Rey.

I hate Lana del Rey.

Not because she exudes mystery or because her nose is strange-looking, but because you said she was your favorite, perfect, and beautiful.

I remember the precise moment. You were making a right onto Newport Avenue and she came on the radio and you came out with that shit. I said that was strange because she wasn’t all that interesting. What I was really thinking is I look nothing like her. I am nothing like her. Since then, I have been jealous.

I used to like a few of her songs. So usually when I hear her voice your name pops into my head and I change the song real quick. Ever since then I blame her for our gradual realization that your idea of love and my idea of love are vastly different. I blame her for your terror of commitment and for my relentless insecurity. I blame her for past ghosts which we both pretend aren’t there but cannot outrun. I blame her for the time I cried lying beside you.

I also blame her for the times you made me shriek with laughter and when you played with my hair. I blame her ass for making me feel comfortable and open and vulnerable once again with someone. I blame her for showing me that liking someone doesn’t have to hurt. I blame her for not hating or regretting you, because you took my weak heart and gave it life when I needed it the most. You showed me that I can, and will, move on from the deepest of pains. Despite your faults and despite the outcome, you are a king amongst men, and few that I know compare.

So sometimes, when a Lana song starts, I turn it up and let it play.

That Girl.

Another dose of poetry, ya’ll! This was sent to me last night by my babybun Cindy. I’ve watched it about ten times and it gets better per viewing.

I love this because it is what I have been trying to explain to him for years. Is she me? Am I her? Sadly, this is a poem many women can recite. We are all her at one point in our lives. Sometimes that girl, sometimes refusing to be that girl any longer. Fitting, for today.

“…and though I love you / I’d rather spend every night crying alone on my bedroom floor than to ever be / that girl.”

Again: Strong language.

Faith.

Faith…you give it to the people you love, but the people who really deserve it are the ones who come through even when you don’t love them enough.

It’s a quote from one of my favorite shows ever, Veronica Mars, which I felt compelled to scribble in the back of an old notebook. I read it over and over, because although I must have written this several years ago, it still rings true today.

Love – we use it nonchalantly and generously and carelessly so we instill all of our faith in people we think we love. We do it so that they’ll love us back, don’t we? We use any excuse to give away our love. We give them our all. Blindly, we trust that they will take care of us and our ceaseless needs. We assure ourselves that they will never hurt us. We enshrine them. Everything they do is singular, peerless. We bow down before them, we submit. All on the wish, the simple hope that they will do the same for us.

And most of the time, what happens? Turns out the ones we try to impress are always the ones who fail us the most. They ruthlessly take all it is we give – and sometimes more – while expending not an ounce of themselves.

What about those who truly love us, who would indeed walk to the ends of the world for us? Those who put all of their faith in us? How is it that we repay them? They’re burdensome to us. They aren’t in our prayers. When we go to La Salette, we don’t light a candle for them. We give them an empty kind of love, a love that’s transparent and meager, weak. We don’t care if they love us. Their love is dispensable. It’s not enough, ever. We make sure to let them know, with displays of ingratitude and indifference. They are to us what we are to those we worship.

And most of the time, what happens? Turns out, they are the ones that save us, pick us up and breathe life back into us when our fake gods fail to hear our prayers and leave us to die, rendered faithless.

Horoscope.

When we were younger, my mother and I were devoted fans of famed and super fabulous astrologer, Walter Mercado. Yes, this guy:

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Every weekday at 5:45 pm, during Primer Impacto, we would wait with bated breath to hear our horoscope for the day. What would be our fortune? Would today be a day of positivity or luck? Of heartbreak or of choleric tendencies? What would be our lucky numbers?! Aries for my mom, Taurus for my dad, Gemini for my sisters, and Virgo for myself. My mom would sometimes take out her pen and pad, and try to write as fast as Walter was predicting. We really got a kick out of it, and my dad would groan and roll his eyes. Except for the days Walter told him he’d be coming into some good fortune, then his incredulous ass would listen.

But then one day, Walter was replaced with some other shit. We learned Univision hadn’t renewed our homeboy’s contract. My mother and I were confused, and felt abandoned and cheated. I think our fervor for horoscopes died down a bit after that. Well, at least mine did. I’ll occasionally look up my horoscope, but don’t ever take them too seriously. They are always promising business opportunities and bumping into my true love at the bookstore and being one with nature or whatever, and I ain’t done any of that nonsense.

Today, though, I was feeling lucky and optimistic, and gave my horoscope a chance. It was in Spanish, but I gotchu:

Virgo: Mercury gives you the green light to travel and now you feel motivated to do so. Organize everything with time and you will have no problems in launching yourself into the adventure of exploring new places and learning about other cultures. A new love could also be found in faraway lands. It is an excellent time to learn new languages.

Whoaaaaaaa! Wha, hu, ha? How did they know I was traveling? This is spot on! I knew, just knew, that going to Africa would pay off! Aaaand I’m gonna find love? Watchoutnow!

But then, the rational Jax, that oh so annoying voice of clarity, said, meeeeeeh. Of all the 365 horoscopes written a year for Virgos, this one – this single one – somewhat pertains to me. What if I were a non-traveling Virgo? What if I were already in love? What if I were incredibly dense and could barely speak English, much less pick up new languages? I would simply dismiss this horoscope as I have done all the rest and forget all about it.

What I am getting at is that it’s time to stop relying on rinky-dink, picked-out-of-a-box predictions and make things happen for myself. Reading this in the entertainment section of Providence en Espanol shouldn’t make me happy or anxious for my future – I should naturally feel that way, no? It’s great to believe in something and hear about great possibilities in our lives, but it is much greater to dream of them for ourselves and make them happen.

I love you, Walter Mercado, but the jig is up! I’m my own man!

12.03

I was a really dumb kid so when my cousins Nanchi (that’s Colombian for Nancy) and Tito (that’s Colombian and Puerto Rican and Dominican and probably French for many names) dared me to drink a concoction of Kool-Aid, salt, hot sauce, ketchup, sugar, and whatever garbage they could find, I did.  One time Nanchi painted my nails with black Sharpie and convinced me it was a good look.  Oh, and another time she super glued these horrendous plastic nails onto me and again convinced me it was the look.  During a game of freeze tag I was attacked by a pack of ants and she just stood there and laughed as I stood there, still frozen and crying.  But let’s cut the girl some slack, she hasn’t always been just a little devil.  She defended me from girls that were making fun of me, got the boy on the basketball team who I thought was cute to sign my yearbook, and would come early in the mornings in her click-clack high heels to do my hair (hair styling is like science – I just don’t get it!).  We would walk every day past the catcalls of old, perverted men to McDonald’s and buy the #2 with the money our Mamita gave us and feast it out like kings. 

I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing me talk about my childhood memories.  Please forgive me, but I live in the past.  The majority of my best memories are from twelve and younger, and for some reason I, more than many others, have had a very hard time moving past it all.  I miss the simplicity of those times.  I never thought that I would one day not have Thanksgiving dinner with my entire family (which I sweaaaar consists of about 200 people).  I never thought I wouldn’t ever again step into my Mamita’s home.  I miss the people of my past and memories and I especially miss my Nanchi!  She, more than anyone, knows how much I miss 75 Fales Street.  It was our second home, where we grew up together wearing our leopard jumpsuits and frilly dresses, along with our flat chests and puffy hair. 

Adulthood and marriage and geography (I hate you, New Jersey!) has separated us, but it isn’t a separation which has lessened our weirdo relationship.  We still call each other to gossip and talk shit.  I still haven’t been able to figure out if our conversations are a thing of brilliance or complete absurdity (most likely the latter).  No one gets my sense of humor quite as she does.  She makes fun of my non-existent nose and I make fun of her chickenpox scars.  She still laughs at the time when I tried to outsmart my dad with a lie and he yolked me up, and I still can’t get over the fact that she can’t say the word “bubonic” (ask her, she’ll get pissed).  We’ve almost died together a total of three times, and she even chose me (meeee!) to be her maid of honor.  When I was considering the Peace Corps, she was the first person I asked for advice.  She encourages me to write and for reasons which I still cannot comprehend, believes in me.  She has this thing where she refuses to charge that damn cell phone and sometimes she is such a smartass biotch that I wanna kick her, but I can’t because I love her with all of my grumpy heart.     

Happy Birthday to one of the most annoying and cheeky and absolutely brilliant loves of my life, Nancheexicle!  I swear, next year is the year I will surpass you in age.  I know it!

<3.

<3.