There is a strange smell that comes from a brother-in-law sleeping in
your house because he has no money, two children in another part of
the country, and no job. His limited possessions smell different; the
house takes on an air of corrosion, dissimilar embers burn in the
fires of the soul. The silent pause has disappeared. You cannot escape
this space that used to be yours, this paradise now a coffin with
doors that used to be open. Clothes strewn around a futon and sneakers
left on the terrace to dry in the morning sun. Walls are closing in.
When did your dreams die and why must he live here? When will the air
smell normal again?
Couple hours before the sixty peso pregnancy test purchased from
Wal-mart confirmed that my wife was pregnant I drove to the only bank
that offers the smallest increments of withdrawals in an attempt to
take out fifty pesos. The old ATM card declined by the dependable
cajero automático in air-conditioned confessional booth Banorte; drove
home in apathy. Borrowed five hundred pesos from money recently given
to the wife to save for the rent so I didn’t drink it all, buy the
test and some groceries and L'Oreal
face cream for a hundred ninety-three. Too poor for receiving less
than five dollars from the fucking ATM, but the line indicates
something more, something inerasable, something pure.
Today my baby died. She slipped from the bathroom in a puddle of blood
and after an hour of confusion all amusements of yesterday became
obsolete endeavors that will never be the same again: shopping,
painting walls pink, buying tiny clothing with catchy slogans.
1996 © 2011