Archive for December, 2009

Changed Priorities

December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009: My nieces are taken care of. They have loving parents and relatives. I know I don’t have to worry about them.

I do think about myself and what will become of me and Lauchita, my cat. I can’t help it. Will I be able to get the money for her dental work? What about my own teeth? And my back? I would feel a lot better ifI could have a doctor take an x-ray or two. It’s bee hurting me with no relief for the past year and a half. And what about a permanent residence for us, for her and me? That’s my biggest worry and will be until we know where we’ll be for the rest of our lives.

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The Library

December 30, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009: Today is my birthday and I miss having someone come over and kiss me and hug me. I miss having a party, a get together or a celebration on this day, this very day. I remember my childhood and the people who used to come and wish me well. I know many years have gone by since then and that I should be grown up about it and use the stiff upper lip method. But I can’t. I walked the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan this afternoon because I felt lost. My birthday is being spent at the library, looking at the computer monitor. Walking helped me unwind and the empty feeling, while still there, is not too loud. At least not now. Wednesday, December 30, 2009: Today is my birthdday and I miss having someone come over and kiss me and hug me. I miss having a party, a get together or a celebrartion on this day, this very day. I remember my childhood and the people who used to come and wish me well. I know many years have gone by since then and that I should be grown up about it and use the stiff upper lip method. But I can’t. I walked the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan this afternoon because I felt lost. My birthday is being spent at the library, looking at the computer monitor. Walking helped me unwind and the empty feeling, while still there, is not too loud. At least not now.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009: Today is my birthdday and I miss having someone come over and kiss me and hug me. I miss having a party, a get together or a celebrartion on this day, this very day.  I remember my childhood and the people who used to come and wish me well. I know many years have gone by since then and that I should be grown up about it and use the stiff upper lip method. But I can’t. I walked the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan this afternoon because I felt lost. My birthday is being spent at the library, looking at the computer monitor. Walking helped me unwind and the empty feeling, while still there, is not too loud. At least not now.

Rubio’s Last Days

December 28, 2009

3 years ago today was the last time that Rubio went out. It was around 7 in the morning and then he only got up once, at 2 in the afternoon, to drink some water from his bowl in the kitchen. Calling his regular vet, Doctor Roberto Pierini, was useless. He would not make the house call and I could not put Rubio in a car and take him to his office as he suggested. I finally got one of my students to give me the name of a vet and he came to see Rubio. Even after the injection that this new vet gave Rubio, he still wouldn’t get up.

Lauchita’s Teeth

December 28, 2009

Lauchita, my cat, needs dental work—$500 worth of dental work. And I must get the money to pay for it. She has been my companion and my friend. Lauchita is the family I spent Christmas with. I have to be there for her, no matter what.

Christmas Tree

December 26, 2009

December 25, 2009:

This afternoon the streets were empty. I numbed myself, as I always do and walked a few blocks. I gave up quickly. No, I didn’t feel like sugar coating it. I didn’t like it, I didn’t like myself today.

Back in my space I looked at the Christmas tree branches in the flower vases. How lucky that I had seen a great big Christmas tree thrown on the pavement next to the curb at Grand Central Station.

The Gift of People

December 26, 2009

As soon as I got back to Williamsburgh from the soup kitchen, I knew this was no ordinary night. There was nothing run of the mill about it. It was Christmas Eve, and to me, even more important than Christmas Day. I washed myself in parts as best as I could and went back to my space. I couldn’t help but remember other Christmas Eves, other December 24th of long ago. Through the camera of my mind, I saw people I had known. We were all gathered around a large round table. A festive tablecloth covered the mahogany table and the lights above us were bright and happy. All of us were talking and laughing as we ate the abundant home made food. My mother and Aunt always prepared more than enough food for at least 50 people. Us. Now, many years later, I think that us was the magic word. It opened the door to the feeling of belonging. There is no is us anymore. Tonight I feel like somebody cut me into pieces and I don’t fit anywhere.

Alone For Christmas

December 24, 2009

It will be Lauchita and I alone for Christmas and Christmas Eve. We can’t enjoy ourselves alone. Not possible under any circumstances.

December 22

December 22, 2009

Today would have been my mother’s birthday. My mother, whose theme song was the beautiful tango Malena sung by a 1940s singer named Fiorentino. And who lost her mother, her best friend, in March 1940 and never got over her death. My grandmother Ana became a single mother at 31 after my grandfather Manuel Canale suddenly died at the age of 35. My Tia told me that she, Esther, was my father’s pet and my mother my grandmother’s. Although she had several chances to remarry, my grandmother chose not to. She was afraid her girls would be sexually molested by their stepfather—something that can often happen even in the best of families. My grandmother Ana was not helped by her late husband’s well-to-do family (or her own). They, my mother, my Tia and Ana, were like a female version of the 3 Musketeers. Ana earned their living by sewing and my mother and Tia became little maids to their stockbroker uncles. My mother survived her mother’s death by over 54 years. She never forgot her, although she loved other people, one of whom was my brother Alex. I know they are finally together up there in Heaven.

Homelessness–Let Me Count the Ways

December 18, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009: Today, on the second anniversary of my arrival back in the U.S., I want to talk about homelessness of the soul. I have had this condition (I don’t know what else to call it) for several years. It has followed me everywhere, like a bad disease I couldn’t get rid of.  When I lost my home in GA, the homelessness became physical. It hurt in a different, more poignant and practical way. I learned what it is to go here and there, everywhere looking for help and not find it. I knew what it is not to have a safe roof over my head. I became invisible. I have remained invisible (so much against my will) ever since. I have been forced to leave a place I don’t want to leave yet again.

Chiquito’s Resting Place

December 17, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009: A year ago today, Chiquito, my aristocratic dog, was buried in the garden of the vet’s brother’s house in Francisco Solano. Francisco Solano is in the province of Buenos Aires. If there something that I regret it is this: I was not with my dog during the last days of his life.

Two years ago todayI saw Chiquito for the last time. My time back in the U.S. has not been the stuff of dreams or even modest wishes. I regret this too.