Black dog

A black dog visits me once a month. He doesn’t have a schedule, he shows up as he pleases. Yesterday he came to say hello. My black dog and I have a connection, because he doesn’t bark and makes no sound, you cannot tell just when he appears. But I do; his bare presence transforms the atmosphere around: cold silence presses against my chest, I know he’s arrived.

We love long walks on paths without direction, we walk not knowing when it will end. My black dog moves so silently you cannot tell he is with me, it’s only because of the rhyme in our steps that I know he is by my side.

His eyes absorb all color and reflect none, an entire absence of light that lacks of all sensation.

People around hide their face but not me, the silence of his presence and the disturbing lack of emotion on his eyes comfort me.

Some may call him a curse, other a sickness. Some may even dare to say he isn’t real, if they could just feel how his steps resound in my heart, like the echo bouncing on the walls of an empty room with every heartbeat. But they would never understand no matter how much I explain it.

Today when I woke up he was gone, but he stays close enough that I can always feel him near.

Black dog

My purple tree

I was in high school when I saw my purple tree for the first time. It was in the front yard of the house I moved to in Mexico City. I wasn’t amazed by the purple tree, maybe because at that age boys don’t wonder about trees. Of course I acknowledged the color purple of my tree, but I never understood how extraordinary and unique that was. I didn’t care about my tree at all. I never learned its name and, to be honest, I hated it.

People said my purple tree gave a great view and character not only to my house but also to the whole street, yet I never saw it. I hated my tree because I spent hours raking its fallen purple leaves without making a difference; as soon as I picked one leave two more had already fallen down. I constantly got calls from my supervisor because the front yard was always an incomplete job.

Considering that I wasn’t responsible for raking the leaves very often because my nineteen roommates and I rotated the house chores every week, I should not have made it a big a deal. But I did. All I saw of my tree were its purple leaves on the grass and the never ending work of raking them.

Many years later I have come to understand that that my tree was unique not because its color, but because it magnified anything around it; my tree was unique because it created beauty. I miss it. I would love to have it  back. I would love to rake its purple leaves on the grass. I would love to see people walking by and turning their heads towards my purple tree to admire its splendid appearance. I would love to see the beauty of my house raise because of its presence.

I have had many purple trees in my life. I hope I have gotten smarter enough to recognize them now.

My purple tree

Family talk


Last week I talked to my parents, they told me about an invitation from their church to assist a protest against abortion and euthanasia. I am not sure my parents are totally opposed to these two things, but they trust their “faith” more rather than their own reasoning, so they will be there supporting the penalization of things they didn’t know exist nor understand what it is; euthanasia.

The protest leaders said that abortion puts two lives at risk, the baby and the woman so with this protest they will be saving both lives. The fact is that legal induced abortion is safer than childbirth. I told my parents a march promoting birth control options would be more beneficial.

It is not my intention to state why I favor abortion, I just want to make a point. Mexico is one of the highest countries with teenage pregnancy rates. It is obvious that the sexual education needs a reform. I do not believe that abortion is the solution to this problem, but surely the penalization of it is the wrong approach to a solution. However, the protest of October 20th is only against abortion, they do not have any concern on the biggest problem: teenage pregnancy.

It frustrates me to hear lawmakers and religious leaders trying to legislate the female body. There is nothing more private than a body, and no one has a right over it.

What about euthanasia? Well, my parents were told that if when they get old and none of their children want to take care of them, their children can decide to put them down. Totally false information. When I explained to my mom what euthanasia really is, she would still not accept it, her faith had already provided her with an opinion and going against it would be a synonymous of apostasy; going against the truth, the truth of her faith.

I grew up believing that my body is a temple and I should treat it as a holy thing. The problem I had with this idea is that there were people telling me the way I should treat my temple. No one has a right to put rules on my holy temple. It is mine and I decide how to keep it holy (or not) and how to treat it. If I ever reach a point of no return in my life where there is no quality ahead, I should be able to decide whether to continue or end there, I should be able to decide to be free of any constrain, obligation or bondage. I understand it as the ultimate act of freedom: to decide when and how I want my life to end, a decision made by me and only me. It may sound weird, and I don’t blame you, this is a rare thought of mine. A quote from Montaigne explains so beautifully what I’m trying to say:

It is uncertain where death waits for us, but we wait for it everywhere. The premeditation of death is premeditation of liberty. He who learns how to die has forgotten to serve. The knowledge of death frees us from every constraint and obligation. There is nothing bad in life for he who understands well that the withdrawal of life is not bad.

I moved out of my parent’s house when I was thirteen years old, so at a very young age for better or for worst, I had the opportunity to make my own decisions. I’m not giving that privilege away. I have learned to let the political/religious disagreements between my family and I pass by. I learned that trying to convert my family to my point of view would end in a discussion. I don’t do that anymore. I simply say what I believe in and move along.

-So, how is the weather like in Cancun? I asked my mother and our conversation flowed as usual.


Family talk



I have always wanted to have something to be remembered for, a book, a story, it doesn’t matter what, all I want is people to know that I existed. I think that is the reason I have a journal and the reason I write in this blog.

I always knew that I don’t believe in God, but It was difficult to accept that this life was all that existed. Once I decided to believe that there is nothing else after death, my desire to make or to create something so people remember me once I’m gone, grew stronger.

I have not created anything that may make my name resound in the world. However, there is an object flying in the universe that announces not only my existence but also the existence of all of us. This object is expected to last for more than two million years, it is the closest thing I have to be remembered for eternity. I’m talking about the voyager’s golden record.

Each of the voyagers launched in 1977 carry a golden record explaining life on earth. So, that maybe one day someone may find it and know that we ever existed.

This record not only contains an explanation of life but also of culture and language on our planet. There are only two things recorded in Spanish; a greeting and a song. The only song in the Spanish language contained in the golden record is from my country, Mexico. And It is in this song, el Cascabel, where I find a little bit of me to be known by for eternity.

I cannot but imagine the aliens who may listen to this song and wish to visit the people that listend to El Cascabel, and that I would be among the welcoming party “zapateando” at the beats of this song and the aliens would ask:

-Where are the tacos?

This month, September, is when I celebrate the Independence of Mexico and I want to celebrate it with you all listening to the most Mexican song that will forever live and for which I will always may exist; El Cascabel.

Viva Mexico!


The cat and the light


–Don’t let the cat into the house. Just feed her once a day, like this

He opened a can of cat food and placed it on the floor, the cat came and ate from it.

–What’s her name? I asked.

–She doesn’t have a name, he said.

That was the conversation I had with Armando about his cat the day I met him. Armando is a retired man who travels a lot, and I was left in charge of his house for the next 6 months. His instructions were very simple: feed the cat, and leave one light on at night. I was not required to mow the grass nor to clean the pool, he already paid someone to do all that. But he encouraged these two instructions: the cat and the light.

I didn’t find it weird to have a nameless pet, when I was a kid I had two chickens that never got a name, I simply called them chicken and rooster. So, I was ok calling the cat, cat.

He invited me to sit next to him as he explained the importance of the cat. Armando’s wife died three years before I came to his house. She died of cancer, and two months after she passed away, the cat started showing up in the house. He tried to scare the cat away several times until one of his daughters believed it was the spirit of her recently dead mom. So, although the cat is still not a welcomed guest in his home he continues to feed her.

Armando does not believe the cat is the spirit of his wife, but he shows special attention to her.

The next morning Armando came to the house to pick up some stuff and he brought Daniela, his new wife. Armando and Daniela got married two days before I moved into his house, and they were about to leave on a business trip as a new couple.

It may seem strange but after Daniela entered the house as the new wife, the cat did not show up for almost a week. I though the cat was gone, but she eventually came back.

I don’t believe the cat is the spirit of the dead wife, I think it is just a good coincidence that the cat appeared a few months after her death. I think it is just a coincidence that I moved to this house where I needed to take care of a cat who is the spirit of woman who died of cancer. I think it is a coincidence that I named this cat Melissa. I think it is a coincidence that I forget to turn the light on at night, but never forget to feed and chat every morning with Melissa.

The cat and the light

I don’t remember his name


I just realized how complicated it is to describe someone when you don’t have a name to put on that person’s face. It feels like a soulless memory.

I don’t remember his name, he was two years younger than me. We met when we were kids at sunday school. But at some point, in our teenage years he stopped assisting church and I got into boarding school so I lost all track of him.

I saw him again during a school break in which I was visiting home. That is the last time I saw him. A few days later he died. He drowned. His family called my dad who was the religious leader of our church at that time and they wanted him to perform some kind of a prayer asking for the recovery of his body which had not yet appeared.

My dad, my friend’s family and I went to the beach in which he drowned. We walked for a while until we reached a huge rock on which we had a better view of the whole area. My dad climbed to the top, I stayed a little behind him and the rest of the group stayed on the ground. I was there, on top of the rock looking at the beautiful clear turquoise caribbean ocean. I remember thinking of how something so beautiful is capable of killing someone. My dad offered the prayer there asking for the ocean to return the body of this kid.

In the middle of the prayer my dad did not feel he was touching the ground and felt like falling. He opened his eyes to make sure he was still standing on the rock and continued with his prayer.

I looked at the ocean and though how something as huge and powerful would change its natural currents just because my dad was commanding them in the name of God to do so. I never told anyone what I was thinking there because if I ever did, they would have told me that I am weak and would question my faith which I was trying so hard to maintain. I hid my lack of faith for almost 15 more years.

The body of the kid whose name I don’t remember never appeared.

I don’t remember his name

Doña Concha



One of the most vivid memories of my childhood is when I played with my friends at an abandoned house around my elementary school. It was a marvelous house, the walls were made out of branches tied together and the roof out of palm leaves.  It had no electricity nor windows, all the lighting it had came from the few sunlight that passed through the narrow spaces between the branches of the walls. The most amazing thing was that this palapa had two levels. With every step we made we heard the wood cracking, it was going to fall at any time. We didn’t know who build it nor who used to live there, we only knew that it had always been abandoned. One day we found a bee hive and decided to throw it down. We all got stung, however nobody cried because when you are 10 years old you never let your friends see you crying.

Can a 10 years old kid find something better to do than playing at a two levels abandoned palapa? Yes, the excitement of the house was not only for playing in there knowing that at any second it may fall down, but to get a better look at the woman who live next door; Doña Concha, the witch.

Doña Concha had dolls hanging from a tree outside her house and a skull on top of her door, that was all I could see spying from the second floor of the abandoned house, and for a 10-year-old kid that was good enough to prove she was a witch. Not to mention that she had a fake eye, and wore the same dresses all the time. I think she made her clothes herself, it was a piece of fabric sawed with an elastic on top, she put it on just above her breast, I think she never wore a bra. Her dresses looked like a towel.

I remember that on our way home after school, as we passed by Doña Concha’s house we all would shut up, walk faster and never turn our head on the direction to her house which by the way, was filled with her many dogs that were not friendly at all. Probably the dogs were the reason why we broke into the palapa on the first place so we would be “safer” in this fragile construction keeping a better watch on the witch rather than on the level were the dogs could bite us.

When I turned 13 I left my house, and with that I forgot about Doña Concha. Fifteen years later I went back home, one day I saw Doña Concha walking on the street with her many dogs behind her. She looked way older, I was surprised of how much someone can age during that time. Despite the damage that time has made on her, I recognized her immediately. Now I am 28, I don’t believe in witches anymore, but when I saw her I understood why I thought she was one. Her head was a mixture of grey and black hair, I could not tell if her hair was dirty or if that was her natural color. She was wearing the same old dress, her skin was not as bright as bronze like I remember, I think the many days under the sunlight of my town turned her skin darker and redder; like cinnamon, not with the beautiful smell but for the reddish, the opaque and the wrinkled.

One day I saw an attractive young man outside of Doña Concha’s house. He was tall with brown-dark skin, he was strong and it was very easy to see the hard life he has had because of the noticeable scars on his body. He didn’t have a delicate appearance, he was more like a rustic beauty. I was surprised that the dogs that would at anytime chase anyone who was stupid enough to step close to that house, were around him in total sign of respect. There was something in his eyes that reminded me of Doña Concha. When he noticed my presence, I waved with a slight movement of my head. He waved back the same way.

Later that day I asked my parents who that man might be. They said he is Dona Concha’s son. They also told me the story of her eye; Doña Concha is originally from Veracruz, there she used to dance to entertain men, one of whom fell in love with her. This man wanted to marry her, but Doña Concha rejected him. In a fit of rage, he grabbed a knife and hurt her. She survived but lost one eye, she would never be hired as a dancer again. Doña Concha ran away and ended up living in my town, right next to the abandoned house.

I was confused to hear that Doña Concha has a son. But I was happy to know that the witch of my childhood is also a mom. I was glad to hear my parents talking about her being an “entertainer” and also a mother without any judgment, because I know that attacking the sexual morality of a woman is one of the most popular strategies to discredit her. Doña Concha can be a witch, she can be a mom, she can be an entertainer, she can be whatever she wants.





Doña Concha

I met a king


I met a king, yes it is true.

I was at work and I hated the three days it took to prepare for his arrival.

I have always disliked the prestige and better treatment people may give to someone in a position of power for no other reason than their title. It took no more than 60 seconds to, once more, cheat on my values.

I was at work when I first heard about the king’s visit, I hated him. We were going to welcome him with a red carpet, what a shame to myself was going to be standing there keeping reverence to a King I don’t even know. It made me feel denigrated. I was instructed to not call him “Señor” which is the title we use to call everybody, they even told me to not mention his name. I felt that the sign of respect they wanted from me was to make myself less than this King.

On the first day, the security of the king visited us, they checked out every single aspect. I just thought to myself “nobody has ever heard about this “X” kingdom, If I see this man on the street, I won’t even notice his royalty, all of this is BS”.

The second day I simply ignored them. I saw everybody trying to impress this people and the king was not even among them. All these arrangements and accommodations for the king reminded me of my childhood in church and how people talked about the exiting time when meeting the king of kings. Probably that is why I hated so much the preparation for a king’s visit, who reminds me of a battle with my childhood God which I do not respect.

On the third and final day everybody was nervous, I checked that everything was perfect. I heard, “the king is coming” and suddenly I found myself on one side of the red carped making a reverence while the king entered. I hated myself for doing that; not really, I was jealous. I wanted want this king had, respect.

I escorted him to the “room”–which wasn’t the best one we had, but we made them believe it was the VIP room. I walked with the king for less than 60 seconds, I felt the reverence, the respect, the looks, the silence people had while I was walking with the king. It took me less than 60 seconds to once more, cheat on my promises and desire to be treated as well.

At the end of the day I was relaxing at the king’s pool, and I enjoyed it.





I met a king

Stupid Fortune Cookie 

I don’t remember how many years have passed since I was at my favorite chinese restaurant, probably three… I’m not sure. What I can still recall is the feeling with which I opened the fortune cookie at the end of my meal. Me and most of the people, I think, have no interest in being told their future by a cookie. However, there is always this intrigue that invite us to open the cookie and read what the future may be – although five minutes later you won’t remember it. Today, a few years later, recent events on my life make sure I keep forever what that cookie said,

Prepare to change your plans

How drastically plans changed. I have tried so hard to hold myself on the past, (I still do) and I justify myself thinking that it is ok because I am not missing any new good things, what I had, was and forever will be so much better than anything new happening. 

Recently I had another fortune coockie, I was afraid to read my future, last time I did it went horrible. I red it hopping for a miracle, I don’t believe in miracles but I believe in hope.

If you wish to, you will have an opportunity 

I just hope my opportunity has not passed already. Besides, how can I stop wishing for something I can’t go a day without thinking about?


Beware of the stupid fortune coockies.

Stupid Fortune Cookie 

The Bookshelf


Last Saturday I went to the grocery store, when I got to the parking lot I saw a furniture store next to it. It was an instinct what made me walk inside. I walked through the lighting section and a shot of memories exploded in my mind, I kept walking. I wasn’t looking at anything nor paying attention to my memories, that because were so many it was impossible to think about them, it was easy to just feel them.

Suddenly I saw it, right there, in front of me, the bookshelf. I read its description trying to find something that would tell me it was a different piece of furniture. But the color, the size, the texture, everything was exactly as I remember, it was the bookshelf. There were no feelings, no reaction on me, I was in shock.

I looked at it and admired its perfection. I kept my distance because I was afraid to touch it, if before I liked it, now it was a sacred thing to me. Something inside told me to be quiet, if the bookshelf realizes that I was there, it would get mad. So in silence and in secret I stayed there, just looking at it.

Not so long ago, when I was in college, I wanted a bookshelf. I looked in many places, I saw a few that would do what I wanted but they were just missing something. I could not find the right one. Some friends told me to look for it online, that in that way would be easier to find what I was looking for. But I wanted a different experience, I did not want my bookshelf to be something I saw for first time on a screen, I wanted to see it for real, and to know that it was what I was looking for in the first time. I wanted to touch it, to feel it, it was something I could not do online, it was required to be a face to face search.

The third day of February I found it, before jumping on it I read its description and it was perfect. I wanted to take it home right away, but not wanting to rush things up I decided to be back the next day. That day, I couldn’t stop thinking about the smell of the wood, that day I walked over its sillage all day long–I still do.

For years I went back to the store to look at the bookshelf. I made plans, I pictured in my mind how it would look like in my room, what things I would put on it, I even imagined a plant named Argos on top of the bookshelf. And the bookshelf was always there waiting for me. But I was afraid to buy it; I knew it was what I wanted, and it wanted me to, but that fear of making the decision to take it home was always present. The bookshelf got tired of me and one day it wasn’t there anymore. I didn’t know if someone bought it or if it was sent to another store, I just knew it was gone and with it my plans to have it.

I emailed the company requesting them to bring it back, but no one gave an answer. I did not hear back from the bookshelf ever again. Its departure taught me the overwhelming of a NO for an answer. It was not until I faced its abandonment when I knew the perpetuity of a NO.

That is why, out of nowhere, in a different country and many years apart, I was in shock when I saw the bookshelf again. I knew that the bookshelf didn’t want me anymore, and I knew that I should not touch it, I should not make any move, I should not get any closer. I knew that all I could do was to keep my distance, and in silence and in secret I admired the grace of its curvy finishes.

Soon will be Saturday, and again I will make a detour on my way to the grocery store to, in silence and in secret, look at the bookshelf once more. 

The Bookshelf