Wednesday, August 29, 2012


When I was younger, before I had a car and my biggest concern was what would happen if I got caught smoking a cigarrette, I was told by my mom that she could spot who my friends were before she even saw me. She'd look in the crowd of self-conscious hormonal teenagers and notice the similarities in the toss of our hair, the bobble in our neck, and our hands scribbling emphasis in the air.

Now, I'm sure the way we dressed gave some things away, our scuffed Vans and low hanging pants, all hints of which group we belonged to. But, I was thinking about those gestures and how they change, evolve, and sometimes disappear. How the people in our lives help develop our mannerisms. Almost like cooking, a pinch of this person a cup of this one and WHAM! You've made them all your own.

How do we know what was ours and what we picked up? There is the conscious, "I like that I'm going to start doing it." An ex-boyfriend used to dissect my phrasing and he'd steal things like, "We're going to X, wanna come with?" He was fascinated with "the come with" for some reason. He thought it was cool and made it part of his vocabulary. I kept a light popping sound he used to make by smacking his lips together then open.

I suppose there are gestures that are simply ingrained in our DNA. I frown in a certain way that I've seen only in pictures which show a dad I never really knew. I suppose we even keep things that we never really knew we wanted.

Where did this come from? Not sure, but perhaps thinking about the people I surround myself with and what little tidbits I have picked up from them. How they have become ingrained in my mannerisms, in me, even after they are gone, after you're not friends anymore, after years of being friends, and well simply just after. The ones that stay with you are perhaps indicators of just how important the people were to you. The ones that never go away, well stay.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Los Dichos

No hay mal que por bien no venga.
Tanto quiere el diablo a su hijo que hasta un ojo le quiere sacar.
Mejor sola que mal acompañada.
Tanto pedo para cagar aguado.
Lo barato sale caro.
Más seguro más amarrado.
Para buen entendido muy pocas palabras.
Para cada roto un descocido.
Hijo pepe mariquita!
Para pendeja no se estudia.
Limosnero con garrote.
Soy como Orozco, cuando como no conozco.
La zorra nunca ve su cola ni el zorrillo su fundillo.
El muerto y el arrimado al los tres días huelen.
Amores de lejos, amores de pendejos.
Estaba haciendo chili con la cola.
Me  da diarrea con gusanos.
Enfermo que come y mea, y el diablo que se le crea.
La esperanza es la última que muere.
El flojo trabaja doble.
De noche todos los gatos son pardos.
Una cosa es Juan Domínguez y otra cosa es no la chingues.
Es de Don Cuco, entra la bola no se supo.
Primero me besa un ciego.
Dime con quién andas y te diré quien eres.
No porque te levantas más temprano, amanece más pronto.
Para el santo que es con la vela que quedó del otro.
Tengo malos ratos pero tan malos gustos.
Que Dios lo ayude y a mí que no me olvide.
El sordo no oye pero que bien compone.
Peca más el robado que el que robo.
Debo no tengo y si tengo no me acuerdo.
No es lo mismo amar a Dios en tierra de indios.
Después de buen servicio, mal pago.
El que por su gusto muere, hasta la muerte le sabe buena.
 El que se aconseja come pedo de vieja.
El que nace panzón aunque lo fajen de niño. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Excerpt from "Drum Beats"

I darted between cars in the rainbow stained parking lot, leaping over small inky puddles from the gathering mist. I hurried, only to stand in line. I was late. I was always late, even when I tried to be on time. My phone vibrated and I looked down as it lit up with a text that said, “Inside where u @?” I sent a quick response and waited. I sighed and leaned against the wall to keep out of the spray, resigned to wait another fifteen minutes till I could get in. There was always something about live shows that I loved. The air tingled a little and people stood around anxious, waiting, hoping, that they were going to have a good time. The slight deaf feeling after and the rush of adrenaline always made them worth it. Tonight, Sage had convinced me to come out even though I didn’t know the people playing.
 The walls from the venue reverberated from the music inside. I felt my leg, shaking from impatience, begin to match the beat of the muffled song. The people in front of me smoked and chatted as they waited their turn to go in. I looked up at the mist haloed lights and took a deep breath of the damp air. A stream of cars drove up and down the street in front of the parking lot, their tires making wet little splashes adding to the song of sounds around us. Everyone seemed to be gesturing and nodding to the same rhythm. As I waited, looked around at Converse clad feet, replicated vintage rock shirts, and shaggy hair, I noticed the beat in everything; the shuffle of our feet, the intake of our breath, the pulse of our heart. We carry it without noticing, the flutter of fingers as they gesture to make a point, a leg swaying beneath the table, all part of the music that makes our individual beats.

 I was lost in these thoughts as I witnessed everyone making their own music, when I saw a tall, slender guy, with closely cropped hair walk out of the door I was eagerly awaiting to get in. He bounced slightly when he walked; heels seeming to barely touch the ground. He emanated a nervous energy, a little faster, more animated then the rest of us, who now mirrored the beats from inside. As he talked to the door guy, he gestured broadly with his hands patted him on his meaty arm with one hand while he pointed inside and laughed. The laughter moved his whole body.  His shoulders scrunching up toward his neck, in a childlike motion, back moving in unison to the laughter I couldn’t hear, and when he did this I couldn’t help but resent his exit while I was still waiting to getting in. I watched as he walked past me, grin quickly fading, shoulders suddenly braced, head up as if daring the misty night air. I cocked my head for a moment as I stared after him then turned to see the line had not moved.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Boxing: Round One

It's a sauna. No, to say it's a sauna is an understatement because along with the wall of heat that hits you as you walk down the stairs there is the smell. The smell of sweat and work slick bodies working harder than they've probably ever worked before twists and combines with the humid air of the basement.

I enter and feel the breeze of fans touch my already warm skin. This is a basement filled with six other people all working together, whether consciously or unconsciously toward the same moment. That point in the running, stair climbing, punching, crunching, jumping, squatting... where you don't think you can go anymore. When the burn in your muscles doesn't subside and the burn in your lungs makes each breath hard even though they are screaming for it.

But, still, I punch.I punch the bag and wait for it to swing back at me to punch it again. My arms, brown, are slick with sweat. They look oiled and I feel the drops of sweat ribbon themselves down my head, my face, my chest, as I run up the stairs. Going down, there is a relief in the burn of my quads. My calves take the brunt, but they're a smaller muscle. Strong stubborn muscles. Back to the bag I punch, left, right, left, left, right. Take that bag, take that cop that gave me a ticket today, take that lady that makes my life difficult at work, take that and that....

Until I can't breathe and my lungs scream in defeat. I gasp trying to keep the sharp pain on my side at bay, when the bell dings, the light is red. I can rest, rest for thirty seconds until the next round.