Tag Archives: pain

Runaway

18 Dec

Oh I try to stay away
in my own quiet darkness
I plot 
To runaway

It’s too good
Too kind
Too normal to be real

Isn’t it sad?

I can’t accept that I deserve this
Or at the very least 
Accept that I don’t deserve
constant pain

It’s all so very bleak inside
The cobwebs that linger in the corner
They remind me of those years

Clinging to me
They refuse to disappear

It’s all so hideous
So very sad

Don’t you see?
Isn’t it clear?
Runaway

Let me be
So much easier to bear this pain
Neatly tucked behind the smile of a promise
That the year end is near

Year after Year
The end is near

Why don’t you just
Runaway?

 

Un Dia a La Vez “One Day at a Time”

27 Sep

My grandmother used to sing this song of worship “Un Dia A La vez” in her sweet low soothing voice and without fail I would close my eyes, smile, and breathe deeply as it never failed to calm me. It was a mantra to live life one day at a time with the hope and perseverance that the next day would be better than the last. My abuelita was a strong, kind, and friendly woman; I have never met anyone quite like her. Seemingly meek in her quiet way but once prompted by a friendly smile, she would sidle up next to you and become your new best friend as she chatted away and rewarded your willingness to listen with the sweetest of smiles and a twinkle in her eyes.

I think back on those days whenever I feel the urge to close in on myself, whenever I want to shut everyone out and live my life in quiet contemplation. I think about how much she suffered, how hard she worked to give her family a better life, and how she never lost that sweet composition. Growing up I thought there must be something wrong with her; she never yelled, she was never upset; she didn’t raise a hand to anyone. Even when my devil of a cousin would do outrageous things that made ME, a five year old, want to smack him silly; she would sigh and sing to him while she held him, rocking him back and forth in her bosom.

Whereas I cannot aim to be as sweet of an angel as she was, I derive strength from her memory, her simplicity in living life: care for your children, smile because it will get better, and devote your life to God by giving hope to others. Her seemingly simple outlook in life is beautiful in its selflessness and I do aim to follow in her example as such.

I take solace in the fact that things have definitely gotten better. So I say to you, there is a lot of pain to be found in life; sadness, tragedy, and injustice abound; but will you live life one day at a time hoping and working to make each day better or will you lay your soul to die when you quit the hope of a better life?

I have hurt inside; we all do, in varying degrees. My pain is no stronger, stranger, or sadder than yours. It is painful to me as yours is painful to you. But the beauty in the human spirit is that I will never give up the pursuit of being a better, happier, kinder, and more helpful human being and in the process, reap the rewards of mending my broken heart and healing old wounds, even when they reopen from time to time.

I hold your hand and I tell you, It Gets Better. One Day at a Time.

Two Lights

11 Sep

We would talk for hours every day. You begged me to draw for you, to write for you and recite the stories to you at night. We were One when you let the words of your poems slowly slide down my body, caress every inch of my damaged soul, and heal me with your dancing eyes.

I would get caught up on the lovely song of your voice and slip off into our world. I would lay on my bed with my legs propped up against the wall, let my head hang off the side of the bed so the blood rushing to my face would add to the happy high that you brought to me every time your whispers blew in my ear.

I close my eyes and see your sharp features; the razor sharp lines that made up your jaw and chin, your eyes – jagged lines resting on your cheekbones, and your mouth always in a crooked smile when you saw me. Always kissing me softly and whispering what a beautiful and perfect being I was.

I hadn’t seen you in days and I missed you. You sensed it and told me, “Susana, you and I are special. This universe is full of darkness with the blind shuffling amongst each other in a fruitless journey but I have you, You are my light. We are two lights amongst the darkness and we will dance together wherever we may be, however long we may part, we will never lose each other. We are two lights shining brightly for each other.”

I smiled into the receiver, pressing the phone closer to my lips and ear so I could feel you. Your hands always on my body, feeling delectably cool to the touch and soft against my teenage skin.

“You are on an altar and you will never fall in my eyes. You are an Aztec princess, with rich beautiful brown melanin and silky skin, you are my perfect kindness. I will always love you.”

I could never respond, I could never tell you how I felt. But I willed the love outwards, hoping that you would feel the force of my loyalty to you, my admiration for you.
Your words come back to me and they make me smile as if time never lapsed, as if you haven’t been in the ground for years. But your face remains intact with the softness of youth while I have aged over a decade.

For countless nights I woke up to the lingering kiss from my dreams, searching for your lips to brush up against mine once more. Your smile, the twinkling of your eyes, the endless wonder you held me in, the unbridled love you showered me with; what are they now but ghosts of yesterday?

How could you have forgotten your promise to always light my way? How could you have chosen instead to walk in darkness like the others?

The numbness you succumbed to daily took you away from me long before you left my arms forever. You wanted so much. You wanted all of me; you lived inside my thoughts, heart, and quickened flow of blood and still that was not enough. You understood that I could not bring myself to give all of me but that did not stop the pain it caused you.

And you thought I gave up on you. You thought you weren’t good enough for me. No matter the kisses, the embraces, the boundaries I broke daily for you; you could not believe that I loved you as you uninhibitedly loved me.

You allowed it to consume you; your eyes started to lose their depth and your laughter became an echo that I was left to chase.

You left me before you were gone and I could not, did not, rise up to the challenge to bring you back. I did not fight hard enough for you. I should have pulled harder, called harder for you to push temptation away. Instead I allowed you to slip away into a living sleep.

 

 

Culmination and a new dress??

10 Nov

I was so excited; I would be able to wear a brand new dress for my 5th grade culmination. That’s what they called it a culmination not graduation. It did not matter, I was going to speak since I was being awarded the Vice-Principal’s award and my mom surprised me by saying we were going shopping for a dress.

“We’re leaving in an hour; make sure your room, the bathroom, and kitchen is clean before we leave.” I ran to my room and made sure everything was in place and changed out of my uniform into a pair of white jeans and t-shirt. I washed the dishes and ran around in a whirlwind of excited energy as I imagined what I would get to wear.

Maybe I would find a fancy black dress, simple and fitting so that I looked elegant giving my speech. I could squeeze into my sister’s heels and I would look great! Marla and Kandy would look at me with approval and I would smile slightly as if to show I always dressed that way outside of school…

I heard the engine running and my mom call out, “if you’re not out here in five minutes I’m leaving.” I had to pee but I ignored the urge and dashed out the door and onto the car and we sped away in our white 1984 Jimmy GM. I liked that car, with its red interior, brandishing the same year I was born. My sis and I worked hard to keep it clean both inside and out so that it looked almost new.

We went down Brooklyn Ave (now Cesar Chavez) and stopped at the BofA on Breed St. The line stretched out the door and there was no bathroom in sight. When we finally left and crossed the street to the fashion store I thought I would die and pee my pants. My mother kept passing me ugly dresses to try on that were too big on me but she figured they would last long.

As I was taking off a gray and black jumper that I hated, I felt the painful urge to pee. As my mother kept yelling at me in front of the other customers and the excitement of the new dress long ago dead, I felt a river of urine flow from my legs and over my white jeans and dress. I couldn’t believe it! I stared down in horror as hot tears streamed down my cheeks. I managed to whimper what had happened and I could see that the Japanese store owner felt bad that he hadn’t allowed me to use his bathroom. My mother yelled at me and slapped me hard complaining that she would have to buy the dress now and a slew of insults flew out of her mouth as she pushed me out the door and told me that I wouldn’t be allowed to ride home in the car. “Vete caminando! Haber si la verguenza te quita lo pendejo!”

I tried not to cry and wiped away the tears. As I waited for the light to turn green a woman, a Jehovah’s Witness, placed her hand on my arm and asked if I was okay. I was horrified that anyone would notice the yellow stains on my already tattered jeans and I shook my head and ran off as the cars came to a stop. I walked home in the dark and hated myself for being so stupid, so ugly, and worthless. How could I have done such a thing? I was ten years old and I had piss all over my jeans – making me shiver in the cold. I ran past the veteranos on Breed St, turned the corner on Malabar and ignored the catcalls of the fat old men trying to give me a ride. I contemplated not going back home and walking until my legs buckled under me and my heart gave out and my body could finally lie down in peace forever.

As my self-tormenting and wishful thinking came to an end I was back on Forest Ave walking down to the peach stucco house with my father’s figure leaning on the chain link gate. As I walked closer he opened the door and looked at me with sadness in his eyes; I could feel the tears edging on my eyes and the ball of emotion rising in my throat but I looked away and went to shower. By the time I got out everyone had gone to bed and I gingerly took my dress out of the plastic bag and washed it by hand and laid it out to dry. At least some stains come off with a little soap and water.

You’ll stay with me right?

9 Nov

He is on his knees, tears running down his brown leathery face – his cheeks sagging under the weight of booze and pain. I’m walking out the door with a black trash bag holding my most prized belongings: a brown teddy bear, a purple My Little Pony, and broken pieces of plastic that are my toys. I see my mother opening the door to our beat up blue station wagon and my sister already down the porch steps.

An incredible pain takes residence in my tummy, spreading up to my chest – making it hard to breathe.

“Susy, mi Pozolito, tu no me vas a dejar verdad? Me prometiste que tu te hibas a quedar conmigo.”

I look down at my scuffed shoes and step down hard on my big toe preferring physical pain to seeing my father – that big tall figure who never cries – lose all self control as he drapes his body onto my little frame.

I bite my lip and look outside into the darkness, the cold numbing my hands and legs. I wring the edge of my Scooby Doo pajama dress; the thin material wrinkles and curls into place.

“Vamonos Susana! Apurale!” My mother yells at me from the car.

They had been at it again; always the fighting, the endless yelling of abuse and cursing. I can’t remember why my mother was angry; dad had probably staggered home again from a bar or had insulted her in his alcohol induced stupor.

“Ya no puedo mas!” My mother was on the phone with her brother, asking if we could stay with them but I could tell from her face that we would be roaming the city in our car again. Cramming our belongings and bodies in the backseat to keep warm from the chilly winter air. “Carnala, yo no me puedo meter. Quedate con Yani.”

“Vayan y agarren sus cosas!” She yells at us, thrusting a trash bag to my sister and I. Her voice becoming shrill as her sanity wears thin.

We knew the routine. Instead of packing clothing and necessities, we packed what four and five year olds see as essential: our dearest toys. We ran to the room we shared with our parents and started to pack.

My father pleaded with my mom not to leave and when her tear-streaked face would not meet his he turned to my older sister to ask her; she just kept packing. He ran to me and kneeling down to look into my bewildered eyes he asks if his pozolito would stay with him. “It’s okay Papi, yo me quedo contigo,” I say, anything to keep my papi from crying.

“Vamonos!” My mother pulls me out of my tortured state and drags me to the car only to cause the pain of seeing my father’s face as I leave to sear into my brain forever. “Papi”, I whimper as the smell of old leather, burnt oil, and snot make me gasp for air.

My mother is crying hysterically in the front seat behind the wheel. Her yelps of pain becoming jagged knives that stab my stomach; like broken glass they shatter throughout the car and I want to pick them up and devour them – chew on the glass until it slices my tongue into ribbons and the blood flows out. Until the anger and confusion are drained from my body and I become a spirit hovering over everyone. Until I turn into nothing, light as air, and the voices stop screaming and crashing inside my head.

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