Posts Tagged ‘Tia’


December 6, 2016


Feisty—that was it, exactly. A word to describe her was feisty. She appeared fragile, with her puckered up face, the deep wrinkles around the small brown eyes and the thin lips. Her body was thin. She could not have been taller than 5 feet. Her suede moccasins were dark brown; her stockings were thick and beige-colored.  She looked at you with compassion and understanding, as if she didn’t have any trouble putting herself in your shoes. Her small hands showed deep blue/purple veins. Her arms were wrinkled. She remembered faces and names. She gave lollipops to the neighborhood kids. When you were sick, she felt your illness as her own. You were hers ; that was all you needed to know.





Little One

December 3, 2012

Little One


She was dressed simply—a dark wool skirt and a medium green cardigan sweater. The sweater had big off white buttons. Her face was wrinkled—the face of a woman who has seen and felt too much. The dark brown eyes were small. In her youth, they had been big, but now, in her late 60s, they lacked life. She went from one place to another—from here to there and from there to here—without noticing where she was.

I am Them

October 7, 2012

I Am Them

My Tia, my beloved Aunt, when she was evicted years ago. My friend Nadia when she was living alone and forgotten after her days of glory. I have their stories in my brain and in my soul. What they suffered, I suffered. What they felt, I felt. Now it is my turn, my turn to go through experiences that are overwhelming to say the least. My poor Tia paid 3 times the market rate in rent for a dilapidated 2 bedroom house-like apt. in Buenos Aires. That high price was illegal on the landlady’s part, but she still got away with getting the extra rent money. And my Tia had no home after all her years of hard work and honesty. Nadia lived with her 3 dogs for company. They were her family, the only family she could count on. They were there, even if the food supply was iffy, even if she couldn’t walk them as often as they needed to be walked. She was tired. My Tia was tired. She lived for 10 months after her eviction; then she gave up and closed her eyes. Nadia fought until the very last minute for her life. The dogs screamed and yelled. Nobody paid attention until the fire dept. got in and found Nadia dead clutching her house keys by the front door.

Now I am fighting a battle similar to theirs. I am evicted. I don’t know how this happened, but it is like another foreclosure. This one feels worse than the first one 7 years ago when I lost my home in GA. It is a hard blow. The experience is surreal, as if it were a horrible dream somebody made up just to make me sad. A bad dream to show me that I cannot have a home.


July 17, 2012


Tia was evicted. She became an elderly woman without a home. She could not live anywhere except in her neighborhood, the neighborhood she loved. Tia had friends in the neighborhood and her block had magic in it. She was visible. She had a face. There was always someone to talk to when she had something to say. In a flash, her neighborhood was gone. All was dark.


Similarities With My Tia

November 7, 2008

Many, if not most, of the Hassidic women in the Williamsburgh section near the Brooklyn Public Library wear stockings similar to the ones my Tia used to wear. These are thick stockings with a straight line down the middle of each stocking. They also wear moccasin-like shoes just like she did. My Tia has been dead for over 21 years, but I will never forget her stockings or her shoes. They were a part of her, of who she was.


Different Flags Excerpt

March 22, 2008

April 17, 1987: When my mother calls from San Francisco, my Tia puts on her mask. Everything’s fine, she tells her. We are not rich, but Ani and I are doing too bad considering. Considering what?, my mother asks. Bueno, this is still Argentina. Strange things happen here. Strange things? I can imagine my mother’s alarmed face as she holds on to the receiver. No, no, nothing to worry about. I meant to say that the economy is not like the one you have over there in NorteAmerica. They chat for a few more minutes. Then, after I have talked to my mother, we hang up the phone. That’s when my Tia’s mask com es off. It’s only for a little bit, a minute or two, but it’s enough. I can see how sad and tired she really is. She’s been protecting people all her life and now she’s protecting me–and herself.