothing says I love and I’m sorry like ink.
My brother Steven did something so totally unexpected I choked up and my little sister straight out bawled. Like my bro and mom she’s highly emotional. To fully understand the significance of the moment I have to layout some background.
For two years my brother was head over heels in love with a girl that my little sister despised. I really didn’t know the girl so I accepted her with no problem. However because they all went to the same high school my sister had more insight into her than I did. Yet it was hard to believe the conniving picture Caity painted of the girl when she came across as so innocent.
My mom sat the three kids down time after time to discuss the animosity between the girls.During these talks the girl would claim she had no problem with Caity and make it seem as if Caity’s problems with her were one sided. At first we thought maybe Caity was a bit jealous after all her and Stevie had always been best friends, always been joined at the hip, and now with this girl in his life he had no time for Caity. My brother naturally took his girlfriend's side.
Soon to be 17 yr old Caitlin has a sweet and bubbly personality and is undeniably pretty.She inherited my mother’s fair skin,porcelain complexion, dad's dark blonde hair and thick dark lashes. Like me she has amber colored eyes except with hers you can see flecks of green in them. She has a beautiful figure, petite an inch taller than me with a tiny waist and generous hips. Caity, thank god is innocent enough not to take advantage of the power she has over teenaged boys and grown men. I have seen Caity literally smile her way out of any trouble she’s gotten into without meaning to. She's also an aspiring designer and creates a lot of her own styles. I took notice of the fact that whenever Caity changed her look a few days later my brother’s girlfriend would show up rocking the same look,hairstyle, or color hair. That made me rethink my jealousy theory or rather who was actually jealous of who.
It started slowly,vile nasty rumors spread about my sister in the school.One of the rumors even had her working as a drug dealer in the local playground. The source of the rumors always seemed to be my brother’s girlfriend and her mini crew of divas. The rumors would always make their way to Caity yet we could get no one to actually admit it to my brother’s face. I guess they feared censure from the popular crowd and a beat down from my brother.
Then the big one hit a myspace page was dedicated to my sister, it was awful. When I saw it I was livid and something in me just snapped. Until that moment I had not realized what Caity was going through because she'd kept it all to herself. My mom contacted myspace and they qicky removed it but just as quick another one popped up. At first we had no idea who had created the pages and my bro was threatening to dismember whoever did it. Caity meanwhile kept insisting that it was his girl doing it. I finally believed it when a picture of Caity popped up on that page was kept on the portable hard drive of the family computer shortly after the girlfriend asked to use it. That’s when I got involved and just let my brother have it when he refused to accept the mounting evidence against his girlfriend and her mini crew. Things even got a little tense between my bro and I when I sided with Caity. The pages suddenly stopped when my mother threatened to involve the girl's mother into the equation. It seems that the girl's mom knew exactly what she had spawned and didn't buy her daughter's innocent act.
Long story short last year was pure hell for my sister. The relationship between her and Steven was strained and she was always on edge. Her grades suffered; sometimes my mom would find her crying in her room. During that time the once ultra independent kid clung to mom and me. My father was highly disappointed in him and told him so often. Finally my mom transferred Caity into a new school and her grades picked up again. The rumors still persisted but my brother began to slowly open his eyes.
Several months ago he and the girl broke up. It turned out everything Caity had told me but refused to tell my bro about the girl turned out to be true. Now he was feeling stupid he was seeing it all for himself first hand. He apologized to Caity and she accepted, she’s never been one to hold a grudge. Their relationship got right on track as if nothing ever happened. I think he finally understood the lecture my parents had given him about his role as a brother to two females and it humbled him.
He came home last Friday with a new tattoo, a Celtic cross embossed with my name and Caity’s name on it. It was his way of apologizing to us and making sure he'd never forget his role as our protector again. As soon as Caity saw the tattoo she jumped into his arms and started crying. He hugged her so tight I thought he was going to crack one of her ribs or something. When he set her back down on the floor his eyes were all teary. My mom had been watching them and now brushed a couple of tears away from her face. He had them add her and dad’s name as well when it was done he said because he realized that his treatment of Caity had affected them as well. He was sorry. Mom and Caity started crying harder. Like I said they’re the emotional ones of the family. I’m the cool one. I looked at the tat and despite the lump in my throat acted casual. “That’s really nice Stevie.” I said and turned away before he could see my eyes tearing up. Nothing says I love you and I’m sorry like ink.
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Wednesday, August 06, 2008Why Are You Bitch Slapping The Driver?
My uncle Brad is a tall guy, a big guy the best way to describe would be NFL linebacker big. He’s also an intimidating guy. He's a I will rip off your arm and beat you with it and then shove it where the sun doesn’t shine type of guy. If you’re ever foolish enough to cross him you do it at your own risk. But like all of the men in my family he is a gentle guy with a soft spot for those unable to take care of themselves.
My mom was in front of our building catching up with a friend when my uncle spotted her from across the street, “Hey ma!” he shouted at her, “Hey baby! Have a good day at work!” She shouted back as he made his way to his SUV he laughed at that. “I’ll try, I love you ma!” he said blowing her a kiss “Love you too my wittle Bradacus.” He giggled “Aww ma!”
Brad works with teenagers at a center trying to keep them on the right track and pull them out of gangs. With gang numbers on the rise across America (it’s not just an urban thing) the work he does is important.His work days are rarely easy, my uncle is a street legend in these parts thanks to his hell raising days when he was younger. If you’re the one to take him down it gives you street credibility to the max with the wrong people, specifically the ones my uncle is trying to keep your from. Because of that there’s always some young wannabe thug thinking he’s a bad ass trying to make a name for him self by challenging my uncle’s authority. It’s only when they see Brad’s beast up close and personal that they back down and become the most compliant of kids. He keeps a tight leash on his beast rarely does it show its head out in public.
Brad climbed into his SUV his head touching the roof of the car and kept is eyes on the “Access-a-ride” vehicle parked in front of him. It was a mini bus the type used to transport the disabled and elderly back and forth to appointments. An elderly lady approached the bus and the driver got out to help her. My uncle didn’t fail to notice that when the driver reached for her the woman flinched as if she were afraid. Instead of driving off he turned his car off and lowered his head to watch them. After several minutes Brad got out of his vehicle and climbed into the bus. Shortly after the bus began rocking back and forth. The rocking bus caught my mother’s attention, she excused herself from her friend and she crossed the street to see what was going on. Standing at the entrance of the bus she shook her head and crossed her arms over her chest and in a casual tone addressed my uncle…
-Brad honey why are you bitch slapping the driver?
Without letting go of the driver he turned his head to look at mom and smiled sheepishly.
-- Hold on ma.
He turned his attention back to the driver and slapped him up a few more times. I noticed he never used his fist he opted for the open hand slap instead.
Oh okay he’s not trying to beat him into unconsciousness. I thought to myself not like the time he’d caught up with the abusive boyfriend of a friend and knocked him out cold...for a few days.
--Give me your phone.
The driver hesitated and Brad cuffed him upside his head. The driver did as Brad ordered. Mom shifted on her feet and cleared her throat.
--One more minute ma.
-Now Bradley Christopher
Brad winced. He was in trouble she used his first and middle name.
--Ma I’m sorry I don’t mean to be disrespectful one more minute, two at the most. I promise.
Brad handed his cell phone to one of the passengers and instructed them to call the police.He looked through the driver’s company phone finding the number he wanted. He dialed it and handed the phone back to the driver.
--Call your supervisor.
When the driver disconnected the call Brad got into his face.
- I don’t want to beat you in front of my mom and niece but I will, probably not as bad as I would if they weren’t here but trust me it is going to be bad. You can call your supervisor from here and explain what happened before the cops pick you up or call him from the hospital while you’re handcuffed to the bed waiting for your teeth to pass through your stool. It’s your choice but I’m telling you my man if we have to go that route I’m really going to get mad.
He turned and winked at me.
--Hi Mia baby
He leaned into the driver and placed his forearm oh his chest. I had to smile I knew he was just toying with the driver. The guy was no match for Brad which is why he’d been slapping him instead of punching him. I stuck my head into the bus and pinky waved at him.
--Did Tankie give you the monkey I sent for your car?
-No I haven’t seen him yet
My uncle nodded he knew my uncle Tank would be around later on to check up on mom like he always does and drop off the monkey.
--You register for your classes yet?
--That’s my baby girl
He smiled at me again and turned his attention back onto the driver.
--Okay time’s up. So what’s it going to be?
The driver made his call and left a message for his supervisor to call him immediately and to send another driver to the location. Brad patted the driver on the head,
--Good boy. Now sit still because if you move from there or try anything stupid I will knock you the fuck out. Oh my bad ma I’m sorry.
-It’s okay now what’s going on?
It turned out that the driver had been shaking down his elderly passengers for months. At first it started with him asking the passengers to loan him a few bucks here and there which he never paid back. Now he wasn’t even trying to hide what he was doing under the guise of a loan. He was straight out shaking them down and they’d all been too afraid to say anything. Brad had confirmed it that morning when he watched his elderly neighbor board the bus and saw the driver grip her fragile arm a little to rough for his liking. When Brad had approached the bus he heard the driver threatening her about the money.
When he was done with his explaining to mom she looked at the four elderly passengers in the back and they all confirmed the story just as the police car turned onto our block. In what can only be described as obvious panic the driver attempted to strike Brad. Mom gasped.
-Don’t hurt him Brad!
Brad smiled at her as he held up his meaty fist.
--I got this ma don’t worry.
The crunch caused me to wince; the sight of the blood gushing from the driver’s nose did nothing for my empty stomach. I stared at Brad and shook my head.
--Ma he deserved worse he’s lucky you were here.
He stared at the driver and asked if he was okay. Satisfied with the muffled response he instructed the driver to thank my mother for the fact that he was still able to walk. Then he made room for the police to board the bus.
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Tuesday, August 05, 2008Your Name Here
Years ago the then love of my life wanted us to get each other’s names tattooed on our bodies. I balked at the idea because honestly that’s one hell of a commitment, one which I wasn’t prepared to make. Not because I didn’t love him but because from the moment I’d laid eyes on him my heart knew our relationship would not have a happy ending. It wouldn’t be ink worthy.
A smart female would’ve run away screaming from him but I wasn’t who I am now so instead I ran straight into his arms. He was an education in something my sheltered innocent self had never been exposed to. He brought harshness into my life and I brought gentleness into his. With me he tried to control his cruel nature but wasn’t always successful. I can’t even remember the amount of times he unintentionally broke my heart and like a masochist I’d pick myself up and come back for more if only because I believed everyone deserved a second chance and could be saved.
We worked great as friends but it was never enough for either of us. Whenever the relationship would get too intense for me and I was in danger of losing sight of myself I’d step away from him. Still he never fully released his hold on me. There was never a clean break it was as if we were addicted to each other. On occasion I’d come home from a date to find him scowling in my darkened living room waiting up for me. I’d join him on the sofa and we’d talk until I passed out from exhaustion with his arm around me or his head on my lap. He drew comfort in that he knew me well enough to know that I would never commit to anyone else as long he was a part of my life in one way or another.
The issue of the tattoo had come up shortly after he questioned me about a guy I’d been seeing a lot of. It was during one of our sabbaticals and I was certain that this was it, I was ready to move on and so was he at least I thought so since he was always talking to me about his latest conquests. So when he asked me if the guy had kissed me I responded truthfully. You know I’ve read about people shaking with anger but never really thought that it was actually possible until that moment. His face turned red, his hands started fisting at his sides and he took a step towards me towering over me. He was furious. He caged me with his body against a wall and basically snarled. “You let him kiss you?!” “News flash you and me broke up four months ago.” He just glared at me struggling to gain his composure until he was able to walk away. We didn’t speak to each other for weeks until he showed up at my house late one night with a quart of my favorite ice cream. “I’m sorry” he said I stopped seeing the other guy the very next day.
I knew why he wanted me to get the tattoo it was all about his ego, he wanted to mark me as his. He pulled me into his arms and hugged me tightly “You can put it on a part of your body that’s for my eyes only. No one but me and you will know you’ve got it.” his hand then slid down my back and rested on my butt,“you can put it right here he murmured into my ear as he gave it a light squeeze. “Oh yeah sure thing and where will you get my name?” I asked expecting it to be somewhere hidden like behind his knees. “Right here on my fore arm so everyone can see it or right here over my heart since it belongs to you anyway.” I shook my head no. “How about a compromise?” I joked “I’ll get a label inked on my behind that says ‘your name here’.” He laughed even though he wasn’t happy about it but he knew as stubborn as I am I’d never give in so he dropped the subject.
Months later I woke up one day and realized I didn’t like the person I was becoming. Thanks to him I was becoming hard, untrusting, and bitter, a female version of him. I stepped away and stood away for months growing stronger as time went on. He didn’t give up but no matter how many times he came at me my answer was always the same “No, it’s over.” The last time I saw him he was crying but he had hardened my heart so much I had no sympathy for him. He said I’d broken his heart I didn’t believe him. He said he loved me I didn’t care, he’d change. I knew he never would. As he crushed me to his chestI kept my hands at my side. The urge to soothe and comfort him was gone. I remember thinking that he wasn’t crying over the loss of me he was crying because of his wounded pride. No one had ever walked away from him it was always the other way around. I was the first and I was proud of myself.
The woman in his arms was the one he’d created. He’d taken a soft little girl and made her into a strong woman. I owed him gratitude for that much at least. I hugged him back and tried to joke my way out of the situation, “Aren’t you glad now you didn’t get that tattoo?” He hugged me tighter,” doesn’t matter anyway your name is tattooed all over my heart regardless.” He said before letting go of me and walking out the door crying. I haven’t seen him since although he keeps tabs on me via family members.
I got the news yesterday that he is married now and expecting a baby. I was genuinely happy for him and told the messenger so. “Has he changed?” I asked hoping he’d done so for his wife. “Na he’s still the same” the messenger replied. I shook my head and turned to walk away “Hey Mia he said to give you a message.”” What?” The messenger traced a heart on his chest he said, “Tattoo” I smiled and pointed to my butt, “Tell him I said your name here.”
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Saturday, August 02, 2008El Cuco :Michael Jackson
Say "El cuco is coming",and little Hispanic eyes open wide in fear, little heads jerk around looking for but afraid to see the legendary figure. El cuco is the stuff nightmares are made of. No one's actually ever seen him but we know he exists. He lives under the bed,in closets and lurks in the corners of dark rooms waiting to snatch disobedient children away into a dark abyss. El cuco, words that strike mortal fear into a normal kid's heart but 8 yr old Robert is not an ordinary kid. Robert is a demon spawn striking fear in the hearts of teachers and baby sitters all over New York. El cuco is nada to Robert. The only thing Robert fears in this world is Michael Jackson.
The little guy’s room looked like it had been struck by a tornado and he refused to clean it up. No matter how much his mom begged and pleaded the kid was not having it. Finally at her wit’s end she invoked the name of Michael Jackson. “Robert do you want to go to The Never Never Land Ranch, do you want to go play with Michael Jackson’s monkey? Do you huh?” she said as she stood in the center of his room. “No mommy nooooo! The little boy cried out with a look of sheer terror on his face. “I swear to God Robert if you don’t clean up this room I am calling Michael Jackson!”she screeched. The woman was stressed out. “No mommy, please don’t call Michael Jackson!” His mom whipped out her cell phone and started punching in numbers. Robert ran up to her and threw himself at her hugging her legs “I’ll clean it mommy I promise!” She snapped the lid shut on her phone and stared at him. “Okay Robert but I want this room cleaned right now.Ahora mismo.” “Okay mommy.” He said as he went around the room picking his scattered toys and clothes.
She sat on his messy bed and surveyed the room she had cleaned that very morning.She glanced at her watch, "Hmm not bad it lasted 3 hours, usually it's destroyed an hour later." She picked up a headless action figure that was lying on the bed and studied it. “You know Robert if you like taking apart your toys I can get you a Mr. Potato Head and you can pop his nose on and off just like Michael Jackson does with his.” “No!”
His once tidy bed had chocolate well at least she hoped it was chocolate smeared all over the comforter and sheets. She got up and began to strip the bedding watching her son out of the corner of her eye. “Robert if you keep on making messes like this on your bed I’m going to buy you Michael Jackson bed sheets. “ Noooo!” she nodded her head and sniffed at the comforter, “Thank God it’s just chocolate.” “What if it had been poo?” my sister asked. Robert’s mom shrugged her shoulders “Wouldn’t be the first time” and stuffed the bedding into a laundry bag. “ I don’t want a Michael Jackson bed mommy.” “Well if you keep this up I’m going to buy you Michael Jackson curtains, bedspread,and sheets and make you sleep on them. I know a store that sells them too.” “I’m sorry mommy I won’t do it again.”
By the evening there was a new battle raging it was bath time. Robert refused to bathe. His mom tried to coax him into the tub filled with enough Mr.Bubble to make a bubble aficionado delirious. He didn’t mind the smell of hot city sidewalk wafting from his body. He didn’t mind the legs streaked with dirt, the dirty face or the fact that he had accumulated so much dirt under his fingernails that he could successfully grow a crop of potatoes there. He relished his dirt and funk he wore it like a badge of honor. He whined and protested. " I don't wannna bath!" He pulled the stopper out of the tub as soon as she sat him in it.“Robert!" As the tub began to drain his mom bit out a few curses under her breath. Most of them involved something about having her tubes tied. "That’s it I’m calling Michael Jackson! He’s going to make you drink Jesus juice!” she said as she pulled him to his feet. “No, no, no! Mommy please!” She held him against her chest as she turned on the shower and tested the water with her hand. “Mommy?” “Shhh Robert I’m trying to decide.” He grabbed his wash cloth, bar of soap and stepped into the stream of water as his mother watched him. “Fine I’m not going to call him. Make sure you use the soap Robert. Call me as soon as you’re done.Okay?” “Okay.”
Several minutes later she peeked into the bathroom only to find Robert still as dirty as when she left him. He was busy smearing lather all over the wall with his wash cloth. She slowly entered the bathroom and yelled out Michael Jackson’s signature “hee hee heee” as she snatched open the shower curtain. The kid jumped up and yelled, “Ahh! Michael Jackson!”and covered his face dropping the soap and his wash cloth. "Robert?" He uncovered his eyes and looked up relieved to see his mother glaring at him instead of the king of pop. “Use the damn soap Robert.” his mother said through gritted teeth and she pulled the cell phone out of the case attached to her jeans. “I am!” she looked at him arching her eyebrows and slowly flipped open her cell phone. “I will mommy I will! Look!” and he began soaping up his body. His mom closed the toilet seat lid and sat there fingers poised over the dial pad not giving voice to the threat that was perched on the tip of her tongue. Robert gulped. “Mommy could you pass me the shampoo? I’m going to wash my hair too.” She placed the phone on the edge of the sink and without a word squeezed some shampoo into her hand and began washing his hair.
Who knew that the once adorable Michael Jackson would grow up to become "el cuco" of this century?
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