Shift

I thought I felt a shift coming on. 

I thought that when he said that he wouldn’t do anything to harm the girls and me, that went beyond the promises to never lay his hands on me again. Safety is measured in more than not being afraid of being hurt. It comes from a sense of security, a sense of knowing that the basics will be there. That you will not starve or be cold. 

Pero I should have known better. I should have remembered the promises made before, and broken, not just by him pero by a long line of men starting with daddy. A long line of men for whom it is too easy not to worry and slip back into their lives. 

And I wasn’t going to be one of those women. I wasn’t going to be one of those women dragging her ex to court for child support and garnishing paychecks. I don’t want the government in my business or the business of anyone else close to me. 

Pero the shift wasn’t in my favor. I have about another month left here under the current lease. Hopefully the landlord will let me and just me sign a new one for another year or even stay on a month to month until the summer when I can move to a more affordable city porque, NYC, you aren’t kind to a single artista/writer mami and her two kids. If the landlord won’t let me sign a new lease then I am officially fucked, scrambling to find an apartment that I can afford. 

He’s leaving this week and part of me is relieved, as I know he is too, pero the logistics are making my head spin, as is the thought of being pretty damn close to homelessness. Child support, public assistance, apartments, moving, budgets, needing more work, child care, all of these things and the shift. 

Remember when I thought this would all end nicely? 

Ja ja. 

Yeah. I’m not feeling so damned nice anymore.

Slipping into Solteria?

Expectations set me up for heartbreak every time

and it’s not the fault of the other

it’s my fault

my poetic temperment and wanting to hold out hope for the best in people

thinking egotistically that I bring that out in people.

Pero no.

It never seems to work that way.

During one of our “talks” over vino on how we were going to move forward he surprised me,

surprised me by saying his ideal was for him to stay in what seems to be the cheapest apartment in Queens

and for the chicas and I to move out.

My reaction?

First to get physically sick and vomit.

The next morning I was angry.

I have now moved into scared and depressed.

And alot of this these seems to hinge on my status of soltera/single.

He asked me during that same “talk” if I was single,

meaning if I was dating/seeing/fucking anyone else

cuz if I was, he seemed to be saying, I would be out on my ass sooner.

Funny thing is I couldn’t really answer if I was single.

I mean I’m here living with my daughter’s father but we are broken up

and there are a whole mess of other factors that I dare not write here

that demand the question of my status be answered.

And I know some are reading this smiling a little

saying it’s my karma for the way I’ve chosen to live my life

pero the poeta in me still holds on to a little hope

still has some expectations

that it will all be ok.

Indiscretion

There was none here.

There was no foolishness

no not knowing.

I knew

he knew

and soon everyone else that need to did as well

even if we continue to play it off

each discussing the other in pronouns, initials, pseudonyms, and geographical locations

relegating certain acts to certain spaces and places.

Ya pa’que vale la mentira

la actuacion

el drama

of pretending things are the same

of saying we are going one place

when we are going somewhere else.

The hurt of reality has been cut into skin

now all that is left is the healing

the scabbing over

the scarification

and the remembering not to forget

so you don’t fall again.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Seems silly that he lied to me like that

after the more serious omissions and lies I have said and not said.

Pero he told me he was going to the museum today

with his family

with the free pass I gave him.

Pero then as I went off to buy a bottle of wine

to celebrate having the apartment the way I want it

with me and my daughters

I spotted him there

buying a bottle of wine

and I remembered

the how and the where that would happen before.

I don’t know why he felt he couldn’t tell me

the real plan for day

or why he just said nothing except he was going out.

It struck me.

I watched him from afar

waited for him to leave before buying my own celebratory bottle.

I’ve been Away

I took a vacation. A time away from the craziness that is the logistics of a breakup. A time away from the need to post a certain number of blogposts per day in order to reach a certain number of hits, a certain amount of money. A time away from the constant demands of mami’hood and responsibilities to communities.

Vacations are pure escapism yet my vacation in a super secret location was also about living painful realities, sitting with them, hiding from them, and facing them again. It was about sleeping in and witnessing patterns of daily life you dreamed about. It was about long walks under moonlit skies, wine, coffee, nakedness, food, familiar sounds coming from unfamiliar places, breathing in new air, mourning and then hoping again only to mourn some more.

I made a game about not telling people where I was going, about being all clandestina when it wasn’t a game at all, rather a request, a courtesy, a respect for myself and others and I guess a need. A need I still am not content with and resent the same way I resent all the compromises i make. I have started to question when consideration for someone else trumps your own path to happiness and if it should.

Now I brace for the long winter of change, emotionally sleep and hibernate, using my stores of knowledge and experience to survive and wait for the spring hoping it will remain true to its promise of new beginnings and rebirth.

Things I’d Rather Not Think About at 6:00 am

When I open my eyes I think about coffee.

I wonder what will I blog about for VivirLatino.

I wonder who is awake on twitter.

I wonder how long Miss Poroto will sleep.

Now I also worry,

worry about how long will i have this bed to sleep in,

worry about not being able to afford this apartment

knowing that there are no cheaper apartments

and that my poor income as a writer/artist/blogger won’t sustain me and two kids.

I worry because I know there is no room for me at my mother’s or my tia’s or anywhere really

pero we also can’t do this anymore,

not for too much longer anyway,

sharing space where we both feel constrained.

I hate not being able to do shit my way,

write when I want  to, need to

talk to someone when I want to, need to.

I hate having to look over my shoulder because I have no privacy

and there are conversations I don’t want you to see/hear.

Pero there is no where to go.

Not even for you.

We picked a bad time to do this.

With the economy so bad,

your jobs/my jobs

don’t leave us with many options except to endure

and it’s not that I don’t care

or don’t have some love for you still

pero I’m scared

of living here like this

and of having no other options.

When I open my eyes

I think about coffee

I think about where I want to be

and where I am

and how will I get from here

to there.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do Pero Does it Really Have to Be?

When I entered the relastionship that is now ending, I did so with so many expectations and anxiety. It’s not like I had great examples of healthy relationships growing up with lies, egos, infidelities, edible crotchless panties and suicide attempts all as shining lights of what a heterosexual marriage like life could end in. No wonder I never wanted to get married or even live with someone. I liked my mother’s post-divorce life, even if it meant socks with holes and dinners of mashed potatoes and long hours working while I helped raised my little sister. Cuz it was also filled with the example of a Latina woman who worked her ass off and gave her kids an amazing education (and I’m not just talking school) and she dated. She was a damn good mother and dated. She would go dancing with Manny the Colombian. Sometimes Ed, the tall white one would take my sis and I to chucky cheese. There was Mahmoud with whom I would get into debates with about religion and women and the one man my mom let move in, Terry, probably the one I disliked the most.

I never saw my mom upset over a breakup after the one with my father. Although I’m sure she was. Pero no se. Maybe there also was a realization, that relationships are fun, beautiful things, hard things pero we don’t always need to be in one.

It’s funny, as my current relationship closes, it’s happening in a healthy way. That’s not to say that there aren’t fucked up things about it (mostly my fuck-ups, I will admit), pero el Chileno and I are doing what we should have done when we got together: asking questions and answering them with full self-knowledge about what our personal needs are. We both need spiritual guidence and the fact that we find that on different paths was an issue that should have been explored before we got serious, especially since he was taught that my path is Satan!!! We have different privacy needs. I for example need to pour out my life on a blog. It’s part of my identity pero I’d rather you not break into my Facebook account and read my paper journals that fill the bookcase. My politics are a way of life, not a hobby or a job. They are my values. They are how I raise my kids, how I love and yes how I fuck. This doesn’t mean I’m perfect pero that I try to live my life a certain way and I will and do fuck up. I’m passionate and impulsive, sometimes to a fault. I mean there is a reason I’m Mamita Mala.

Pero I’m grateful for this opportunity. As much as I will complain about how much talking I’ve been doing and how sometimes I’m just damn tired of so much talking, el Chileno and I have three years of talking to catch up on.