Monday, October 31, 2011

Soon, Dolores

One of the things I remember: beside my father in his car, never in the back seat, driving in the middle of the autumn night with street lights like pearls in the darkness. He would be calm and make me calm and we would be the only ones fighting against the evils of this horrid world. Just him and me past fields and forests in the dark, going out and away from the metropolitan lights and the people, further and further until everything was black. On our own but not alone, not running away but searching for something bigger beyond the city borders. We would never find it but the dream of it being out there somewhere was enough, and the feeling of closeness would invade my system as he looked at me.

I remember the serenity when we would pull over somewhere and just breathe together. It follows from the absent need of saying anything at all, when everything has already been done and the rest is silence.

But above all, I remember thinking that maybe these are the finest moments of our lives, that maybe nothing will ever be better than this. It scared me back then and it scares me know, as I come closer and closer to knowing whether it was true or not.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Mother is happy again, her roller coaster mood changed from Für Alina to Twist and Shout in an instant. "Hernan is coming over for dinner" she says as she passes by in the hallway, her Jimmy Choo heels clicking rhythmically over the marble floor. I spend too much time in bed but I lack the energy to do more. At least my orchids are flourishing, taking care of them is about as much work as I can put up with.

When Hernan finally comes around at 9 PM he kisses mother on the cheek, then looks over at me with those dark Mexican eyes. The perfect cliché, I can't believe it works on anyone, even mother. Later we're alone for a minute, I turn to him and say "you don't make her happy, so why are you here?" Smiling, he calmly answers "all happy families are alike, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way".

I'm lost for words. How did he know that?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Down by the broken tree house

One of the things I remember: staying in on a Saturday night, wondering what he was doing, who he was with. Did he miss me like I missed him, or was he out somewhere thinking of everything but the closeness we shared? It broke my heart imagining all the girls that got to come close to him in bars and on busses, brushing against his clothes, but at least I felt something and I pretend it was worth it.

Mother actually came home yesterday, like she said she would. "Where's Hernan" I asked, but she answered to something else. The little traces of mascara on her celadon skin told the story and somehow I wish she wanted to tell me about it. Maybe her pain could become mine so I'd know I'm still alive.

Friday, October 21, 2011

She gave away the secrets of her past

Mother sticks her head in the doorway, I can smell the pot and Sambuca from 10 feet away. "I'm going away for the weekend" she says. "With Hernan". She sounds different, like she's implicitly asking for my permission. When I don't answer she laughs nervously and blows me a kiss.

In her diary:


We've landed in Moscow, all our papers seem to be in order but the security personnel have to check everything at least twice. I can talk to them in Russian, I think it makes T feel inadequate or useless. He likes to be in control, just like me, and I can see it's hurting him. I'm trying my best to be careful, for the first time in my life I guess. I don't want to step on him, he's way too beautiful. He's like a butterfly, those delicate wings ready to take him of the ground any time now.

Monday, October 17, 2011


A quiet weekend passed, over umbrella drinks Saturday someone asked me "have you ever had a dream so real you were sure you were awake". I wanted to say how I wish life felt as real as my dreams do, but I didn't want to be reminded. It's never winter in LA but when I dream of snow everything suddenly becomes so clear and obvious, in perfect focus, like it was when I was a kid. I guess it's some sort of consolation that if I can dream it then maybe I can still feel it in real life too. Maybe I can still feel something the way I once did.

Mother found me one day in her closet, reading that diary. She was furious and screamed to me I was never allowed to see it ever again. She hid it well because I haven't seen it since, but what she doesn't know is I had already copied every last word by hand. I must have known how important it was before I saw what it meant to her.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The horror

I thought the house was empty, dead quiet as it was, when suddenly I hear mother laughing like there was no tomorrow. I haven't heard that plangent laugh in years, so I'm guessing she's either drunk or in love, in her very own insecure-teenager sort of way.

I get out of bed and slip down the stairs, not knowing whether to be scared or carefully curious. Before realizing I'm not even half dressed I can see the broad-shouldered source of mother's rediscovered exhilaration from the kitchen: Hernan is back. His muscles vibrate when he chuckles, I'm in my underwear. As he turns towards me and I barely manage to hide behind the wall I'm struck by a daunting thought: did I want him to get a glimpse of me?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Incarceration of the mind

I've always wondered how you can feel so encapsulated in a huge city like Los Angeles, how this creeping claustrophobia can arise from living among so many anonymous faces, but at least I know where I got it from. Mother writes in her diary:


I constantly feel the need to get out of here, this town is like a prison and restlessness is my life sentence. I don't know if the cage is too small or my wings too wide, but I know I've never been more afraid of anything than to be trapped here forever. Maybe it's true what they say, that you can never run away from yourself, but I imagine I'm running from something else and that everything will be fine if I'm just free to go wherever I want.

T is asleep, we have to leave early in the morning but I'm still up. It's not that I'm having second thoughts about him, but I fear I will end up hurting him. I hope it's a risk he's willing to take.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Maybe I don't really wanna know

9 PM, Los Angeles wakes up again. Chloe wants to go out but I'm sick of happy faces so I call my dear friend, the one that loves me. I did something terrible to him once years ago but he never left me. I know I don't deserve it but then again, who does?

He drives and I sit quietly in the backseat. Those flaming forests along the road are always on my mind somehow, but all that's left now is the ashes of last month's fires. It smells the same but everything else is different, as if it never really happened, as if we were never there together. Nothing scares me more now than the thought of forgetting. I try to remember but all that comes to mind is the fear of losing him, of being left alone in the rubble. Maybe I already knew.

I want him to drive until the sun comes up again, but he tells me I need to go home. I love the color of his eyes as he looks at me in the darkness.