The more time I spent with Diana, the more fascinated I became. She was the only one who treated me with love and respect. She included me on her day dates with friends and sometimes boyfriends. She took me shopping, provided that my grades were good. She exposed me to new foods and places, spreading her knowledge. We would do arts and crafts together and she would teach me how to behave like a lady. A mature teenager that eats, sits and acts properly is what I strived for because I felt that’s what she was. She was the only person who I didn’t lie to or hide from. She treated me like a grown up, capable of making good decisions and bringing pride to my family and myself. I thought she could help me figure out what’s happened and deal with it in a better way.
The only mystery about Diana was her relationship with grandma. They didn’t see each other much and even though they lived in the same house, they didn’t act like mother and daughter. Some mornings, I would catch grandma going into Diana’s room with orange juice with a bagel. I wondered what they talked about. Did they talk about things they were doing for the day? Separated activities that were only shared after the fact. They were like a divorced couple forced to live together, but I would’ve taken that over what I had with my mother.
Diana’s room was a beautiful, cool orange that rested on the eyes easily. She had a white canopy bed with Fonzie sheets, a matching roll top desk and book case that was filled with young adult books. Everything seemed to be washed down with perfume and scented lotions. It was a girl’s room, our room. It was our own small world and once I entered that sacred place, I never wanted to leave. Her closet was deep with small treasures that she had hidden or carelessly left behind within the soft sweaters and jackets and blouses that were in pastel colors. Old, frayed books were stacked neatly among a stuffed animal or two. I was in awe by her order, her femininity and how she affected me. She was my friend, my big sister, my cheerleader.
“God, you really don’t know how amazing you are, do you?” she would ask and I would feel obligated to reassure her even though, I was amazed that she enjoyed spending time with me. I could never explain to her how transformed I felt by just being around her or how I instinctively knew that she could guide me through my years feeling confident, safe and loved. It was Diana who would fishbone braid my hair, who showed me proper way to shave my legs and how to look my best. I was willing to do anything she asked if I could look like her. She had a small athletic frame, creamy skin that turned cocoa in the summer and it made her look very exotic, especially when she highlighted her curly chestnut brown hair. It made her ebony eyes sparkle to my dull brown.
David had the same angular face and straight nose that wrinkled in concentration. He was attending Colombia before I arrived but he had dropped out to follow his passion.
He became a freelance DJ for block, wedding, private parties locally, in Manhattan and at a roller skating rink in Long Island.
The latter was what I looked forward to the most. After my first time going there, I was hooked. I couldn’t think anything better than staying out late, eating spiced ham and cheese sandwiches and reading V. C. Andrews book by the passing streetlights. It was bliss.
His room was near the attic, it was originally two rooms and he filled an entire wall with twenty milk cartons with albums. He had everything from Barry Manilow’s Copacobanana to Earth, Wind and Fire’s September to Donna Summer’s Macarthur’s Park. When the quick beats of new wave hit the stations, he played it in the clubs with confidence. He loved music and it solidified in me. As much as he loved being a DJ, it didn’t pay well. So, he got a job at a beeper store. He was a hard worker and the owner was so impressed by him, that when he opened another location he made him manager.
On the weekends, he’d go out with his buddies and catch a fight or go clubbing.
At one of these clubs, he met Eva Maldonado. She was a curvy, voluptuous beauty with a tone of dark hair, a ton of chest and a ton of ass. That pretty much completed his checklist and she never failed in accentuating every bit of sexuality she had to lure him, catch him and keep him. She was ambitious and she wasn’t afraid to sleep with her bosses to make sure her job was secure and her paycheck was padded. She was street smart and she knew her looks and she was going to use them well.
“See, guys, they all want the same thing. No matter how much he says he loves you, that’s all he wants and once they have it, they’ll keep taking. That’s why you should get your way first, then if you decide how far it goes. Be smart.” she once told me sagely.
I figured her wisdom came through a bad experience, the kind that only a man could give.
In 1986 and a few months after I turned fourteen, Diana announced that she was joining the Air Force. A numbing sea of noise filled my head. I felt flat lined and disconnected floating away from the pain of losing the only real friend I ever had.
It was a great comfort that she left me her room, but I was already uneasy about my first day of high school. Without her there, how would I make it?
Making friends took the usual strenuous effort, but soon I was joining them at their houses for cut parties and drinking strange mixtures of liquor and juices.
I was safe as long as I got home on time and got rid of the bright yellow cut cards. They rarely took the time to call the house and when they did, I’d get hit, but by then they were worth the beating.
I invited very few friends to my house, it was better to be in other peoples homes. To see what they dealt with day to day, who their friends were, how they lived and how I could endear myself to all of that. My friends would walk through the house and marvel at the fireplace, (most of them lived in apartments) and the spacious rooms. They would look at it all then look at me as if to ask, “So what’s your problem?” I could never explain it to them.
Eva had moved in and she and David took Diana’s room while I moved up to David’s room.
Grandma had hired a neighbor to paint and wallpaper the two medium sized rooms in pinks and mauves. She bought me a white day that had tiny painted flowers on the finals.
I arranged my room the way I wanted and I hardly ever left it. I had my books, my music and my pen, I didn’t need anything else.
After some time, this started to concern grandma and she decided to send me to a psychologist.
“I think she might be able to help you with your problems.” She wasn’t asking me, she said it like I ought to have appreciated that she bothered to explain.
So, two days a week, I saw Sarah Goldbaum. We’d make small talk for a bit then eventually come around to opening up the same can of worms. My feelings about my mother.
How the hell was I supposed to feel? I couldn’t understand it, so how’s was I going to make her understand? I found it so stupid sometimes that I would just sit there for forty minutes saying nothing. A few times of that and she started sending me home early.
I would ride Diana’s ten speed bike back home and wonder how much good the good doctor was doing? I didn’t see any improvements in the way I felt. I still felt the prickle of anger whenever I thought about her and yet, I was hurt that she didn’t make any effort to make it better.
It made me laugh when adults could act so badly and they still expected to be respected.
It doesn’t matter, I kept telling myself as I locked myself in my room and got lost in my books.
Three days a week, I went to Bella’s Studio of Dance on Flatbush Avenue. I fell in love with the gracefulness, the deep sounds of the music and the creative routines.
Bella and her sister, Sasha ran the studio that taught from children to adults and every year, there was recital. We always performed at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, all costumed and made up. Each age group had a large dressing room with classic mirrors and movie star bulbs lit up our radiant faces. My most profound moment was waiting to take my place on stage. I’d scurry to my assigned spot with my heart racing and try to remember every step. The exhilaration from the applause couldn’t be muffled by the heavy curtains that fell with a thick thud. For one night, I was a star.
Grandma had been attending Sovereign Tabernacle for several years before she started bringing me along, every blessed Sunday. Rain, sleet, snow, hail, hurricane, we were on that bus toward swanky Park Slope. She signed me up for every activity for pre teens, then teens, which was fine with me because it meant some time away from home.
I met many good Christians who strived to walk the walk and minister through the scriptures to the lost teens. I made some friends and enjoyed prayer meditation trips to gigantic churches Upstate and to the Catskills.
Sometimes when I was alone watching them deep in prayer, I felt like fraud and a coward. They were not embarrassed to pray on the street corner with you if you needed it. I knew I had not been saved. I knew that I couldn’t quote any scriptures or didn’t have any anecdotes to share about how God has effected my life, but I thought that if I was around them enough, maybe something would rub off. So, I wanted to be different because there was obviously something wrong with the way I was, it just made everyone miserable. Myself included. I wanted to be different from what I believed I was. Guilty.
I wanted to wash away the bad memories, the nightmares, the tears, and the pain. I wanted it gone, but I never felt what they must have felt. When they spoke about God and how He had saved them from poverty, drugs, or prison, they radiated a peacefulness that I yearned for. That explosive kind of joy that had them jumping up out of their seats, filled with the Holy Spirit and quoting scripture in tongues.
I auditioned for and became part of the teen choir in the rainy Fall of 1987.
I didn’t have the slightest idea what I was doing, but I knew I loved to sing and I thought that would come out. Singing was one of those fantastic things that filled me with happiness and energy. It took me to calmer place of beauty. I knew there was some instruction that was needed and I wanted to do it properly. I had hoped to be good enough, but I played it safe and I didn’t ask for anything other than what I was given.
There were so many teens that were accepted. we were broken up into groups of about twelve and guided by two trustworthy Christians. Each group had to have a name and since all of the good ones like Alpha, Omega, and Delta were taken, we came up with the Crusaders.
We ranged in ages from thirteen to seventeen, from various walks of life. It was an experience that still invokes good memories.
Grandma was glad I had church friends, maybe she thought if God couldn’t save me then I was pretty much done for.
She raided my room one night looking for anything incriminating, failed tests, maybe drugs or condoms.
“I hope that even a slut like you would be smart enough to use protection.” She would tell me while she threw my things around carelessly.
I would try to block her out with my static, but even the loud white noise in my head could not always block the words that shot out of her mouth like arrows, they would always find their mark.
“You’re so selfish that you liked playing the other woman, just so you could get your way. You’re disgusting.” she practically spat at me before pausing in her tirade to squint at me. “And I’ll tell you something that you don‘t know, your mother signed over her parental rights because she doesn’t want to deal with you anymore.”
Deal with me? What the hell did she have to deal with? She got rid of me, what more did she want to prove that she never wanted me?
It brought it all back, but I gave her a silent response, what I gave to all who tried to hurt me with their words and waited for her to give up and move on. They always did eventually.
The first chance I got, I went searching for the letter in the bar that grandma kept more for correspondence and bills than liquor.
It was in simple lined paper tore out from a legal pad. There was my mother’s sloping and looping handwriting telling anyone who cared, that she did not want to be my mother.
I sank down to the rug and cried like a baby, this was worse than choosing Benny over me.
This was handing me over to someone with papers, like a car, to take the hardship and responsibility. I began to sweat with rage. I wanted the answers to my questions that remained locked inside me. Didn’t she even care about that? Her firm pressed signature at the bottom spoke a resounding no.
The torment laid in one fact; I still needed and wanted her.
I finally felt the sharpness of the buzzing desensitizing and darkening my vision to a pinpoint that kept my mind in a permanent squint.
My grades were terrible because I couldn’t concentrate and I felt badly about it. I poured it all out in morbid poetry, a la Edgar Allen Poe. Now, there was a man who I thought understood anger, terror and pain.
I made the misatke of showing one to grandma
“It’s always so sad, what do YOU have to feel sad about? You don’t pay any bills, you have a roof over your head and food on your table.” She told me and then shook her head. “I don’t know, you got issues.”
I went to my room thinking, Gee, one of those issues wouldn’t come from your slap and pat method for teaching math, would it?
Math was my worst subject. Actually, even telling time was confusing. Half past got mixed up with quarter past and I once received a smarting slap that busted my bottom lip one afternoon. It was about fifteen minutes before I was due at ballet class.
“I don’t want to go to class.” I told her, holding throbbing bleeding lip.
“I don’t have money to waste. You’re going.” I tried to hide my tears and she gave me a tight laugh. “Do what you do best, lie.”
She accompanied me to class, which was rare. It told me that she wanted to see people’s reactions, enjoying my humiliation. It never occurred to me that she put herself in a bad light. She was smiling and chatting with Bella while I stood there with little bits of tissue on my bleeding lip and she wasn’t worried a bit. It almost felt as if I was being used as an example, to show others that I got disciplined and the whelps, the scratches, the small bald spots were all signs that I was tough to raise and that everyone should see it.
I tried to go on with the class, but I was self conscious about my lip that I broke down. Bella took me to her office and sat down with me, she held me tight while I sobbed. When I was calm, she gave me some fragrant tea and put an ointment on my lip. I drank in every bit of mothering like a hungry kitten. When I got home, everyone ignored the issue and my lip.
Several months later, Sarah became pregnant. I was sad to see her go, but I was use to the revolving door of people stepping in and out of life. Her replacement was a sturdy brunette with prominent features named Ursula. During our third session, she started falling asleep in the middle conversation. I can tell you it’s a particular kind of feeling when you’re showing your scars and hurts while your head shrinker is snoring softly.
It turned out that Ursula had Mono and I was relieved, but the feeling stuck with me. So when I was offered another doctor and I declined. I wanted someone to talk to, but I didn’t like that I did most the talking. I thought it would be like a conversation, where I could possibly get other perspective or some insight into what was happening. I wanted a tip or suggestion that I could use when I felt like I was submerged in my emotions and couldn’t take a breath, or didn’t want to. I felt I didn’t get any of that, I was getting shuffled around. Again.
With no one to talk to, I was either in my room or wandering around the block alone, not looking or thinking, just listening to the constant whirring in my head. I was safe.
In a panic, grandma sent me to a specialist because she thought she had a potential suicide on her hands.
Dr. Goodman was in his late fifties, partially bald and his pot belly pouted out and over his dark slacks. He was patient and calm when he spoke to me and listened to my answers carefully.
I didn’t feel this comfortable with Sarah. He made me feel like we were in the problem together, that I wasn’t alone. It taught me that not every therapist is the right therapist, but there may be a right one.
He called grandma into the office and leaned back in his chair.
“Ms. Morales, I understand you think that your granddaughter is very depressed and is possibly thinking about attempting suicide.”
I looked at her and tried to remember when I saw any of this worry, I couldn’t think of seeing any of it.
“Yes, I’m concerned. She’s flunking in school, she’s in her room all the time, sometimes she doesn’t eat. Then she writes all this sad poetry, and she lies. About everything, even things she doesn’t have to.”
“I understand what you’re saying, Ms. Morales. Many teenagers Susanna’s age experience a kind of growing pains, but you wanted me to give you my professional opinion. Well, in my opinion, you could throw her out today and I don’t believe that she will not suffer. As a matter of fact, after all that she has been through, I’m surprised she still intact. She has a very strong core, it should be nurtured.” Grandma twisted her lip at him and stood.
“Yeah, well, in my opinion, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Come on.”
I was stunned by what I had heard. Here was someone who confirmed what a tiny voice always said, even if I didn’t believe it. I stood to follow her and smiled at Dr. Goodman. I shook his hand firmly.
“Thank you.” and hurried out.
That was the end of my therapy experience.
Christmas used to be fun at grandmas. Everyone would help decorate the house and the tree two weeks before, it made the holiday more special and memorable.
Now, I did everything and she more than happy to let someone else do the dirty work, but it didn’t stop the criticism .
“You did that last year. Would it kill you to use some imagination? Jesus, Mary and Joseph!” she said loudly as I was decorating the banister. I would do my best to comply, listening to the swooshing in my head.
After she had gone to bed, I would creep downstairs and watch the lights. I hated that grandma had changed toward me, but she was taking her frustration out on the wrong person. She should get on a plane to Viequez and beat the hell out of her daughter for making the same mistake that she made, abandoning your child and leaving them on someone’s doorstep. I felt that people were expecting me to fail and break, just so they could say, ” See, we were right about you.”
It hurt to feel this way about my own family and I was away from the ones I loved most. What could be more punishment than that? I was a nobody, nobody worth keeping. I felt the oppressive resentment and let it weigh on me hoping it crushed me and stop it for good. I spent the rest of the night using all that had happened to build a blockade that surrounded me like a high stone wall. The static’s echo and amplified in my ears, filling up the cavities of my body and lulling me to sleep.
We went to visit Diana in California for the Christmas vacation and I was beyond excited to spend three glorious weeks with her. She picked us up from the airport looking very athletic and tanned, donning a pair of camouflage shorts and a light tank. She looked strong and capable, I envied it. She drove us to the base near rose colored pock marked mountains near Salinas and grandma had her ear with her chatter.
I gazed out the window at the vast space and daydreamed about living there in a small house, away from everyone, just me Elias and abuela. Thoughts like these were gusts of wind that exhaled hope and possibility then drifted on.
Somewhere inside, I felt like I was sliding down, a shift that I could not explain and so ignored. Grandma and I just stopped talking to each other, from the moment we arrived. It was a curious thing, but I was grateful that her focus was no longer on me. I was happy in front of the TV watching MTV videos, eating chips and drinking coke.
Diana and I, on the other hand, picked up where we left off and there was nowhere that I wanted to be than being with her. We went shopping, she liked to dress me up and take pictures of me. It was fun, even though grandma was usually pouting in the corner.
On New Years Eve, Diana took me along to hang out with some friends. They relaxed me with their friendliness and acceptance. I was pleasantly surprised when she handed me perspiring can of beer. I paused and she laughed.
“Come on, drink and have some fun.”
We danced to the thumping music and counted down the clock. At midnight, there was riotous yell from the crowd and Diana wrapped her arm around me and brought her lips to mine, tight and quick.
“Happy New Year!” she yelled smiling and I grinned happily. When the party began to empty, except for those passed out, I went outside to get some air. I laid on the ground and looked up at the midnight jewel dotted sky. I was sure it was black blanket blocking out a brilliant scalding light that could fry us to dust.
I watched the sky spin and the stars were fireflies that scattered and scrambled, dizziness and nausea were rising.
“There you are, Miss.” She giggled as she helped me up and dusted me off. “Come on, I’ll take grandma out today and you can rest it off. Don’t worry about it.” She kissed my forehead and walked me toward the dorm.
I laid in bed and in the back of my blurry mind, I knew we would be going home soon and back to the usual way. I turned over and tried to forget and the hammering headache.
The silence between grandma and I remained between us until we were strapped into our seats on our way home. I had asked her some casual question and she turned me to me quick.
“Oh, you’re talking to me now?” she snipped at me. I felt my face got hot and I have expected her haul off and smack me, but she just turned away from me.
I sat there a little confused. If this was bothering her the whole time, why didn’t SHE do something about it?
Instead she continued the silence, which made me laugh inside. Silence was my thing, she had no idea how comfortable I was in it, how I could stay for hours, maybe days silent.
The whole thing seemed so stupid and it went on for a few days before she cornered me in the kitchen.
“I know you would rather be with your mother, but you know, you have to live with your choices. Anyway, you don’t have it bad here. You got a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food in your stomach and I think you should start being more grateful instead of pulling the shit you pull.” she said in a calm voice then walked out.
Grandma gradually began talking to me again, but she made sure to let me know that she was still stinging from it.
I had a Crusaders meeting to go to one blustery evening. It was at a member’s house and I was unfamiliar with the neighborhood. After the meeting, we all went our separate ways. I decided that I would be fine if I just go back the way I came, but I noticed a stop that I thought would bring me closer to home. It didn’t. Out of money, I called grandma collect.
“I took the train and got off on the wrong stop. Can you call me a cab?” I asked her looking at my metallic purple Swatch that read 10:30. Night hid many streets and I was a little scared.
“A cab? I don’t have money for a cab. You shouldn’t have gotten off the train. Find your own way home.” The click was blatant in my ear.
I put on my Walkman and started the long walk home.
When I was fifteen, I met Vincent Correa. He was Bronx born and lived with his parents, Roberto and Yvette. They were a nice, decent, Christian couple who were concerned for their nineteen year old son. Vinnie was a chiseled specimen. From his strong, jaw and beaked nose to his physique. He was a devoted fitness buff and worked hard for every muscular line and cleft. I found that sometimes he used it to hide from something. I understood and responded to that.
Dark from his Spanish ancestors, he had sepia eyes that danced with charm from the moment he took my hand. More than that, it was the kind of boyfriend he was. He would take the train to Brooklyn just to pick me up from school and hang out with me before grandma got home.
We would exchange long love letters and mix tapes that had our voices and the music we used to send the messages. I was drunk off the exhilaration of someone loving me.
When I told grandma about him, she gave me a long look and said nothing until later.
“I want to meet him next Sunday and I’ll decide if you could see him.” I nodded. It really didn’t matter what she decided, I was going to see him and it made me regret telling her. I knew she would try to get into my business and I didn’t her digging up my long dead deeds and show them off to Vinnie, but I didn’t want to risk the ending of something that could be good for me.
The following Sunday, I introduced them and waited inside with the congregation as I was told to do. I sat down, but I wanted to pace or try to peek. They finally came in after several tourtous minutes and went to their separate places. I glanced over at grandma, who didn’t look like it was going to be bad news, but she kept me hanging until after the service and we were walking home.
“He’s a nice kid. A little older, but a very nice respectful kid. I met his parents and they seem like good people, so I invited him to dinner next weekend.” I smiled.
The dinner started out very smoothly, but I was disappointed soon enough.
“So, Vinnie, what do you do?” David asked over his folder hands, in a fatherly pose. Vinnie was unprepared, but found himself.
“I go to school for Business.” he explained nervously.
“I hope this one,” grandma gestured to me. ” isn’t keeping you away from your studies. She doesn’t think grades are important, maybe something will rub off from you.” she told him then taking a deep drag from her cigarette. The cloud of smoke that hung over her was a pale white fading horizon. He looked over at me and smiled reassuringly.
“Everybody goes through that, I think she’ll do just fine.” I beamed at him and grandma chuckled hard.
Vinnie and I were together for a year and a half. He got to second base and I could sense him becoming impatient. It was easy for him, he wasn’t going to lose anything. My fear would awaken when I would envision him naked, when I wondered what I was expected to do or when I would know that the pain would open the door for my past trauma. I didn’t want to lash out at him for something he wasn’t. My body and heart wanted to, but my mind was stronger in its defenses.
Soon, his letters became infrequent as well as tapes and visits. He didn’t return my calls for days and I finally stopped calling. When he showed up at my school, I was determined to teach him a lesson.
Winter had hit us hard with tons of snow and freezing digits. We walked in silence until we got near the house. We were passing a near by park when I turned to him and faked a smile.
“Go wait in the park, I’ve got something to do first.”
I trudged through the snow with a heavy heart. I didn’t understand why things always ended up this way. My vindictiveness kicked that aside and decided that this was the only way to be taken seriously.
When I got home, I put on my lounging clothes and sat in my room. I wondered how long he would wait before he went home. I knew he wouldn’t risk coming to the house because it was getting late and it would not do for him to bump into grandma. He called me the next day in foul mood.
“You thought that was funny? I waited for almost two hours, freezing my nuts off!” he told me through clenched teeth, his parents were probably were nearby. I maintained my confidence in my act.
“Now, you know how it feels to wait around for someone.”
He scoffed. ” Well, at that a kick in the head.”
I said nothing and we ended up making a tentative truce, even though it felt like our time had come to an end.
I was still thinking about it when I got a call from a friend the following Sunday afternoon.
“I thought you might want to know that Vinnie is coming to the afternoon service with a bottle blonde.” My breath caught in my throat.
“When he saw me, he just shrugged sheepishly.” She told me in her college intelligence. I thanked her and decided to confront him on it.
That night, I called him, but he was out. So, I spent the rest of my time preparing myself for the break up conversation.
A couple of days later, he called while I was cleaning up the dinner dishes. Grandma picked it up.
“Oh, hi Vinnie. How you doing?”
I didn’t share what was going on with anyone and I had hoped that he wouldn’t either.
Grandma listened with the occasional uh huh while I concentrated on my tasks, it was torture that this was dragging out. Couldn’t he just ask to speak to me and be done with it?
“Well, you know Vinnie, I was surprised it lasted as long as it did. She’s just not mature enough for that. It’s a shame, you’re a good kid.”
I crushed the sponge in my hand and swallowed the rage that was threatening to explode. I focused on breathing and turned on the radio. This made her step out of the kitchen for a little quiet and I was glad.Minutes later, she hung up and came to me.
“Vinnie said that he’s breaking up with you and that he wants his stuff back.”
She said this without sympathy or regret of having to deliver bad news.I just nodded and went back to work.
When I was done, I went to my room and collected the remains of my now dead relationship. I put everything in a bag and put it outside my door then I sat down and cried.
It was the unbelievable amount of pain that made me convulse and that anguish became another heavy brick for my wall. I held it close to me and tried to forget how happy we were.
I didn’t want to think about how I had a part in what happened. Maybe I was wrong in doing what I did, but was that why he had to be with someone else? What about all the things that we said, how we felt?
I didn’t want to think about how he was probably telling this new girl all the things that he said to me. I wasn’t anything special, I was just another girl. Perhaps I had been a little too clingy and needy at times. I was the girl who always needed to know why she was picked, it wasn’t enough to be chosen. I would fish around for attention and compliments if I was particularly down, they never knew how I was affected by their words and their treatment.
I brushed it aside into the dark corners of my mind and heart.
David proposed to Eva, after a lot of hinting and she set to planning the big event and all that went with that with a spirited energy. She argued with florists, dismissed two wedding planners, and fought for her way in decorating, sweated over seating arrangements and the clothing of all involved. She decided that they would exchange vows in the house then have a nice reception at a local restaurant. She hired a photographer, a DJ and announced her nuptials to her family in Cuba and friends with ivory parchment, with their names written in shining silver script.
Diana came for the wedding but looked distracted as she helped me get dressed and I told her everything in hushed tones.
I guessed that grandma had been crying on her shoulder, most likely about my failing grades and distant behavior. I knew my laundry lists of faults, but Diana was like abuela. Someone who saw me, cracks and all and still loved me. My static sensed my distress and floated to my aid. In that mental chamber, through the shush of white noise, I heard that my mother was going to make an appearance. This was surprising and unusual, my mother has held a long bitterness her half siblings because they were raised by grandma.
I was still as excited as a fan looking forward to meet her favorite celebrity, even after all that had happened. When she wasn’t in my sight, I could hate her and I felt guilty when I thought about how if I let it, how that hatred could make me crazy and homicidal.
When she was standing there, close enough for me to touch, I lose my anger and become eager for every word, any word about anything.