Archive for July, 2011

The Cheese

July 31, 2011

The Cheese

She looked at the price: The sign said 2 for $5. Cabot cheese was her favorite type of cheese and it was on sale. But, can I afford it? I only have $3 in my purse. If I buy one for $2.50, I’ll get 50 cents back from the supermarket checkout girl. That money will have to last me a few days. I am extremely thin, she thought. She touched the bones around the neck area. I have to eat a little more and pretend to myself that I can gain some weight.

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My Mother’s Chin

July 25, 2011

My Mother’s Chin

She ate the ice cream sundae with the long spoon that the waitress had given her. It was a vanilla ice cream sundae with lots of fudge sauce. My mother smiled and put the spoon down on the napkin. The fudge sauce was running down her chin. Her cheeks were pink. My mother’s small brown eyes were happy, like a little girl’s.

Rubio’s Kiss

July 25, 2011

Rubio’s Kiss

The dog brushed past me on the busy street. My thoughts were elsewhere, but something made me look at him. He was so much like Rubio—similar body build and similar color. The tail of the dog was up in the air just like Rubio’s used to be when we walked up and down the street. The dog and his owner walked to the corner and waited for the light to change. I looked one more time. The encounter was as if Rubio had kissed me from up there in Doggie Heaven

Bird

July 19, 2011

Bird

OffAtlantic AvenueinBrooklyn. On a hot summer day, a block away fromBrooklynHeights, several birds sought food. The passerby threw them a few crumbs. They eagerly ate up. A bird was dragging his foot. He had a hard time getting to the food. The passerby threw more breadcrumbs on the sidewalk. The bird limped painfully to eat. Another bird fought him for possession of the crumbs. His foot was hurt, though not as bad as the first bird’s. The passerby emptied her plastic bag. Not too many crumbs left, she told the birds. I am sorry.

The Map

July 11, 2011

The Map

Where is it? I used to know where the map was. I knew what it looked like, but they have changed it. I never met them. I don’t know what they look like, but they must be powerful. If I could get to the old map, the one I am familiar with! I can’t! Without a good map, how will I know where I am going? Does it matter?

Old Lady

July 8, 2011

Old Lady

She was my aunt, my Tia. She was my friend, my protector. We spent the last few years of her life together. When she died, I was not able to be with her, to hold her hand. The words old ladies always mean my Tia. They mean kindness, a little toughness, a diamond in the rough, a person who cared about me. I cared about her too. We had to become reacquainted. It wasn’t easy because too much time had passed. We were different people when we met again after many years. I loved her and when she died I looked for her in other ladies her age and older. It was like I had to have my Tia even if the original one was no longer alive.

 

Tia

July 7, 2011

Tia

Feisty. Decent. These two words defined her. She didn’t have much of an education. She just managed to finish grade school. Tia had been born into a good and financially solid family. After her father’s sudden death when she was 9, she went to work for her well-to-do uncles. Tia got up at 5:30 and waited on them like a servant. She was done at 8:30 and hurriedly put on her school uniform. Most of the time she arrived before the school bell rang. She was a good student, but her mind was occupied elsewhere. Book learning could not be as important as helping her mother put food on the table.

 

 

My Mother

July 5, 2011

She got sick on Saturday, July 9th and died on Sunday July 10th, 1994. It is 17 years later and I can still see the doctor with the thick Southern accent, I see the ride with my sick mother to the hospital in the ambulance. I had stayed up all night with her, and to while away the uneasiness and stress as much as possible, I watched most of Double Indenmity (1944) with Barbara Stanwyck, and Fred MacMurray on AMC. My mother was a borderline diabetic. She started feeling unwell that Saturday afternoon. A doctor was called but he did not come to our house. I asked friends and acquaintances. I asked anybody I could think of. We were together, my mother and I. She looked at me with her pale brown eyes and told me not to worry. She was hardly eating. My mother was stretched out on her checkered couch, the one in the hall by the staircase. She was wearing short ehite socks, like a schoolgirl. Her legs needed moisturizing and her light brown hair with just a little bit of grey at the temples, was stringy. What to do? What to do? A couple of people had told me they were concerned. A second doctor was able to come. He said my mother was dehydrated.

Towards

July 1, 2011

Towards

You pulled me towards them. You wanted to go back to their house. I did not hold it against you. When I travelled to that faraway land and couldn’t take you with me, I had left you in their care. It was only a temporary arrangement. I could never give you up. I had loved your original owner as if she had been a relative. She and you had been my family. She died and you were the only living being I had to link me to her. Loyalty was built in in you. You protected your people no matter what. You protected me. And even after they left you and wanted you no more, you protected them. Your own safety wasn’t important. As long as the ones you cared for were safe.