There was a time before machines and applications. There was a time when I was much younger with the entire world on my mind. I was armed with nothing else but a deck of playing cards and a game of solitaire. I learned this game from when I was sick and hospitalized. I have no real memories from this time. I was very young and the name of whatever sickness I had was more of an adult word than something an 8 year-old would understand.
I have pictures or perhaps flashes of me in a hospital room. I sickly and tired and wondering if this was my fault or if “God” was mad at me for something.
As a matter of fact, I tried to make a few deals with God. I tried bargaining but the needles kept coming. And man, did they hurt!
Anyway, this is when I learned how to play solitaire. I was able to distract myself—or better yet, I was able to lose myself in the different color codes of red and black and how to organize the cards.
I think now is a good time that we have a little talk. I wasn’t going to do this here because I’m never too sure if we are ever alone—or at least, really alone. But at risk of exposure, I thought twice about this and yes, this is the right place.
I think the only approach is the humble one, which in my case; this is me, here and now. What I am about to expose or explain is something that comes from the heart—and while I admit this is raw and perhaps somewhat uncomfortable or perhaps it is too much for some people to expose one’s self honestly, it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or strange. This doesn’t have to be uncomfortable at all, but yet, I get it. Bright light exposes darkness. And sometimes, it’s bright . . .
You lose touch after a while. The past is nothing more than the past and the old running buddies from the old stomping grounds are nothing more than part of your history. This took me a while to learn but I learned this, nonetheless. And for the record, I still remember. I’m sure you do too. I remember my old friends the same as I remember the stories that we shared together. I suppose what happens is we move on or in some cases, maybe we grow up. Either way, eventually, the past becomes old chapters that seem like stories, which happened in a different lifetime.
I had to take a step back. I had to break away for a moment just to detach. So before going forward, I want to be clear that I am doing this because I choose to and not because I have to. I want to be very clear that although I write honestly and openly, my aim is clear and therefore, I refuse the notions that one is in pain because they write about pain. I refuse the ideas that one has to be in love to write about love and I reject the opinions that assume a person is in crisis, simply because they write about crisis. This is not my case at all. Instead, I expose my weakness to gain strength. I expose my fears to become brave and I reveal my truths because, with a humble heart, this is me.
Maybe it’s the summer. Maybe it’s the heat and the build of tension like the humidity before the storm until — ah; the rain comes down to soak the dust of our crazy lives. Maybe it’s the social tensions around us or maybe this is really simple; it’s just difficult because we, ourselves, are complicated.
I’m not sure if you can see me where you are, up so high, but this is me, right here.
Have you ever been on a construction site from start to finish? Or wait, have you ever seen a building start from a hole in the ground and build from the foundation to the top? Sometimes life in the eyes of our mind is moving in the clips of elapsed frames or in stages, like a science film of a blossoming of a flower.
There has always been something calming about the sound of raindrops falling on the roof of my house. I can hear the chattering tires from the passing cars that drive by on the wet streets. I swear this is like a lullaby. I can feel the gentle hush, which to me is the kindness of Mother Earth as she reminds us to sit back and relax.
Here’s to you.
Here’s to the summer and the upcoming months.
Here’s to the little towns that nobody knows about where little kids chase down ice cream trucks and buy candies that make their tongues turn blue.
There was a little town just a few miles above the border at Juarez. I remember this like a picture in my mind. I know I was there and yet, the memory is more like a story that I was told about a life that happened to someone else.
I had been in the car with my family for hours. This long drive began from my Mother’s hometown in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The drive was mainly through an open and empty highway with nothing else around us except for the desert.
I had never seen anything like this before. The desert itself was vast and vacant, barren and empty, and yet beautiful at the same time. The sands ran on for miles with a shade of perfect emptiness.
We began this trip in the early morning when the sun came up. I could only imagine what a drive like this would be like at nighttime when the sky is nothing else but a full moon and a sea of glistening stars.
Do you want some honesty?
I suppose there was a realization, or better yet, I suppose a time came when I figured to myself, “I wonder if I would hear from certain people if I wasn’t the one to make the phone calls” And then I wondered some more about this. Next, I tested my theory. In some cases, I learned that I was right. In some cases, I learned that I was better off like this. And in other cases, I had to figure out if I was happier this way. I have met different people at different times in my life. Some of these people have remained in my life and some of them are those who I call my loved ones. Some of the people in my life were only temporary and never to be heard from again, which is fine because this is how life is. In some cases, we stay connected. In other cases, we lose touch.
It’s nice to see the masks come down. It’s nice to walk by and see someone smile or just see another face without a surgical mask over the nose and mouth. It’s nice to hear that we might be ahead of this, which means the pandemic might be behind us now. And this is it, the year 2021. Who knows what might come next. Who knows if this whole test is just another moment in purgatory. Or better yet, maybe this is just a social experiment to see how we’d treat each other or how we’d get along if something went wrong. Well, if this were true, I suppose the next questions is , “Okay, so how’d we do?