Mia: Shaken Not Stirred


The true life stories of a NYC female.

Friday, January 30, 2009

He's Nuts



I’d been so angry the first day I’d busted a blood vessel around my eye. We’d been arguing for two days. Well actually he was arguing I was fuming.He refused to let me talk each time I attempted to make a point he raised his voice and spoke over me. “You’re not hearing what I am saying!” he yelled. "I am hearing what you’re saying; I’m just not saying what you want to hear.” I calmly replied. "I sense a power struggle here." he said through tightly pressed lips. His hands were fisted at his sides. His knuckles were drained of color. "No power struggle here." I replied.

He was so angry he was shaking; his voice had gone all southern on me. He’d spent years as an actor taking voice lessons to hide his southern accent. I’ve noticed it only makes an appearance when he’s angry. He was mega angry now his accent was as thick as molasses. With any luck he'd be the one to pop a vessel.


"But I won't be there to supervise you!" he yelled.
"Newsflash sensei you haven't been supervising me for months."
“Dammit Mia, I’m your boss!” he snapped.
“Excuse me? You are not my boss let’s get this straight right now you are my teacher.” I said.
“Well, I am like your boss!”
I shook my head at him. “You are my mentor, not my boss and guess what this place is full of mentors."

I glared at him, I was not backing down.I could see the wheels in his head turning. He threatened me with a student’s biggest fear.

“I’m going to call your field supervisor, it’s obvious we can not resolve this. We need a conference.”

I crossed my arms defiantly, “I already called her. She’ll be calling you.”

He was shocked. I’d surprised him, he’d just discovered his little grasshopper had the heart of a lion and didn’t take kindly to being used as a whipping boy.

“Oh and another thing I don’t want you wearing jeans anymore!” he yelled and then stormed out of his office.

My sensei has been acting like an ass lately. He started out with the best of intentions but he’s obviously overwhelmed by all the additional responsibilities his recent promotion has heaped on him. As a result I have been left to fend for myself and am not being used to my full potential. The sensei seems to think I am a china doll that'll break if I do anything without him being present. I try to be understanding and have bent over backwards to accommodate him something that he has obviously taken for granted. Somewhere along the line within his mind I went from being his student to being his property, he forgets that I am there to learn.

He has refused to let me work with other departments despite the fact that it would be an excellent learning opportunity for me. In each case he refused the request refusing to give either me or the department head a reason for his refusal. When I was offered a position within a department whose target population is what I intend to be working with when I graduate I decided to do it on my own time. I’d come in on my day off and work with them that way he couldn’t object. He was less than happy about that and now we were arguing.

Jeans, he said I can't wear jeans anymore?! Ha! That's supposed to be a punishment? I collapsed into a chair trying to center myself to let my anger wash away. One of the counselors had heard us arguing and walked over to me.

“Mia, are you okay sweetheart?”
I nodded my head. I glanced at my reflection in the mirror. My face was flushed it looked as if I had a sun burn.
“Do you need to cry?”
I shook my head.
“Do you need to talk?”
I shook my head.
“My office is empty if you need to cry go ahead and lock the door no one will bother you.”
“No, I’m fine but thank you anyway.” I said my voice betraying how not fine I was.

The counselor’s voice was gentle and soothing the more he spoke the more choked up I became. He pulled me to my feet and hugged me, “It’s okay baby.” He said as he rubbed my back, “It’s not your fault something’s going on with him and he’s taking it out on you.”

That pretty much did it my tears began to flow and I squeaked when I tried to speak. He led me into his office a couple of other counselors trailing behind us. One of the counselor’s spoke. “It’s not your fault Mia. He’s an ass. He’s been on a power trip lately.” She said. “He’s jealous Mia he doesn’t want you working with any one else he’s afraid of losing you to another department.”

When I was finally calm I glanced at the pile of paper work on the desk. The counselor smiled at me, “I’m really behind in my paper work.” He said and shrugged his shoulders. “I could use some help here.” “I’ll come in on my day off and give you a hand with it.” I replied. He embraced me again and wiped the tears from my eyes. “ I’m proud of you for standing up for yourself. Watch yourself now and choose your battles wisely.” I nodded my head; he bent down and kissed me on the cheek, “No more crying okay? I can’t stand to see you cry it breaks my heart you remind me so much of my daughter.”

The next day I came in expecting another argument and was shocked. “Morning Mia!” my sensei said, “ would you like some coffee, or tea?” “No, thank you." I replied warily. For the rest of the day my sensei followed me around assisting me in all my tasks. I wondered what had happened to the angry sensei. This one was charming, witty, and jovial. I’ve decided the man is nuts.



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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Apparently I'm Descendended From Asses



My paternal uncle and fiancée recently had a parting of the ways and she moved out taking their toddler with them. My uncle is heart broken.

While visiting his daughter my uncle expressed his doubt to his mother-in-law that her daughter and him would be able to work things out. The mother in-law tried to offer him hope by comparing his situation to what had happened in her marriage.



“You know Mike,” she said, “my husband and I were divorced for five years before we came to our senses and remarried.”

My uncle looked up and down at her thoughtfully as he fed his daughter.

“Of course you guys ended up back together you had no choice! Look at you, you’re old no one else wanted either of you! It was either get back together or spend your old age alone.”

My mother winced and pinched the bridge of her nose. My father barked in laughter but quickly managed to stifle it when he noticed mom glaring at him from across the room.

My uncle’s mother –in- law rolled her eyes at him and excused herself from the room. When she was certain the woman had left the room my mother began to reprimand my uncle.

“What? It’s true none of them could get a date during those five years.” My uncle defiantly shot back at my mother.

My father meanwhile continued to grin at his younger brother like a maniacal leprechaun guarding his pot of gold.

“Don’t encourage him William.” mom said.

My father couldn’t help but giggle.

“But babe you can’t get mad at him for telling the truth.”

Mom glanced at me, “Mia, I hate to be the one to tell you this but apparently you’re descendended from asses.”she said.

Until that moment I hadn’t realized my uncle also has the no filter between his mouth and brain affliction. Now you know where I get it from. I never stood a chance, apparently I’m descendended from asses.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bombao


As a rule Hispanics and Latinos (no, they are not one and the same. I’ll break it down for you another time.) are very proud of their heritage but occasionally you will come across a self-hater. I have no patience for these people.

I’ve met a few “Becky’s” at school women whose facial features, surnames, and vocal syntax scream “I am spic here me roar!” yet they persist in denying their roots. They act as if they don’t know Spanish despite the glimmer of recognition in their eyes when they hear the mother tongue. I call these women “Beckys”, Latinas who try to pass for white.

There is one “Becky” in particular at school that’s been plucking away at my nerves for the past couple of semesters. She’s from an upper class suburb and has an entire shitload of biases and shame when it comes to anything Latino or Hispanic, especially urban Hispanics/Latinos and is damn vocal about it. Hand to God I’m going to end up ramming my size 4 ½ sneaker up her butt one day. I see it coming.

The funky smell in the school elevator hit us at once. I wrinkled my nose and slipped into Spanglish, “Ay fo, it smells bombao (putrid) in here.” I said. “What’s bum-ba-oh” the Becky asked. I rolled my eyes at her. Despite her best efforts her Spanglish accent betrayed her.

Oh come on bitch you know damn you’re one of us. Don’t act like you don’t have anyone named Carmen, Jose, or Maria in your family. Tu mama (your mother) is probably at home watching a novela (Spanish soap opera) on Telemundo right now.

Our fellow Hispanic classmates ignored her question. They know bullsnot when they hear it. “Yeah man it does smell bombao. Maybe the janitor mopped with dirty mop water.” One of my classmates replied.

As the elevator made its way up to our floor “Becky” turned her attention on me.

“Mia you’re from The Bronx aren’t you?”
“Yes, I am. Why? ” I replied just as the elevator stopped on our floor.
“So then this smell is familiar to you.”
“How so?”
“Duhh the projects girl!”

I stepped in front of her, “ I don’t live in the projects, but now that you do mention it the smell is familiar. It does remind me of something.” I said and stared at her.
“What?” she asked.
“Your breath.” I said and inclined my head to her as I walked out of the elevator.
“Baya Boricua ! (right on Puerto Rican) the classmate that stepped out from behind her said as she gave me a high five.

I glanced over my shoulder, the “Becky” was livid but she had no comeback for me.So much for my New Year's resolution of being a kinder and gentler Mia.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'll Have Whatever He's Having


I was waiting for a bus when I noticed him. Something was definitely up with the man and alcohol at least on this day played a major role in whatever was going on inside of his head.


It was freezing outside and the man was obviously in no pain as we waited for the bus. He sipped from a Dunkin’ Donuts cup while eyeballing all the people who arrived at the bus stop. Finally one girl in particular caught his eye or rather her large derriere caught his eye. She joined our crowd oblivious to the swaying man behind her staring at her ass. After a few seconds he began waving his cup at her behind. He was actually trying to smack her across the butt with the cup in his hand but his lack of balance wasn’t allowing him to make the connection. We warned her about his intentions and she turned around and glared at him over her shoulder. He straightened up and walked away pouting the entire time.

His pouting didn’t last long, he’d moved on to better things. He was now an airplane. He took another sip from his cup and held out his arms and revved his engine. He dipped and twisted his body pretending he was flying. His engine sputtered and made a noise as if it were descending. His landing was perfect, not a drop was spilled from his cup. The plane then morphed into a car a very ritzy car from the haughty look on his face. He rolled down his window and leaned out shaking his fist at traffic and bounced up and down as he “drove” away mumbling about the damn pot holes on the road. “I wonder what the hell is in that cup?” the man standing next to me said. “I don’t know but I’ll have whatever he’s having.” I replied.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Flash Mob Gets Funky



A friend in London saw this commercial and said it reminded him of me. He said he could just picture me there dancing along with the crowd. I’ve been known to occasionally break out song or dance in public. Hey I love life and am willing to spread that love around. Sometimes someone will join me briefly in dance or song mostly though I get bemused expressions and people shaking their heads at me thinking I’m nuts but still they walk away with a smile.


This was a T-mobile commercial shot several days ago in a Liverpool tube station. They set up hidden cameras around the station and dancers in place when the music was blared over the intercom system. The result was infectious as some of the station’s employees and commuters joined in to sing and dance as well.

Imagine that 400 strangers of different races, cultures, and social classes coming together in dance. Hmmm makes one think doesn’t it? Maybe instead of bombs, guns, and tanks wars could be fought with monster sound systems and banging music. Just a thought…a female can dream can’t she?









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Friday, January 16, 2009

Promotional Tool


Once upon a time tattoo’s were considered a liability by every job I held and I was instructed to keep them covered, a habit I’ve continued even now while at work. My mother has always insisted that given the population I want to work with (teens and cons) my tattoos are actually an asset and has always encouraged me not to cover them. I will never doubt her again.


Yesterday my sensei suckered me into delegated the responsibility of assisting one of our counselors at a health fair being held at a local school. While all the other tables were mobbed none of the teens seemed interested in our table at all despite the fact that I’d designed some pretty adorable fliers advertising our services.

When the heat in the school gym finally kicked in I pulled off my sweater in order to adjust the short sleeved shirt I was wearing under it. The counselor I was assisting stared at my tattoos, she’d never seen them before. “Holy shit Mia!” “Don’t worry I’m going to put the sweater back on. I don’t want to scare the kiddies.” I joked. “No leave it off maybe it will draw the teens to our table.” I shrugged my shoulders and hung my sweater on the back of my chair.

Sure enough several minutes later our table was mobbed by teenagers wanting to get a closer look at my tats. As they oohed and ahhed over my tats and asked questions about them the counselor took the time to explain our program to the kids and give them fliers. “Is she one of the counselors there?” one of the teenagers asked pointing at me. The counselor nodded her head and the teen smiled.

I was informed this morning that I will now be attending more health fairs. In addition to a therapist I am now a promotional tool. I wonder if I can claim the cost of my next tattoo on my taxes as a work related expense?


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Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Pigeon and The Hawk


It was going down bad for the pigeon in my parking lot. The huge hawk had the pigeon pinned down right beside my car. The pigeon’s wings fluttered against the passenger door. I cringed at the thought that it might scratch up my car with its talons or beak trying to subdue the pigeon.Until that moment I hadn’t realized hawks were nesting in our borough much less our neighborhood.


The hawk stood on his prey’s back and appeared to be jumping up and down on the struggling pigeon. He stretched out his wings and screeched. A chill went up my spine. His wing span had to be 3 feet or more, he was truly magnificent. The pigeon didn’t stand a chance against the hawk but he was determined not to go down without a fight. The pigeon struggled some more and there was some loud squawking and feathers floated through the air.

Startled by my father’s approach the hawk abruptly took off into the air leaving the pigeon behind. The pigeon was motionless as I stepped around it. I was certain that it was dead but then it started to beat its wings in desperation against the parking lot asphalt. The pigeon was trying to fly away. I made eye contact with him and felt a twinge of sadness. He stared back at me in the glaring manner pigeons have about them. I wondered if he'd been one of the pigeons I regularly fed.

I wondered if perhaps he’d been one of Max’s descendants. Max had been a white pigeon who’d flown into my bedroom one cold November day a few years back. He'd been my room mate for six months.Every morning Max flew out my bedroom window only to return just as the sun was setting and settle in for the night on my curtain rod.I’d even awoken a few times to find Max perching on my hip and on top of my head. One day in May Max acquired a mate and moved out. He didn’t go far though. He set up his nest right underneath my window inside of my air conditioning sleeve. I found it comforting to hear him and his lady cooing in the early morning hours from inside the vent. Occasionally I’d wake up and find Max perched on my window sill looking in at me. Eventually Max and his family left the area and I never saw him again. I’d often wondered what had happened to Max.

I knew the bloodied pigeon on the asphalt was beyond saving and I’m sure he knew it as well but still he struggled. My heart sank as I watched it fighting against the inevitable. I looked up and out of the corner of my eye saw the hawk sitting on a tree limb. I turned my face up towards the hawk he continued to look down at the pigeon. The hawk was waiting patiently for us to leave. My father pulled out his cell phone to call building maintenance and have them remove the dying pigeon but I stopped him.

The pigeon had fought a valiant battle and even though he’d lost I felt it was wrong that he’d be placed inside a plastic bag with the remnants of yesterday’s dinner waiting to be carted off by sanitation and dumped into a landfill among the rotting garbage. To me that fate was a dishonor, an insult to his life, and to his bravery in the face of death. The pigeon had stopped beating his wings;death was almost upon him his breathing was shallow. I was certain that as soon as we drove off the hawk would return for the pigeon.

Sure enough as soon as we were out of the parking lot the hawk made his move.
I watched as the hawk dove off the tree limb and claimed his prize; he quickly swooped back into the sky with the pigeon clasped in his talons. He settled back on the tree limb and began to eat the pigeon. Animals unlike humans are not deliberately cruel they do what they do in order to survive. The purpose of the pigeon’s death had been to ensure the survival of the hawk. It had been his destiny and because of his sacrifice the hawk would live another day.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Wise Sensei


My sensei and I had spent the day attending staff meetings. It was well after 2 pm when we got back to our office and we had a pile of work waiting for us.As we discussed what needed to be done sensei whipped out his brand new blackberry.


“Grasshopper, what time are you leaving today?” I checked my schedule on my blackberry, “3:30 sensei”. He edged closer to me holding his blackberry in front of him as if it were a holy relic. “I don’t care about all the patient review notes we have to do or that we have to knuckle down and do your evaluation. You are not leaving here today until you teach me how to use this thing.” See that’s what I adore about my mentor, the man has got his priorities straight.

I patted the spot next to me, “Honorable sensei come sit beside your grasshopper and I shall teach you the ways of the blackberry.” He was in complete awe of me as I showed him all he could do with the blackberry. I talked him through his first picture message and taught him how to do his schedule on it. “This is great!” he exclaimed after learning how to set up individual ring tones for his callers. “If I accomplish nothing else but teaching you how to be better organized by using this device during this internship sensei I will die a happy woman.”

When I got up to leave he called after me, “Grasshopper is that all?” I bowed deeply to him, “No honorable sensei tomorrow I will teach you how to set it up so your text messages and email.” He bowed in return and replied, “I would be lost without you grasshopper.” He is a wise sensei very wise indeed.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Yes M’am


I pressed the button to her floor and stared up astonished at the obscenely tall old school southern Baptist woman. Miss Lulu is the matriarch of our apartment complex. She's old enough to have baked the dinner rolls at the Last Supper. A former teacher she’s known the majority of the younge tenants since we were but a gleam in our parent’s eyes. In fact she’s known some of our parents since they were in diapers. My 19 year old unemployed college drop out neighbor had just proudly told her he was about to be a father. I was waiting for Miss Lulu's reaction. I did mention she was old school southern didn't I?


I was certain Miss Lulu was going to give him a lecture. After all this woman has watched over us and kept us in line our whole lives. You never knew what action of yours deemed as asinine by Miss Lulu was going to cause her to literally yank you off your feet by your ears as she lectured you. Instead Miss Lulu looked at the boy and sweetly smiled at him.

“Oh that’s so nice, congratulations!” she said sweet as molasses.

congratuwhat? Woman did you just say congratulations? Oh my gawd is this the same woman who’d smack kids across the head with her mini bible whenever she caught them making out in the stairs? He’s a 19 year old boy Miss Lulu let him have it dammit! Don’t you remember all those speeches you gave us about safe sex downstairs in the community center? Obviously he didn't.

“My girl is due in March.”

“That is wonderful. I hope you have a healthy baby.”

Ditto, but still 19? Where’s the whole speech you always give us about how as minorities it is important that we think about education first and babies later? Why aren’t you yanking his ear? There’s a whole slew of 20 something year olds walking around now with deformed ears thanks to you lady! Why is he escaping ears intact? I narrowly escaped the big snow ball war of 2000 with my ears. Thank God I have small ears and that the elevator opened up when it did or you would’ve had me.

“It’s so nice to see you children grow up to have your own families.”

Esta loca? (Are you crazy) That’s it lady you have gone senile. I need to have a talk with your kids you should not be out alone.

“I’m a little nervous though.” He said.

“Don’t worry you’ll do fine.” Miss Lulu said.

Fine? Have you seen his car out in the parking lot? He can’t even park his damn car straight how is he going to change a baby’s diaper?

Miss Lulu turned her attention towards me.

crap.

“How is school going Mia? I hope you’re keeping you grades up and studying hard.”

“It’s going good and I am.”

“Really and how exactly do you manage that coming in as late as you do?” she said sternly.
I nonchalantly brushed my fingers over my ears just in case. You never know when the woman is going to snap.

“Uh, I don’t come in that late?” I lied.

Miss Lulu let loose a throaty laugh and stared at me. I felt myself blushing and unable to stand her gaze looked down at my feet.

“Honey I’m up when you arrive home at the crack of dawn.”

what are you a vampire, don’t you sleep old woman ? Don't sass her Mia she's got her hand on her purse.

“I don’t always come home so late Miss Lulu.”

“Uh huh. Well you just be careful child the streets aren’t safe at night for a young woman.”

“Yes m’am.”

“Besides you don’t want to do poorly in school because you’re not getting enough rest.”

just say what she wants to hear and you won't get hurt.

“Yes m’am I’ll try to come home earlier from now on.”

“Make sure you do you do that. I’m sure your parents worry about you being out so late too.”

“Yes m’am.”

The neighbor boy chucked he was obviously getting a kick out of Miss Lulu lecturing me.

When the hell is this elevator ride going to end?

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Monday, January 05, 2009

It Always Pays To Befriend The Bouncer


My friends had wanted to go clubbing in search of men. They seem to be under the impression that they’re going to find their Prince Charming doing “The Martin” on the dance floor. I was there straight up for the dancing. The crowd in this club was pretty aggressive I had more than a few eager erections pressed into my hip and backside while dancing. Feeling rather disgusted I finally gave up on dancing and stepped outside of the club to get some fresh air.

The club’s bouncer stood several feet away from me observing the small crowd milling about in front of him. Some were smoking others were just flirting. It was like watching animal mating rituals on the discovery channel. The bouncer was built like a pro wrestler he was a tall imposing man. He looked as if he could easily toss a body across the street and not even break a sweat while doing it.

A couple of females came up to him and began aggressively flirting with him.
He sent them on their way and when they were gone snorted and shot me a side glance.

“The women here are too much.” He said.
I nodded my head in agreement and told him the men inside were no better.

“My name’s John.” he said as he extended his hand towards me.

“Mia.” I replied and shook his hand.
“God you’re a tiny little thing.” He observed. “How tall are you?”

I ignored the question and replied. “I didn’t eat all my veggies as a kid.”

A conversation was born. He was a student (med) working his way through school. We discussed what we hated about clubs, school, the tension in Gaza, the economy, our hopes for this country’s future, and our personal goals.

The conversation eventually morphed into a pep talk as I explained that the second guessing and self-doubts he was experiencing were a normal part of life.

“Can you picture yourself happy doing anything else but medicine?” I asked.

“No.” he replied.

“Is it just about money or helping people?”

“People” he quickly answered.

“If it’s just about the money you won’t be happy,” I warned him. “You need a purpose.”

“People.” He repeated.

“So knowing this why are you doubting yourself?”

He shrugged his shoulders.

“Is it because the road is a long one and right now it seems as if you’ll never reach the end of it and your friends have already reached the end of their academic journey and started their lives already?” he nodded his head.

I pointed to myself, “Join the club John the membership is free.”

By the look on his face I could tell that I’d lost him for a second.

“Allow moi to explain John…take notes, there will be a quiz on this when I’m done.”

He assumed the official bouncer pose. You know the one, it’s when they cross their massive arms over their chest and stand with their legs a couple of feet apart. I think they go to a special bouncer school to master it. Not wanting to be outdone I leaned against the wall, crossed my arms over my chest and stared up at him despite the fact that I was getting a crick in my neck.

“John, I feel the same way at times but look we didn’t choose simple careers. We chose careers that have an impact on people’s lives. It takes years of prep to work in our fields.”

He nodded his head in agreement and wrinkled his nose.

“Actually, when you put it that way I shouldn’t be so down about it right?"

“Should you?” I asked.

He shook his head and smiled. “Hell no.”

“You’re freaking brilliant John.” I said.

Sometimes people need to talk and to hear their thoughts in another voice. I wasn’t telling him anything he didn’t already know. I’d given myself the same pep talk several times these past months.

The arrival of one of my friends ended our conversation. My presence was requested inside.
I pushed off the wall I’d been leaning on and smiled up at the bouncer.

“It was nice talking to you John.” I said and started to head back inside.

“Hey Mia I get a break soon if I go in and search for you will you dance with me?”

“It depends,are you going to rub up on me?”
It had been one of the things that we’d discussed about my dislike of clubs.

He stared at me and laughed. “No rubbing, strictly dancing I swear.” he said crossing his heart. “I know how much you hate the pelvic thrust dance.”

“Good bouncer. S’okay then I’ll dance with you.”
He asked what table I was sitting at before turning away to deal with a customer.

My friend and I hit the dance floor for a couple of songs. When we returned to our friends at the table a waitress was setting down a fresh tray of drinks.

“Which one of you is Mia?” she asked.

I held up my hand and she smiled.

“John sent this over and he said to tell you if anyone tries the pelvic thrust dance with you for you to tell me and I’ll send for him.”

I thanked her and asked her to thank John for me as well. It always pays to befriend the bouncer even if it's just to keep the pelvic thrust dancers away.


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Saturday, January 03, 2009

A drunk With Tourrette’s


The new building manager and his assistant stopped by our apartment to introduce themselves to my parents just as my mother was arriving home.

The manager was impressed with the view of the city skyline. As they conversed in the study over coffee my mother noticed that the manager and his assistant kept glancing over her shoulder towards the kitchen. Mom didn’t give it much thought. she figured they were just checking out the sunset via the kitchen window. Just before they left the manager and his assistant gave my mom a weird look and then gave what seemed like a look of pity to me.

As soon as they’d left my mother headed into the kitchen to prepare dinner and realized what they’d been staring at and shrieked. Right under the window near the pantry neatly lined up in a couple of rows were 24 empty bottles of liquor. Bottles my dad’s bar owner friend had dropped off to be filled with coquito. He supplies the empty bottles in exchange for a couple of bottles of coquito. Coquito is the Puerto Rican version of Egg Nog, except that it’s made with coconut cream and rum. It’s really smooth, so smooth in fact that you have to be careful because it tends to sneak up on you.

As a rule coquito is only seen during the holiday season. Dad’s coquito is legendary among his friends and they look forward to getting a bottle as a gift from my dad during the holidays. He was supposed to have put the bottles inside of the pantry when they’d been delivered. I guess it had slipped dad's mind.

My mom stared at the bottles and shouted a string of curses that would’ve made even the most jaded sailor blush. Naturally my siblings and I thought it was funny as hell so we all laughed at her making her only curse even more. Dad had just stepped into our apartment when mom whirled around and glared at him.

“Babe, what’s wrong?”

“Do not babe me. Didn’t I call and ask you to put those liquor bottles under the kitchen sink?”

“I’m sorry I forgot.”

“Damn it, William! The new manager was here and he saw all of those bottles lined up there. He probably thinks I’m an alcoholic now!”

My father started laughing and reached out for mom pulling her to him. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed the top of her head.

“Babe I hate to tell you this but he’s still in the hallway. He heard you cursing he’s probably thinking you’re a mean drunk with Tourrette’s.”

“Shit” mom replied.

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