We will never.

408ff47d74fcc970fe38551e2c26543fYou’ll never see my daughter grow up. I’ll never see your son grow up. They will never be a family. And one day, the universe will put them together in the same room, and they won’t know how much their parents loved each other. How much future was in our eyes at one point. They’ll never experience coming home to a happy family, to a pair of tired adults from working all day, but with full hearts of happiness and warmth to give them both.

We will never know what it takes to build a home together, cook together, fix the kids room together. The joy of building their beds and painting the walls to their favorite colors, and decorating the rooms for a girl and a boy who, despite being born in different worlds, would have grown up in one whole, loving family.

I will never know the feel of your kiss at the end of a long day at work, when you would get home and wrap your hands around my waist and whisper in my ear while I prepare dinner: I love you so much. You will never feel the breeze of the night, as we would sit out in the balcony, sharing that so desired glass of wine, while you’d tell me how your day was at work.

I will never hear your lips call me bonita one more time, or feel the weight of your arms crushing my ribs while you sleep, deeply, snoring away. We will never feel the sunshine peeking through the window in a Sunday morning, poking our lazy bodies, tired from a night of love making, laugh inducing silliness and deep long stares.

We will never.

You should have opened your eyes. I was crazy about you. And that, you will never find again.

Photo credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/40/8f/f4/408ff47d74fcc970fe38551e2c26543f.jpg


Why do you love me?Because you’re a good woman.
My ex husband used to tell me he loved me because I was good. Not because I was pretty or smart, or because I was fun. He loved me because I was good.


I used to ask myself if it was better to be someone’s impossible love or to be someone’s “let-me-settle-with-this-girl” love. The latter seems to lack passion. The unmistakable definition of it is what it is and I take what I can get.

I was good. So I decided to be bad. And bad I’ve been.

Many people have loved me because I was good to them. Because I go out of my way to please them. Because there isn’t an action in this world full of good intentions, that would amount to being the greatest person they’ve ever met. So I was good to them.

I was good to them because I don’t know how to say no. Because I rather deprive myself of something than to fail their expectations of my “good” self.

And in turn, they’ve paid me with bad. I’ve kept them company, so they leave me alone. I’ve supported them, they pay me with neglect. And it has never failed, as that of a bible excerpt, that they will deny me three times before the rooster crows.

Last year a friend sent me a book called: Men love bitches.

I laughed as I read it because I find it ridiculous to fathom the idea that evil can be repaid with kindness. But it does. My upbringing has brought me many a disappointment. Lead a life of servitude they taught me. Find pleasure in serving others. And pleasure I find.

But as hard as it is to realize, I am alone, sitting at the end of the strip of street that runs behind my house, right at the dead end that looks upon a highway. I am sitting here alone, looking at and endless stream of cars traveling God knows where to. I am entirely alone. A life of service for a destiny of loneliness.

We are forever responsible for the monsters we create. And those monsters will never understand how much I needed them. No amount of bad will ever fill my emptiness.

Photo credit: http://agirlikeme.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/tumblr_m29kmhnspx1roht0ro1_500_large1.jpg

The Box


Inside my closet, on the first shelf of the door to the left, there’s a black box. It’s a cardboard box with black and brown stripes and a solid black top. I bought it at Ikea, for no particular purpose, but it ended up being your box. When I speak to people about your box I call it the black box, like the ones on the airplanes. It serves the same purpose. It contains memories.

Every time I open my closet door, and that is several times a day, I look at it. It’s there, sitting on the shelf, not saying much. Not saying anything at all. It’s just a box. But to me, it’s always whispering. It wants to be noticed. It sits there looking at me, and saying: Look at me, I’m that big pink elephant in the middle of the room. I’m here!

But I tell myself that it’s just a black box.

Every so often, I take it out, and I climb onto my bed with it. I caress the top, and slowly whisper to it, like taming a wild animal that it’s about to burst open. I tame it. I speak to it, and we have a long silent dialog for a while. And then I open it. And so does my heart.

I make a careful inventory of its contents. It’s a ritual. The box knows it and so do I. We take everything out. It lets me. We take every single item out. Every memory. And every tear. There’s an order to everything inside the box. There’s an order to every emotion that comes with it. First comes the envelope with your graduation picture. It’s a CVS photo envelope with two copies of your cap and gown picture. The one that post office bent, although the envelope clearly said “Do Not Bend”. That one. The one I got to keep. Then comes a small notebook, a diary, where I wrote a note the day you left the office when you got the job in IT. It ends like this: “…and half my life is walking out the door with him.”

Then comes the t-shirt and the bib for the 5K we ran together. I don’t know why I placed it inside the box, but I guess it reminds me of so many times we’ve wanted to do races together, and only this time we did. Then come the sunglasses. The ones you gave me because you thought I would like them. I never told you I hated them. They’re ugly, they look ugly on me. But I wouldn’t tell you, because I wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings. But now you know, they’re ugly as funk.

The second layer of the contents becomes harder to take out. Is a thick mess of memories, each tangled up with the other, so deeply connected. Here is when I start crying. Here is why I never want to open the black box. There’s another tiny black box, containing the glass picture of yourself you gave me for Christmas last year. It’s so vivid I want to break it every time I see it, because maybe if I do, you will come out of your cage. You’re frozen inside the glass. Breaking it won’t free you. Breaking it only breaks me.

The heels. Those heels have never set foot on the ground. There isn’t a single scratch on their soles, not a spec of dust. But those heels have traveled many miles with us. Many beds. Many…

Your boxers and briefs. The tie. The silver tie and the silk scarf are together. They belong together. There’s no way on earth they can ever be apart. They have a mind of their own, even if I place them neatly next to each other, the next time I open the box they have manage to tangle themselves together. Like we did, at some point.

Then there’s a towel that you left in my car. Or in yours and I took it. Or at my old apartment. I can’t remember. It’s a towel, thick and soft. I keep it because it creates a nice soft mattress for the rest of the items in the box. As if it’d protect them from any damage.

The last three items I keep in a bundle. They also belong together like the tie and the scarf. But on a level so deep that nothing could tear them apart. Nothing. It’s the shirt you wore the night we went to Blue Martini. The night I told you I loved you. The night before the morning when, having realized I hadn’t said that out of being drunk, you told me you loved me. Wrapped inside it are two of the most valuable things I keep in this box. Your dog tags. And a necklace you gave me of dark purple beads and a feather.

Your dog tags say that you are A+. Just like me. Blood of my blood.

After I’ve ripped my soul open, the ritual ends. I put everything back in the box, in the exact same order that it came out. I carefully fold every piece of clothing. Set the shoes in place. Your picture. Everything in a way that it doesn’t get disturbed by anything else. Every item in this box coexists with the others. They purposely belong to each other. In harmony.

Tonight I have done my black box ritual one more time. I have taken careful account of my inventory. I have recalled every memory. Shed every tear. But tonight there’s a new item inside.

I left my heart in the black box. Because my heart doesn’t want to be anywhere else, but where it one day, was very happy.

Photo credit: https://img1.etsystatic.com/043/0/6699511/il_340x270.600062037_fq17.jpg

Open Letter to AOB

19. “Let’s do this”

18. Okinawa

17. Weston

16. Ice…

15. Jaiden

14. Heels

13. The Hunger Games/Catching Fire/Mockingjay

12. Blackened Tilapia

11. Blue drinks

10. 3, 2, 1… Snores

9. I “lobe” you

8. Half a wrap and M&Ms

7. O.T.

6. “Watchuwon?”

5. “Look! (Opens mouth) I did it!”

4. “Buenos días bonita.”

3. “One day soon.”

2. “Mi amor.” “Mi vida.”

1. “5th?” “Yes, please!”

*drops mike*

36 Feathers From the Duck

largeToday is my birthday. I’m turning 36. Older or younger, doesn’t really matter anymore, for it is only a matter of perspective. Absolutely relative. So at the age of 36, sitting at the edge of one of the toughest times of my life, here I stamp the 36 things life has taught me, and taught me well.

1. Your birthday is important. No matter what the party-poopers want to make you believe, IT IS NOT just another day. You were born this day for God’s sake! Make it a fucking holiday!

2. The best gifts in life are only measurable in seconds. Time my friends, time is precious.

3. Makeup is good for your soul. Don’t use cheap one. And certainly, don’t use too much.

4. Men are like stilettos. They look great on display, but you really don’t know how painful they can be until you try them on.

5. Being patient pays. But saying what’s on your mind right there and there when you feel like it, it’s priceless. Don’t hold back.

6. Individualism rules. Collectivism is deadly. Be you. Fuck the rest.

7. Hunger is a teacher. Eat healthy, but don’t forget to treat yourself. You’ll never know when you’ll go to bed with an empty stomach.

9. Middle school is cruel. But those are also your foundation years. Those are the years to begin sacrificing so you can see fruits later.

10. Crying is a escape valve. Cry and cry often. Don’t hold it. Find the saddest songs. Let it out. Wail with your lungs. You will find that from one second to the next, you’d stop crying and didn’t even know why.

11. Sadness is a place. Visit it. Learn it well. Make a mental map of it. Draw escape routes. And you will know the difference when happiness comes around.

12. Heartbreak consumes you, destroys you but it’s entirely survivable. No one, I mean this, no one dies of heartbreak.

13. Write things down. Feelings, experiences, names, phone numbers. Write it all. You’d be surprised years later when you read what you wrote, how life changes. You change.

14. Put songs on re-play. Play them so much, you learn to recognize when the singer stops to breathe. Then find another song. Put it on re-play too.

15. Buy yourself flowers. Don’t wait for anyone to show up at your doorstep with a bouquet of your favorite. Be your biggest admirer.

16. It’s ok to be lazy. Don’t do a thing for a day. The world doesn’t stop because you take a break. Overachieving kills people. And makes you miss birthdays.

17. Look forward to something. Anything. Keep hope alive by having goals, expecting something or someone. Live each day as if you were going on vacation tomorrow. Excitement is fuel.

18. LEARN TO SAY NO. People pray on good souls. They abuse. Say no if you don’t want to do it.

19. Pay attention. The world does not revolve about you, but around you. Observe. You’d be surprised the things you’d discover if you just open your eyes.

20. Disappointment is inevitable. People are not in this world to serve you. Keep your standards high, but your expectations low.

21. Friends are family. Pick them wisely. Give yourself to them fully.  They save lives. Shed the ones that don’t make your soul sparkle.

22. Forgive yourself. You are human. It’s ok to make mistakes.

23. Read. Read so much you forget if you saw that on a book or on real life. Read so much, your DNA has an ISBN number.

24. Hoard books too. You may not have time to read them now. But one day it’s all you’d want to do.

25. Fall in love. Often. With different people or the same person. It doesn’t matter. Just love someone.

26. Love is a hormone. After a few years it stops working. It’s up to you to keep it pumping.

27. Your parents are your pillars. Keep your relationship strong. Visit them often. Speak to them everyday. Love them. They are the reason you are here today. Appreciate their struggle to raise you.

28. Believe in something. God, the Universe, Money. Believe. Faith is what keeps you alive.

29. Laugh. Laugh loud, by yourself, with someone. At yourself. Laugh even if you’re crying.

30. Sex is good for you. Have it. And have it often. Don’t be afraid to show who you are in bed. No one has the right answer. It’s a game. Play it well.

31. Technology is your best friend. And your worst enemy. Learn it. Keep up with it.

32. You are important to who you are important to. Simple as that. Those who don’t care, won’t do. It’s a matter of priorities.

33. Falling out of love is scary. Ending a relationship it’s overwhelming. Deal with it one step at a time. There’s no right way to leave.

34. Challenges will come your way. Some will teach you a lesson. Some will bring you to your knees. Face the struggle. “If you’re going thru hell, keep going.”

35. Your child is the reason for your existence. You were chosen. They are your God. Worship them.

36. Eva Luna: You are the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Your condition has taught me patience beyond my limits. Your innocence floors me. Your love keeps me breathing. No one, NO ONE, holds my heart in their hands like you do. I am for you. I exist for you. And I will live for you. You, my princess, are the only reason I can’t give up on life.

*Photo credit: http://data3.whicdn.com/images/18775044/large.jpg

Hope is a 4 letter word

HopeOftentimes I find myself completely hopeless. I reach the bottom of my hope bag, and there is nothing there. Nothing. Not the slightest sign of the light at the end of the tunnel. Not even the smallest manifestation of the possibility of a brighter future. And I just sit there and simmer endlessly in self-pity, thinking that there is nothing more disgusting in life that feeling sorry for oneself, and that just quick-sands me into an even worse mood.

Then I stop. I make an effort – that seems extenuating at times – to count my blessings. I sit down and make the mental list of all the positive things in my life:

1. My daughter, who is a blessing in herself, because without her I know exactly how many feet under I’d be dwelling into right now.

2. My parents, who relentlessly and colossally believe in me despite the many times I’ve proved them wrong. It is a faith in its own that has no end.

3. The fact that I still enjoy things like writing, and reading, and that I can get up every morning and show up at work, regardless of the heavy bag I carry on my back. I am still alive.

4. My faith in God. At times, it’s the only thing I have to hold on to. And believe me, I HOLD ON!

But no matter what I do, there is always something or someone, that inevitably will drag me down to reach down again into the bottom of my bag, and I realize there is no hope. And I start then another type of counting, the counting of all the negative things. The undesirable conversation with my ugly self that so readily lists how everything can go wrong. And the cycle repeats itself.

But this year – and this is not in any way, shape or form, a resolution – right at the very beginning of it, I read something that made me pause the cycle and begin to understand how this works. The phrase came from someone who I admire more than she even thinks I do. I see in this girl the strength that no one has shown me in my life. And she said it with these simple words:

“Will power is a muscle. It’s finite. And always renewable”

I was floored. When a woman like this woman, whom I think to be the real life form of Wonder Woman says to you something so powerful and so clear, it makes you stop. Listen. And renew.

Yes, H.O.P.E is a four letter word. It means nothing if you don’t give it life yourself. Fuel it, feed it, renew it when it dies, make a mental workout on it, fall in love with it. Keep it moving.

H.O.P.E. is a four letter word. It’s up to you to bring it to life. Write up your own definition.

*Photo credit: http://ivoh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Hope2.jpg

Confessions Of A Fool In Love: Part 1

girl-in-love-wallpaper*Some of the names of the characters in this story have been changed to respect their privacy

I can easily begin this story by pinpointing it back to that night when I met Esteban at that hole in the wall bar in – oh the famous city of – Hialeah. But no. My story began the day I understood what it meant to like a boy and its consequences. I was a little girl, can’t even remember what age, some time between 4th and 5th grade. I had discovered what it was to have my first crush, and oh boy was I in for a lifetime of disappointment. Men, I have come to terms with this realization, are not from Mars. They are nothing different from women, not made of a different material, not even privy of the knowledge of speaking a different language than us women. They don’t have big eyes and antennae, or funny looking bodies with long fingers and protruding bellies. No, men are just that, men, and there is no better way to describe it. They are that ever infallible tool to manipulate me into a metamorphosis of myself, into the never ending discovery that I am in fact, well, a fool.

When I am in love I turn into this all pleasing, all insecure bundle of nothing, that falls into pieces with the tiniest stimulus of a word. And please do not take lightly the word stimulus, I mean that in the most basic description of that word. They turn me into a stimulus-reactive junkie. It reminds me even of that common sight of a drill sergeant and a private: “Drop down and give me twenty!” And I – the stimulus-reactive junkie – drops down and gives him 25. Because oh I will never, EVER ( in Orlando’s famous Mara impersonation) be good enough for any of them. I know, I know, my dearest reader, you are probably thinking right now, “oh girl you are just preaching to the choir!”. And yes, that is exactly what I’m doing, preaching to the damn choir, that I, this woman of 35 with the mind of a 13 year old is, plainly and simple, the only culprit of all my men problems. I know this. I have to look at myself in the mirror everyday. But I ask you, no, I beg you, just sit down, and hear me out for a minute will ya? I will immerse you into the journey of my thousand men troubles and the why I can’t blame not one of them.

Let’s begin my fairytale with the ever famous words once upon a time…in a land, not far away at all, for I was born in Cuba, there was this little girl that loved her father dearly. I still love my father, yes, but now he’s a stranger that lives with my mom. I loved my father with devotion. He was the light of my days, my friend, my hero, and the terror inducing monster of my experience with men. I would have done, and still would do anything to make my father proud. But as soon as the word “boy” came around I realized that it was only the beginning of my nightmares. My father was very strict. So strict I would rather hammer my own toes than to bring a boyfriend home. I was afraid, no wait, I was terrified the first time I brought Lucas home.

 Lucas: men problem number 1.

Lucas was a dream come true. The violin player, with honey curled hair and eyes like still light green water, and the Snow White skin with rosy cheeks and lovely lips. And oh yes, he liked me. Me? The ugly duckling? Me the skinny twig with no ass no boobs, big ears and crooked teeth? Oh but I was in heaven the first time Lucas kissed me. Now, Lucas was not my first kiss. I had had a less than half an hour make out session with a boy from middle school whose presence in my life was as flighty as the kissing session. So Lucas liked me. Oh me, oh my! Him, the violin god, every girl’s dream, the mystic boy that would sit nonchalantly in a bench at the park at the age of 17, and speak of Vivaldi, and Borges and good lord help me, of Ella Fitzgerald. Lucas was my haunting dream for years, and the reason why I traveled back to my hometown twice after I migrated with the hope of finding him again. And find him I did. But Lucas was/is a melancholic soul, troubled child of a broken home, dependent of his mothers every breath and word.

And I-Just-Couldn’t-Deal-with-that.

Trouble number 1.

If I am not your every waking hour obsession I am not happy. I, the stimulus-reactive junkie, have to feel a man’s undivided attention, full blown adoration and no less than worshipping love towards me at all times, or else I will be your biggest Hollywood’s drama queen. Yes, I NEED you, simple mortal man to tell me that you love me every second of the day. Because the second you miss a beat I will fall into this down spiraling insecurity tornado that will crush my bones, my soul and yours too.

So here I am terrified of telling my father the four most dreaded words: I have a boyfriend. Duck under the table, run for your life, your soul is going to burn in hell, I have a boyfriend. And the boyfriend lasted all but a month. My poor father. I’m sure he was just as terrified as I was. Here was his little girl telling him she likes a boy, and damn him he’s just going to take her away. But he didn’t.

I – have also come to terms with this fact – was Lucas’ worst nightmare. I was the biggest bitch Lucas would have in his life. I was mean, and cruel and manipulative. I led him to believe for years he was my soul mate. And maybe he was, but I’m too young to realize that still. And after I left Cuba, Lucas fell into what can only be described as a depression, all because of me, the ugly duckling. For this Lucas , I ask – as I have before – your forgiveness. I was young, stupid, immature and didn’t recognize the difference between loving someone and being in love. For this Lucas , I ask you don’t hate me for the rest of your life, as I don’t deserve any feelings from you. None. Not even hate.

To be continued…

*Photo credit: http://www.99hdwallpaper.com/love/wallpapers/girl-in-love-wallpaper.jpg

Once upon a time…

Writer-once-upon-a-timeOnce upon a time…I had a blog. I had a really pretty blog, with a logo, and lots of widgets on the sidebar and people who followed me, and loved my posts and commented on them. I had a lovely blog and I lost it (just like everything else). But that blog belonged to a time in my life that no longer is. It was everything about a wife, and a mother and of someone who had her life together and her ducks in a row. Someone who loved to cook, and write, and ramble on about life and photography and you-name-it.

She no longer lives here. Inside.

Ducks have scattered around. Blog is gone. But I am still a mother. Something remains.

Something that also remains is my relentless desire to write. I write. I write like “a man looks for water with his head on fire”. I write with my teeth, with my bones, with every step when I run, with my makeup brush, with the heels of my shoes. I write. Because that is how I breathe. I write because talking is overrated. I write because there is  nothing else that I’d rather do in the world.

So if by chance, you knew me in my other life, welcome to my new one. I’m just an ugly duckling, trying to grow some feathers. Stick around and we’ll write about something together. Let’s write about fitness, and food, and heartbreaks (because they all go so well together). Let’s write about coffee, and heels and makeup. Let’s write up a whole new world.

A world where I get to be a swan.

*Photo Credit to: http://islandmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Writer-once-upon-a-time.jpg