Lottery She saw the lottery tickets. They were all piled up in the trash. How many dreams. How many people bought one or more of these and thought they’d win. Then their lives would be better, and they’d take a vacation or buy a house. No, it is not true what they say. They lie. They’ve always lied. Money is important. As long as we’re alive it matters. Then, when we cease to exist, who cares? We don’t need it anymore. I’d like to buy one, she told the man behind the counter. The Mega Millions with 224 million.
Archive for April, 2010
She got up from her seat on the bus. The stop requested strip was across her seat and she did not want to risk a fall. A woman was seated by the strip. Could you please press it? she asked her. The woman shook her head no. She looked at her in wonder. Something in her became hard. Drop dead, she told the woman. The woman kept staring at her. The bus stopped. And real soon, too, she added, staring back at the other passenger before she went down the 3 steps. She walked to the building. I am glad I am hard she told herself. In this type of circumstance, it is best for me to be hard. She was rude because of the way I look. Her sneakers were dirty white. She had tried to wash them off, but there was only so much she could do with just soap and water. Her dark blue jacket was worn. I should have told her something like: You don’t know me. You think you look very respectable there seating in your bus seat, but you are not. If you had walked past that Guatemalan homeless man in Queens the other day, you wouldn’t have called 911 to save his life, either.
The Fall Suddenly there was a thud and they gathered around her. A few looked at her, down on the sidewalk. I don’t want to touch her, someone said. Another asked a man with a cell phone to call an ambulance. She stayed down and a man made a pillow of her black purse. You have to have someone care when you have an accident.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010: She looked at the pictures of the condo for sale in Chicago. If I had the money and could get this one, I would move to the Windy City. The kitchen was huge and the refrigerator brand new, a shiny grey. The bed had a white comforter and pillows with brown pillow cases. If I could only rest my head there, she thought. The living room had great big windows and looked out onto the street. There were dark green trees outside. The balcony had a table and four chairs. I would drink coffee in the morning and read the New York Times. The bathroom–she saved the best for last. To soak my body in there and forget the world, this world. To just be me for once.
Monday, April 26, 2010: The Supreme Court decision allowing dog and cat videos to be sold is, in my opinion, not good. In these videos dogs and cats are victimzed and victimze one another. What good is freedom of expression or speech if it makes it possible for people to profit from these videos?
She saw him and became the 18 year old girl she had been long ago. Her heart stopped. She couldn’t have moved even if she had wanted to. She stared at his soft brown hair and his fair skin. Still good looking, she thought. She shook her head. But you are not that girl now, she scolded herself. Things have happened. He looked the same. He had not aged. She walked away before he had the chance to turn and look at her. I am so changed. I am old.
Balconies and Trump International
They are up high. Some have small trees and plants in them, some have nothing. I see myself sitting in them. I am relaxed and happy. They face Central Park West, these condos. It is getting dark. I walk to the Trump International building by Columbus Circle. The lights shine inside the condos. The white curtains remind me of curtains I myself had not long ago. As they say, dreaming cost nothing.
Argentina’s Dirty War I have read in the paper that Reynoldo Bignone, the military president of Argentina from July 1982 to December 1983, has been sent to jail for all the crimes he committed during the Dirty War in Argentina in the 1970s. He sent people to be tortured and killed. I think he said that in a war that type of horrible behavior was acceptable because it was a war and that the people who died were not too young to be killed. I was not living in Argentina in the 70s, but I have lived in my country of origin off and on since October 1982. At around 1995, people in Argentina started to want to have justice done. On the radio and in the newspapers, you’d hear about this and that case coming to light. The horrible torture tactics used were detailed. I am glad that the relatives of those killed and made to disappeared never gave up. They (the police or another type of authority) could knock on a person’s door in the middle of the night and kidnap you while you were walking down the street. It could happen to anyone. Whatever their political views, these persons did not deserve to die or never be heard from again. Their children did not need to be taken and given to someone else. My novel Different Flags, is set in the 1980s, when Bignone was still in power. I don’t touch on the subject of the disappeared because at the time I wrote it I didn’t know enough about it. Later I heard stories from people—friends and neighbors. If I had to rewrite my novel, I would have a character or maybe two have something to do with these horrible crimes. There was, in 2006, an excellent night soap opera, on Argentine TV called Montecristo, after the Alexander Dumas novel The Count of Montecristo. It tells the story of the disappeared and some of their tArgentina’s Dirty War .
All of Me
Let the water caress all of my body. My legs love the warmth. Let me submerge myself in a hot tub and pretend for 5 or 10 minutes that I am a woman without any major problems. The water feels so good and I give myself up to the first bath I had in a week. If it could last forever! If I could just make it last and last until the water turns cold.
It’s back to reality and going out with my hair still wet. I have to leave. The night is warm. I am lucky in that regard.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010: Some people on the NY subway make me mad and sad. I was standing near the door with my red duffel bag and my yellow Strand bookstore bag. A young fat black woman seated near me gave me a dirty look. This was the same woman who did not get up when a young woman with a baby carriage and a little girl got on. I played dumb, pretended I didn’t understand. Then she told me to get the bag out of her way. It wasn’t in her way. I am getting off at the next stop, I said. Next time give your seat when a woman with a kid needs it. Nobody gives up their seat. Maybe if Julia Roberts were to get on the train and offer somebody a lead part in her next movie, they would. I often have to ride standing up even though my handicap is quite visible. They play dumb and get away with it.