Doña Concha

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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

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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?

P.S.

Beware of the stupid fortune coockies.

Stupid Fortune Cookie 

The Bookshelf

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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

Average

My favorite quote from Mad Men:

-I watched the sunrise today. Couldn’t sleep
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-Average

That quote came to my mind yesterday when I was at the lagoon watching the sunset. It makes it sound as if “average” is not important or worth to remember.

In Six Sigma average is a measurement tool, it determinates the control you have in a process. For a Manufacturing Engineer average is an essential thing to pay attention to.

Average can be both, essential or not worth to see at all.

Just as a sunrise can always be average, there are days, weeks or longer periods of time in our life that are average as well, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful to see.

This post turned out to serous, so let me share with you this short story of and average chat. It is average because that is what I used to do; talk about serous things and then watch iZombie every Tuesday.

-There’s this woman at work who is vegan, and when I asked her why, she told me about one time when she was on the train and out her window she saw a chicken break out of a cart next to the butchers, and she shouted, out loud:

“run you little bastard!”

Average

Thoughts on death

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.

Montaigne

Thoughts on death