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THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE MAGAZINE LE MAGAZINE DE LANGUES ÉTRANGÈRES
VOL. 20 No. 29 February 2010
By Alfredo Castillo
I can’t believe it now that I see my daily planner that December is here. This year has gone by really fast. It´s going to be four years since my dad passed away. It seems like yesterday when this avalanche of bitterness and pain appeared in our lives shaking all of his descendants. No doubt that year wasn’t a happy one because we lost our chief, our anchor and our spiritual guru. Unlike other years, that one in particular wasn’t what it is called a lazy year, term given by Angela Mastretta to some years that come and go without so much agitation.
According to her, there are years that won’t crack and break our future with the memory of a mystery or a loss that still hurts. Years that would carry us away with the beginning of a new love. Years with low-key days that made us live normality in the most abnormal way, where the hot afternoons would return exactly the same, sticky and slow, as if they weren’t special because of the monotony in their com- ing and going with the same repetitious duties.
I have had lazy years in which God didn’t deny protection and shelter to me, years that went by through my life without much commo- tion, years in which nothing bad made me stumble and fall or that made me believe I owned the bluest star or that pushed me into pain or that took away my joy, it´s just that those years crossed my shoulders without tak- ing away my tranquility and hope that I could
have had back then. It´s not that I had lost my eternal gastritis or that my debts had been paid off and my insomnia had vanished or that I hadn´t been in a rush as I always am. It´s not that time had covered me with tediousness while I observed the same landscape, it is just that during those times, I had what Mastretta calls a lazy year. Lazy years in which adventures, anecdotes or travels weren’t worth writing about because nothing extraordinary happened and as a consequence nothing was printed, photographed or shared.
I have had lazy years for which some day I would feel nostalgia and yearning…
When my mother didn’t respect my Master´s and still forced me to go get tortillas while I lived at home. When together with Mauri-
cio, my Jewish friend, we used to dodge traffic at Reforma Avenue in Mexico City, paying no attention to the curses coming from irritated drivers.
When my nephews were much younger and they would hold my hand to cross any wide street here in Tampico. When I stayed up late with my friends drinking a good red Chilean wine, knowing for sure that the following day I would have a terrible hangover accompanied by a headache. When I observed from the window of a Mexico City apartment, how the oak trees bent due to the strong winter wind blowing.
When I found myself at 25 thousand feet above sea level, on a Mexicana Boeing 727, hid- den in a rear galley listening to my flight attendant friend, narrate his latest adventures while he illegally poured champagne into my coach class glass. Shame on him, instead of attending passengers, he chatted with me and he was happy I had bumped into one of his flights bound to God knows where.
When I didn’t go out and happily anchored myself to the sofa watching TV with anyone at home who wanted to keep me company. When together with my dad, we read the Sunday paper deciding where we would have lunch that day. When I had to make a stopover far away from home and spend the night either at a bus terminal or a cold airport gate.
When I headed for the beach on a freezing January night carrying a thermos filled with hot cocoa. When my dog “Huggie” splashed me right after bathing her and I ended up as soaked as she was. When I ate roasted chestnuts together with a Diet Coke in Madrid, while snow- flakes fell on the Cibeles Fountain, wondering where I would spend the night with little money in my pockets. When I pushed the cart at Comercial Mexicana while mom constantly com- plained about prices as she continued filling it up to the max. When I kidnapped dad and and went for some coffee at Supercream while he listened to my new projects and new possible photographic trips. When I taught the kids how to make a wish by throwing a coin in any fountain in their paths without ever telling what they had wished for. When I thumbed rides and ended up in Tijuana meeting a lot of people whose lives and experiences contributed with material for articles I later wrote.
When I sat on the old boardwalk at the Chairel Lagoon while a beautiful thunder storm soaked both the city and me. When I experienced a tootsie pop-sticky kiss from Pamela and Arturo while they said a “Hello, Uncle Freddy”. When the kids and I made paper boats and sailed them in the water from the broken pipe on our street, courtesy of COMAPA. When lying on the grass, I used to look for shooting stars in the vast stillness of a summer night.
I don’t ask for anything else in my life except for blessings and many of those lazy years that will make me live normally in the most abnormal way.
By Alejandro Palafox
Feelings is what I have
Confusing me, inside my mind
Taking away all I have
Without destiny to arrive.
Don’t try entering my dark domain
It will destroy everything within your heart.
It doesn’t matter how much you could love me. This loneliness will
never go away.
Without love, without faith
That’s the way I am living right now
In the most private moment
This is like a nightmare.
Don’t let my body
Surrender to the loneliness
Please keep the flame
So that I can’t lose the way
To your endless beauty.
Without boundaries or frontiers
To love you from the beginning to the end
Life turns me around
You are the joy in my suffering life.
This way I confess
Since my poems aren’t in verse
That If reason has no logic
It’s because you make my world go nuts.
I don’t want to hide anymore
I need to tell you my truth
My heart is screaming out for you
Since it´s the silence which is kill- ing my soul.
Let me write a poem
For your love, and let me win Your heart with my words.
My soul flies through the sky and reaches your hand, hold me tight
Never leave me alone
I don’t want to miss you anymore.
You are the princess of my dreams
The reason of my absent mind
Without you the poetry dies and loses the charm, disappearing in the dark nights.
Let me love you in silence, so that way my love for you never dies
Let me write you a poem, so everybody knows that you are the one that I love.
Maria Emilia Rodriguez
I decided to follow her. I don’t know why but I just did. I’m not an impulsive person. I thought...How odd, I’m attracted to someone’s back. Old pair of Keds, jeans and a purple sweat- shirt, brown hair, no purse. So I entered that shop she got in. It was a tattoo shop , I didn’t want her to think I was some kind of stalker so I put on my headphones pretending I was listening to that song that was being played on my iPod , and I started to hear her voice. She was talking about how bad she wanted to get an orchid tattoo in her right wrist. There was some- thing beautiful about orchids, but I couldn’t listen much. I finally figured out her name. It turned out to be Becca , and she was 16. She said -Hey, What do you think about me getting an orchid in my right wrist, do you like it ? She was looking at me, –Well.. Yes, -I stuttered- I think it’ll fit a Becca for sure.
-So, Dean, Come on, I want to see it. – Umm... What do you want to see? -The tattoo you’re getting, I mean you didn’t come here to listen to your ipod, did you?
- I.. I was.. Umm, I don’t know yet... I’m not planning on get- ting one soon, until I find a good reason for it. It sticks with you your whole life after all...- Well I’m sure you’ll find one.
And that’s the way it all started. We hang out almost every day after school. Talking on the phone wasn’t boring with Becca; she always had something to say, so we became close a little bit fast. Okay, too fast. But close in another way, at first I had a crush on her, but the last thing I needed was a girlfriend, she was more like a friend to me and I meant the same for her. Becca turned out to be a rare, one of a kind girl, I mean the way she talked and danced and just...didn’t care much about the world helped me change my perspective about life - You take life too serious, my Dean- she would constantly say, and she was my best friend. I guess that’s why we were compatible, because in order to have that with someone you need to be different than the other person. I was always the shy one, -“Is that really what you’re wearing to the concert Dean, for God’s sake! You’re so boring!
-Boring? Please, I’m normal, something you’re not. And we could go on and on with stupid fights, but at the end we always laughed about it. I’d never understood that quote that goes : she lights up the whole room , until I met Becca . We had so much fun together that sum- mer… I remember everything like it happened yesterday.
But things started to be different. At first I refuse