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Dear Ita,

Dear Ita,

I finished your book this week. I don't want to add to it anymore. I think you don't want me to add to it anymore either because as I wrote "Sabor a Mi" came on twice and so did "Por Un Amor". "Por Un Amor" came on just as I was finishing, so I'll take the hint. I think we're both tired. Also, I think you don't want me to share anymore of your life.

I want you to know that I needed to share those things though, to show how much you still loved even after everything you'd lost.

Sometimes when I think of us, it's in stages. When I was little you and Mom were my whole world. Later as teen, I owned the asshole genes from our family like a proud scrape on my new Vans. I was annoying, and standoffish, and well an asshole. I'm sorry for all the times I was a jerk and/or rude. As an adult, I was always working. I remember you would always make me refried cheesy beans at the drop of hat. How did you always have beans made?

When I talk about you in class I imagine that you are sometimes there watching, excited that people are learning about you (or maybe not depending on the story). For the record, I never thought it was weird you took me to bars. Maybe not typical, but you made me smarter, more street wise, which is good because then I would only be one kind of smart.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I hope you like the finished book, and you know why I wrote it. I hope that you're not angry with me for writing it. More important, I hope you're not angry at me for staying away so long. You taught me an important lesson even in death. I hope that you help me make the book successful (because I think everyone should know you), and that people understand (I realize not everyone) but that it was truly written por un amor.



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Listas de Colombia

Number of hours spent traveling: 20
Days spent in Colombia: 29
Cazuela de frijoles comidas: 2
Tres Cordillera cervezas tomadas: 15
Shots of aguardiente shots I turned away: 6
Shots of aguardiente I couldn't turn away: 4
Veces que usé tenso equivocado en español: unknown
Ceviches I ate: 6
Days at the beach: 4
Micheladas: 10
Showers taken: 58
Sunblock application: 10
Usos de la palabra chevre: 5
People asked why I was a brown gringa: 4
Times I was offended by this: 0
Times people thought I was Colombian until I spoke: unknown
Apologies made on behalf of United States for Donald Trump: 1
Explanation of the El Paso/Juarez border: 5
Uso de la frase, "ese man": 20
Photos taken: 88
Veces que escuchú salsa: infinito
Ramen from Formosa restaurant eaten: 3
Max number of hours of speaking only Spanish before mouth and brain hurt: 4
New tattoo: 1
Book read: 1
Books started and left unfinished: 1
Reruns of CSI: Miami watched on AXN: 20
Ubers rides: 15
Chicharonnes eaten: 12
Jaras de …