The women went down the elevator. Quick, quick, I am not feeling well, the older one said.
The younger woman took her arm. There was a taxi by the curb. Could you take us to the hospital? The driver looked at the small black dog the older woman was holding by the leash. Not with him, I can’t. The younger woman sighed. He’s right. Let’s take him up, Nadia.
They came down again and found another cab. Don’t let her die. Please don’t let her die, Nadia’s companion thought as she looked out the window.
The driver parked the car by the emergency room door. Nadia and her companion walked up the stairs. They held each other’s hands.
You’ll be fine, the friend said.
Nadia’s eyes looked doubtful. Yeah, she answered. Fine.
Archive for September, 2010
All the area is black. There is black here, black there. How long will they last like this? How long will I have to endure this? It’s not just my health, which is important enough. It is also my appearance. When I open my mouth and speak with someone, it doesn’t take a genius to know that something is wrong. Very wrong.
I see you standing there in the middle of the parking lot come dinner time. You are eager for your dinner and you wait impatiently. All of you gather together and run to where the food is when the nice lady from across the street puts it in 2 plates for you. I see you and I talk to you across the gate bars. You are too nice to live like this, I say. Being a stray can’t possibly be fun. You didn’t choose this. You just are. There is nothing wrong with you that a home couldn’t cure. People walking by say nice things about you because several of you are cute and cuddly. They don’t take you home. For whatever reason, their concern for you is a distant. They may or may not understand that you deserve to be under a roof, cared for and protected.
Her face touched the pavement. There must be something wrong with the sidewalk, someone nearby said. She saw a man’s black trousers. Could you please help me up? She asked him. His strong arms pushed her up. She looked at him and smiled. Thank you, she said. You have to be careful, he told her. The sidewalks need fixing. She nodded and limped to the phone book on the corner. I need fixing too. It has to be done ASAP. There were too many reminders today. The questions they asked during class reminded me of how bad it all is. And then I saw a dog like my dead dog. I must have loved him more than I realize. Too many things, she repeated to herself walking up the street.
The afternoon was sunny and not chilly. The woman walked with three heavy bags of groceries back to her job. How beautiful, she said, stopping at a vintage clothing store. There was a rack of for sale clothes at $10 each. What an elegant suit. It was light orange and the label said Paris, Made in France 100% wool. The woman looked to see if there were any stains, any thing to deter her. No, it’s perfect. She went in and tried it. Temptation. It is too great, but I can’t. I am so tired of feeling poor, feeling like there is no hope. Even if I owned this suit, I’d still be the person I am now. The woman sighed. Goodbye, little suit, she said. You were almost mine.
Tomorrow, September 18th, it’ll be 25 years. My father died on September 18, 1985. It is such a long time ago and so much (good and bad) has happened, to us the survivors. I love him very much and when I think of him I admire him as I did when he was alive. My father was an immigrant in 2 countries, first Argentina in the late 40s, then America in the mid 60s. In both, he did very well. He was a self made man twice, though during the second time he was not a young man. My father was a generous man—he would buy my mother gold jewelry and other nice things . His favorite color was red (he loved watermelons and rubies) but he was no communist. The communists had confiscated the family’s property after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.
My father loved his accordeon and he played Russian songs on it when we had guests.
Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Belgian Church
I don’t know why, but the sexual abuse in the Catholic Belgian church brings my love for a priest long ago back to me. It is a vivid feeling again and I am a young woman in love for the first time. I see the streets of our neighborhood, and I watch us trying to pretend something we don’t feel because the neighbors are nearby. We don’t want them to know. It’s a secret between us, just the two of us.
The Coach Bag Bags
Subway, Sunday night: A transparent plastic bag covering a multi colored paper Coach bag. The bag had lots of stripes with colors like brown, yellow, pink, green, white and orange. It was large, a big bag. The person seated across the young girl holding the bag wondered: I’d like to know what kind of leather bag is in there. She sighed. Once I used to buy stuff like that at I.Magnin and Neiman Marcus. The girl must have paid about $300, at least for hers. Coach bags last forever because they’re so well made. When will I be able to buy something like that again? I want something expensive and brand new, something nobody has ever worn or used before. Dream on. I am using this old purse, the one with the broken zipper.
My favorite old movies—like Three Smart Girls from 1936 with Deanna Durbin and my favorite books, like Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I want them to bring me comfort. I need them to bring me comfort in this time of such uncertainty and doubt. I don’t know that they will (they used to) but they’ll try their best. When I am watching or reading them, I forget, at least for a while and I am not unhappy. At least for a while.
Manhattan: Corner of Grand and Crosby, Saturday afternoon: A black motorcycle with a two seat passenger seat. 2 doggies, small in size were shouting and barking and yelling at the passersby. The passersby were busy laughing a nd taking their pictures. The doggies were wearing red firemen helmets in honor of September 11. One of them started to bark loudly, like he was nervous and the other one copied him. One of the doggies jumped up and down in his seat so much that he almost removed the helmet from his head. The owner showed up and put it back on. You’re a brave man, someone said. Are they your dogs? The man said yes, one had belonged to his ex girlfriend, the other to someone else. You are very lucky to have them, she told him. The woman didn’t have a cell phone to take their pictures, but she enjoyed the brief moment of anything goes in Manhattan. It was worth stopping by and watching the show. She laughed for the first time in weeks.