Learning To Love You More




Assignment #14
Write your life story in less than a day.

California USA



Apparently the day I was born my parent had gotten in a fight. My parents were living with other relatives and my dad couldn't stand my mom's family anymore. Not necessarily because they're nasty people, but because my dad is stubborn sometimes thinks when people are joking, they're trying to one up him. so my dad took off and found a room in a boarding house and my pregnant mom had to follow suit. She felt some kicking. My dad was nowhere to be found. She went to the hospital in East County San Diego and then I was born. The nurse handed me, covered in blood and placenta, to my mom and she refused to kiss me.
We somehow moved to long beach at one point. I remember Signal Hill, I remember Catholic school and because my family is Buddhist and not catholic, I couldn't eat the white wafers, and I wanted to really badly. I remember sitting in the pews, watching all the other kids do it, and I felt really left out. For some events, I was stuck with the other non-Catholic kid and together we would work on our religion workbook. I had lots of baby sitters. Lots of Mexican baby sitters, and the only Spanish I ever learned was "agua" "cayetay" and "see-yen-te-tay." Transaltion: water. Shut up. Sit down. I remember watching TV with one of my babysitters, and she was under the covers with her husband, and I kept on hearing a funny noise. Flit flit flit it sounded like, and suddenly splooooge. And laughter. She emerged from the covers, hands cupped and giggling. I had no idea what that was then. I remember accidentally walking into the bathroom when the husband was taking a bath and seeing a penis for the first time. I stared at it for a long time and then ran way because it scared me.
I remember her kids beating up on me. And then I remember another Mexican babysitter who locked me in the bathroom. And I was pounding the door, crying for her to let me out and she just kept screaming at me "Cayete! Cayete! Cayete!"
I remember reading the book Pickle Juice to my kindergarten class. I was the only one who knew how to read. I remember my first boyfriend Joseph and he was nice because he was a butterball and round and I liked the way he wiggled. and he would run on the playground and then stop and run by me and then grab my shoulders and sing me a song and then take off running again.
My mom got cancer and I didn't know what cancer was. I just thought it was like a cold. She was in the hospital and suddenly she had no hair. I visited her in the hospital and I thought mom had it so great because not only did they feed her in bed, but they fed her tapioca pudding! I loved tapioca pudding. Here in the hospital was the first time I had tasted it, and I loved the way the balls were all squishy in my mouth and kind of made a popping sound when you bit them right. Then my mom was out of the hospital and was home and that was when we started going out to eat every Friday and going to the Long Beach Marina. We used to always go to this Mexican food place down by Long Beach City College, called Mamacita's and I hated it. I hated beans. I hated the rice. I just wanted to go down to the marina and ride on the carousel.
I remember sleeping in bed with my mom and we would talk and she would tell me things about how my dad upset her and how she wanted a divorce and I began to agree with her. I remember rubbing her bald head and I loved the way her stubble felt on my hand and I remember her rubbing my stomach and that's when I really began to love my mom and really hate my dad. I remember my dad hitting my mom across the face. She got out of the car, scooped me up, walked me home, put on new sheets, and then we took a nap. And she was crying.
We moved again and I was 8 and my parents still fought. I remember being on the swings with JR and I thought he was cool because he wore adidas and listened to Run DMC. I remember telling some adult about my dad, and them asking me "Well, does he hit your mom?" And I had to say no, because it was the truth. He only hit her the once. And so nothing got better. And then I got moved to another school where all the kids were rich and white and I got made fun of because I was neither. They called me a gook. They made fun of the way my dad spoke English. And this made me hate my dad even more. I remember my dad calling me stupid. I remember my dad saying that he should stop paying for my piano lessons because I played it so terribly. Suddenly new relatives from the old country came over and I hated having strangers in the house. My grandmother would just sit around all day and stare. She never cooked. She didn't garden. I never knew what to say to her.
My mom sat me down one day to talk about getting my period and all she did was tell me how to put on a pad. I had stopped sleeping in the same bed with her at this point. Her hair had grown back and I didn't like hearing about how she wanted to divorce my father. It would always upset me to see how upset she got and so I avoided it altogether.
I remember high school. I remember my first real boyfriend, Mike.. I liked the way he kissed me and the way we used to talk on the phone for hours and hours and hours and how I could actually TALK to him. His father smoked joints in the bathroom. And his mom had him when she was 16. After she had him, she had her tubes tied. He had a waterbed and I really liked the way his hands would grope after me but I was really scared in the fact that I REALLY liked it. My parents had gone out of town, and left me home by myself. The first time we ever had sex, I was on my period. I felt him inside and me and panicked. I got up and all I could think was "I need to get out of here." And I did. I took the bus home. I felt bad because I made him feel bad. He was afraid he had hurt me, which was not the case. And then we never really had sex, but we kept on trying and I kept on panicking. So, instead we had lots of PHONE sex. I got a bad UTI from too much masturbation and I didn't tell anyone and then I had to go to the hospital because I has hallucinating and had a fever of 1062 degrees or something. My mom asked me if I was having sex, and I lied and said no when I guess I wasn't really lying. I remember how he used to kiss me and Mike would say that even though my parents were fucked up, there were people that really loved me and I knew he wasn't lying. We thought we were gonna get married.
I remember the last time my father hit me. He was threatening to throw me out of the house and I asked him if that was what he really wanted and then he backhanded me across the face. I was 17.
I remember this brown suit my mom had. She was getting ready to go to a meeting that started in the evening and my dad was mad that she was leaving and started calling us both worthless. My started shrieking how she wanted to die and in the middle of the conversation they stopped screaming at each other and were screaming at me. My mom screaming at me "I want to die." My dad screaming at me "Your mom is worthless. Look at her."
I remember leaving for college and my parents fighting on the drive and I was so happy to be leaving. I was worried what would happen once I left, but I was sick of being their glue. When they left, my mom started crying again. She said, "I feel like I'm losing everything. My daughter and my best friend." That upset me and almost made me hate her even more. There was Joanna who was my best friend and then I got a boyfriend and things got weird between she and I. My dad invited Zach's parents for dinner and they all met. It made me uncomfortable but happy at the same time. Zach's brother got married and it was a great night because we danced and ate goat that had been cooked in one of those underground pit roasts. I remember being high for the first time with Zach. We took 2 hits of acid and then drove back to our hotel from the desert and we were fucked up and ran into border patrol, but we didn't get caught and it was the greatest feeling to be in a car with the windows rolled down and seeing all the rocks and seeing the sky change from dark to purple to blue and just out of our mind. I remember feeling safe with Zach. One morning as we were waking up, he turned to me, smiled and said "Morning, beautiful." And then we stopped getting along and then I had to leave and go far way to another country. When my parents found out we had broken up, they weren't mad. They were sad that I was sad and at this point they had stopped fighting and stopped yelling at me. I wasn't their glue anymore, but they were each other's glue and all these things made me feel better. But then Zach became an alcoholic and would write me emails about being absolutely drunk by noon and not remembering things. He more or less said that it was all my fault. He was very very angry. I didn't want to the glue for someone else.Even years later, when he got better, we would see each other and I could tell that he still thought about us getting back together. And i still get a bit panicky when I think about it.
So I then left to another foreign country and slept with lots of foreign boys because that's what American girls do in foreign countries and it was great and scary at the same time. And I met a boy who pretended to love me a lot more than he actually did. I got in a street fight in a foreign country, where I was kicking a girl to the head while she was down on the floor and I stopped myself once I realized what I was doing. I smoked a lot of hash and spent many evenings eating and being quietly drunk and high. And so I got really happy and then came home again and was unhappy for awhile. And then summer came, and it's what I jokingly dub the Summer of Love because all throughout the winter no boys looked twice at me, and then all of sudden there was a line. But I was leaving again and didn't take anything too seriously, and so I left on a wave a flattery.
I went to another foreign country and I poured all my energies into work and so I just became tired. Everything was hard. I missed the sun and missed everything and everyone, including my parents. And so when I left again I made no future plans for leaving and moving. When I first stepped back, I was greeted with much fanfare and trumpetry. That made me feel great. And then I met Jackie, who had blisters on his penis and was uncircumsized, much like all the foreign boys I slept with. Jackie too, pretended to like me a lot more than he actually did. Jackie made me cry. And then there was Vincent who was addicted to coke, porn, and weed, not necessarily in that order. He would take ecstasy pills when sitting around the house watching movies and that really bothered me. His apartment was really dark and he always kept his windows drawn, and he talked a lot of "spirituality" which i found more annoying than enlightening. I broke up with Vincent and he kept calling me, telling me that he still masturbated to me and I had to yell at him to leave me the fuck alone. He eventually did.
I got a job. The kind with benefits and 401k plans and that made me happy. Not the benefits and 401k plans, but the job. I talk to my parents every other day or so and that makes me happy too. My has stopped calling both me and my mom stupid for quite some time now. In fact, he once said to me that he's really really proud of me. My mom has long since stopped talking about divorces. My dad still gets funny and when he says goodbye to me, he'll put out his hand to shake. But I grab him by the shoulders and give him a hug and a kiss. I think it makes him feel a little awkward, but I know he likes it. He does a lot of art, poetry, and music these days. We talk about it. I talk to my mom about recipes. Things are quiet.