very loud whispers

A site for things I don't want to say but say anyway

This is your father, this is his shoebox

I can tell you this much, child: one day you will feel an unbearable amount of pain. It’ll be in your heart; and it’ll knock you out. I’m not trying to wish you misery. I’d never do you wrong.I don’t want you to live your life expecting that moment, in fear. But one day, it’ll come; it comes for us all; at some unexpected moment. You will cry (it’s ok to cry, love), and you will curse (sometimes those words can be a temporary cure), and you will want to talk to God. Even if he doesn’t exist to you, you will want to talk to God. You’ll ask him why. You’ll tell him you’re done. You’ll curse him out. You’ll question him, deny his existence. “Why’d you turn your back on me?” If he’s out there (I truly believe he is), he will understand. 

You see, I believe this moment happens because there’s a grander plan for you, and yours. And life doesn’t come with a GPS to guide you and tell you how to avoid setbacks and provide you with detours. So we will never be aware of this plan and when it gets us, we wont understand it. 

I wish I could tell you I could remove that pain. I wish that I had a giant shield to protect you from anything and anyone that could hurt you. I wish that I had a giant sponge to absorb all this pain. I’d squeeze it over a river; send it out to sea. But I don’t. You’ll have to carry this one day. And bear it’s brunt. I hope my hand will help. I hope that I’ll open my mouth and magical words will come out that will make it all better. But I swear that I will try my hardest, my earnest, to help you through. Maybe to prepare.

You see, I never knew if to write you this letter. I don’t want to instill the fear of God, I said. But a warning never hurts, I rhetorted. Pain in one’s heart creates tolerance and resilience, I thought.  But not being prepared for anything can hurt you; badly, in a way that can’t be fixed, I concluded.

So here’s the only trick I know, child. Be kind. To yourself and others. Love with all your might. With no fear. Blindly. Love hard. Listen a little better. Hug a little tighter. Make sure no moment is forgotten, no kind word unreciprocated; cherish every touch and word and smile. And spread your kindness. Be philanthropic or charitable or funny or sweet or smiley or polite or innocent; but spread your kindness through whatever means you are permitted. When that pain comes, this kindness will guide you. It will help you fight that sadness, the evil, the blackness in your heart. 

Remember that one time we saw that young mother holding her child in the rain? Remember we gave her our umbrella? Remember how she smiled at us and held her baby close under that umbrella? Remember how we got drenched and walked into a coffee shop and they had seen you help that woman, so they gave you a hot chocolate and a butterfly cookie? Never forget that. That moment can fix you. That and all your other moments of unbridled kindness can fix you. You’ve had so many moments like these; you’ll have so many more.

I remember the day that moment came for me. It’s fresh. I still feel it. I’m still angry and I still cry when no one is around. Sometimes I cant breathe because of it. Sometimes i don’t want to get out of bed. I’m not telling you seeking sympathy. I’m telling you because you deserve to know; because I don’t know how else to thank you. But I remember your face. I remember your hands on my face; you pulling me towards you to give me one of your kisses. The love in your eyes; how you thanked me for being your father. Your smile. Your laugh. 

Your kindness.

I’ll cry again tomorrow. I’ll be angry again tomorrow. But I’ll get out of bed and I’ll try my hardest to be kind; to support you and those we love. And I’ll teach you to do the same. And I swear to you, child; one day, I won’t hurt anymore. This pain, it’ll disappear. It always disappears. It never stays for long. This much, I swear to you, child.

Love,

Your father.

P.S. I can see you through the doorway; in your mother’s arms. She’s smiling. You’re smiling back, tenderly. There’s no anger in her eyes, no pain, no darkness in her heart.

 I may be wrong, child; I might not be angry tomorrow.

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Journey of a young boy and his dreams

I’m going to put all my dreams in this backpack
I’ll put all my strength in my shoes
My hope’s in my pocket
my brother and sister too

I’ll tuck my mother tightly behind my ear.
I’ll pull her out when I’m alone
She can sing me a song when I walk
Tell me what to do when I’m lost.

My country, I take it with me.
How can I not?
It’s in the sweat on my forehead,
On the cracks on my hands

It’s in the sun that burns me
It’s in the dust that adorns me
It’s in my memories
It’s in the words that I speak

My house was a home
And it kept me safe
I leave it behind
But I’ll see it again

My hunger, I leave you
I don’t want it around
It was never good company
It never left me alone

This violence around me
I’ll leave it too
I won’t need it where I’m going
It never did me much good

Bury it somewhere
Maybe under a big tree
We’ll see what then sprouts
Cut it down, or just let it be

Don’t water it.
This violence, it’s like a weed
It comes up all around you
It stifles the crops that must live

My people’s mistakes
I carry in this picture
I’ll pull it out when I need to
So I know what not to do

This country’s past
It’s bloodshed and wars
I’ll throw in the ocean
So they leave you alone

This corruption and government
The oppression of men
I shoot them up in the air
And hope they never come down

If they do, hope they land in a river
And are swept out to sea
I hope they sink deep
Never heard from again

This night, let’s forget it
I can’t bare to relive
The moment I left all I’ve known
And stepped into the dark

This journey, it scares me
I don’t know where I’m going
But I’m not walking alone
I’ve got my backpack and dreams.

Angie

It’s great when you stop and think about your life for a second and about everything and everybody that surrounds you. I don’t do it enough and always feel better when I do. Also, I feel like a jerk for not seeing something in front of me that was so obvious. Life can hit you like a brick sometimes.
I obviously prefer the first feeling but in the long run I need the second feeling to remember I’m not alone in this world, and I can’t function without being conscious of a world outside of me. I shouldn’t function without being conscious of a world around me.
I stopped for empanadas on the way home tonight. We didn’t feel like cooking and these delicious little fat fuckers were going to be like Christmas in July for us.
I finally made my way to the train and noticed real life hits grand central after 8 pm. 1 out of every three “commuters” was a man or woman looking for a place to rest their head for the night. Most had carts, some had shoes, few had coats. Most looked half asleep and walked in a daze, or rested against a wall trying to be invisible to the world. I saw Angie. I’d seen her many times asking for a dollar or two for her car which had broken down on the FDR. She was tall and lean. She must have been attractive in her twenties, she walked like a ballet dancer. She seemed proud and she flirted with you when she spoke though she never looked you in the eyes. She smelled faintly of urine; her black coat and sandals were worn, winter had had its way with them.
“Do you speak English?” I do. “Do you have a dollar? My car broke down on the FDR.”
“I don’t. When was the last time you had a meal?”
“This morning driving out of Philly”
“Oh ok. Good luck”
“No! The guys at Juniors gave me an egg sandwich yesterday.”
“Do you want an empanada? It’s all I got. It’s beef”
I give it to her and she opens the package and eats. I can tell she hasn’t eaten in days, she eats it in two bites. She thanks me and then tells me her name.
“Angie, you cant tell everyone your car broke down on the FDR. We see you here everyday. We’re not that dumb”
“New Yorkers don’t give a shit about me, man. Tourists care. They’ve never seen me around and they help me out”.
You sleep here at night?
Yea unless I make enough for a bed. If the cops are dicks I stay on the train or Penn.
My bag is still open and I see her peering inside.
You gonna drink that ginger ale? Most of the time if someone gives me food at least they give me a drink too man.
Hook me up.
This bothers me. I get angry and start to walk away. How can somebody be so ungrateful that I’ve given them my dinner and they have the nerve to ask for more? She has the nerve to peer into my bag as well as ask for my drink after I’ve already done more for her than anybody else has in days or weeks or whatever. I look at her again before wanting to storm off. And she’s still looking at me, waiting for my ginger ale. And it dawns on me.
She doesn’t owe me anything. I didn’t just ride in on a white stallion and save her life. After this 5 minute conversation I will walk to my train and go home to a warm bed and loving family. I will have breakfast tomorrow. Angie will be here again looking for another dollar for gas. She will be looking for a place to sleep or another bite to eat. She has no idea when they will come or if they will come at all. She owes me nothing. She owes us nothing. I give her the ginger ale and wish her good night. She’s there the next morning; I avoid walking past her.

Letting go

A shriek. Laughing, she screams, “Daddy don’t do that! That tickles! Stop it” while I hold her as tight as I can, my beard rubbing against her cheek. “Argh,” she screams. “I’m trapped! Let me go!” She doesn’t know I’m not trying to tickle her. I’m not trying to play around. I’m just scared one day I won’t be able to hold her anymore. She’ll be too old, or I’ll be too old. She’ll be too cool. I won’t be cool enough. She’ll be living somewhere else; not with me, not in my arms where I know she will always be safe.

 She giggles, “I gotta get outta here!”. I hug her closer. I smell her hair. I want to make sure I always recognize that smell. Years from now, I want to walk down the street, smell that sweet scent, and immediately travel back to the days when we played tag in the park, when we cuddled in bed. The days when she slept on my chest and nothing else mattered. Nothing else matters.

 “I’m free!” she screams as she wiggles out of my arms. “You can’t catch me!” But I can. But one day, I won’t. I won’t be able to. I won’t know how to. She’ll look at me in disgust when I say she can’t go to a party. She will scream in anger when I ask her to go change her clothes. She’ll cry in despair when I tell her no. But right now, right now, I can catch her. So I catch her. I close my eyes and hold her hand. I tell her a story of when she was born, the way I cried, the way mommy smiled. I tell her about the tornado that hit the hospital the day we took her home. The way the lights went out for 10 days and the heat was off, and the fridge was empty, and we were overwhelmed. And she looks at me like I’m the only person in the world. She listens to every word I say, softly repeats them “Mommy’s belly. So happy. Didn’t sleep. So scared”.

 And I’m the only man in the world for her. Right now. But one day she’ll meet someone else who will amaze her. She will meet somebody else who will inspire her. And I have to hope that person loves her at least half as much as I do. I have to pray that person thinks about her as much as I do. I have to wish that person enjoys her company as much as I do, is as impressed as I am with her, is as kind with her as I hope I am.

 “I’m trapped! I’m stuck!”she shrieks as I hug her tight again, wrap my arms around her little body, my legs around her legs. “Let me go!” And I tell her, “I hope you’re always surrounded by love as you are right now.”

 “I will be” she says, perhaps unknowingly. But I believe her. I have to believe her. I have to believe that we are teaching her just how good it is to be loved, to give love. I have to believe we are teaching her why this love is important and how much she deserves affection and respect and honesty. I have to believe she is listening when we talk with her about self esteem, resillience, independence, letting go. “I’m never going to let you go,” I say. “Oh yes you aaarrreeeeee”. And I will. One day I’ll have to. I’ll have to watch her walk away. I’ll have to lay in her bed, alone. I’ll have to sing her songs, alone. I’ll have to search for the smell of her hair in my memories, her giggles too, her laughter too. I open my mouth to say something, slowly, but she looks at me and says, knowingly, “I love you daddy”.

And still you talk about peace

And still you talk about peace.

And still you talk about peace

Still you talk about peace. You make me question myself, my beliefs. You make me choose sides, an allegiance. You tell me what to believe; what is right, what is wrong, how I should act. You tell me what courage is, what honor is. You show me to conform, not to question the things you tell me and teach me. You drop bombs and missiles and rip apart my family and those around me. You make people hate and kill. You make children cry, from being in pain, from being alone, from being scared, from being confused. You tell me the things that should make me enraged, but tell me to stand idly by as justice is stepped on and the truth is swept away. You tell me that things are getting better, and then you bury another baby. You say to me with a smile that you can’t believe how well things are going as you arm another child, and teach another to kill. And still you talk about peace.  You tell me you do it for me and that someday I will understand. You tell me to sit down comfortably, and look the other way because soon I will forget what is going on and will no longer hear the screams and I will ignore the cries. You talk to me about peace and love and affection and brotherhood as you place another weapon in my hands. You teach me to pull the trigger. You talk to me about justice and love and ask me to point it as those whom I don’t know. Those whom I could learn so much from, those whom I could learn to love if you had not taught me to hate. You taught me to see things with my eyes closed, with no direction. You taught me to ignore my values and what I had always believed was the way I had to be. You asked me to impress you and make you proud as I rise above others, and leave them behind me.  You ask me to do everything for you, no matter who I destroy. You ask me to love but showed me to hate, and tell me I am free as long as I continue to kill blindly. And still you talk about peace.Image

oh, he has a blog? how quaint

Nobody reads this. I can write anything my little heart desires and the world will never know. I can actually share my deepest and darkest thoughts and secrets on this and the world will never know.  The world will go on spinning and I will still only be the kind-hearted fellow with the great butt and  mystifying good looks. Yes, that is how most of the world sees me.

Nobody reads this. Maybe a little boy in 7th grade in downtown Wichita may stumble upon it while he was googling “Inuit lesbians with big butts”. But alas, “there is no Inuit lesbian photography on this here site Chad, and don’t worry, you don’t have to read the posts.”

Nobody reads this. I can say anything. I killed a puppy today that was holding a lollipop and was smiling. I believe Justin Bieber is kinda cute in how like that lady from the golden girls is kinda cute. I think John Mayer is very talented and must be really sweet. I think Romney is right. I cross the street when I see a group of latino youth walking in my direction. American cheese tastes like freedom. Poverty could be eradicated if we all did porn. I never smoked marijuana because it sounds too ethnic. I could probably rock a mohawk if I wanted to. I thought ahmadijenad and fred armisen were the same guy. I have  23 redbox movies I never returned.

Nobody reads this. I have no one to entertain but myself. LOL. I giggled when I typed that. 

Nobody reads this.

Your mother should read this

why i hate soccer and dogs and moms

I was always a little precocious. At 4 years old, I remember having my first crush on my neighbor. I even remember trying to talk differently, more “adultly” (look it up, try me) when she was around. At 6, I remember playing house. At 8, sneaking off behind the school building during recess to hold hands with my girlfriend. Always very precocious. So I remember clearly when at 10, my 3 favourite things in the world were brought together. My crush, animals, and soccer. Sounds perfect right? Screw you.

My friends and I would get together every afternoon and  play soccer. We played for hours out in the street, until we were called for dinner or we lost a ball. We all thought we were amazing, we were always competing. Yet we  all cared for each other and kept an eye out when cars or strangers approached.  And of course, my overprotective mom also helped. “Car! Son, there’s a car coming! It’s getting close! It’s only two blocks away! Pick up the ball son and get on the sidewalk!  Son! Do it! Son! Son! Oh My God! Madre de Dios hijito! Hijo! Ayyy!” It was quite a sight to watch my mom almost Acapulco dive off the third floor balcony to stop the car coming down the road with her bare hands.

But I digress. 

One of my friends had two older sisters. Older. One of them was in a catholic high school (man could she work that uniform). The other, pre-med in college and she was my ultimate Wendy Peffercorn (if you haven’t watched the Sandlot, turn off the computer,Netflix it, enjoy it with friends and family and then dive off a bridge because you’re a waste of space and that movie’s awesome). She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and she was always so sweet and nice to me. She took the time to sit with me and talk to me, joke, ask me about my day, introduce me to her boyfriends.  She was probably trying to make them jealous.

One fine day, my friends and I were engaging in our daily scrimmage. We kicked the ball around. My mom stood watch from the balcony with her binoculars, alarms, and EMS crew on speed dial. My two older crushes (Let’s call them Salma and Penelope) had just arrived and were sitting on the stoop watching us play. I was running faster, jumping higher, kicking harder than ever.

Then out of nowhere, one of the neighbor’s German Shepherds gets out of their front gate. He sees me running, makes a dash towards me. I see the 800 pound dog, full of muscle, foaming at the mouth, with hate in his eyes, running towards me. I think I even heard him say, “I’m gonna get you fucker!” I turn, try to run away. Maybe towards an open gate, or on top of a car. Where are you now mom!??!?!?!?!

Then I feel it! CHOMP! I scream! I keep om screaming! I fall to the floor with this huge beast on me. I scrape my knees and hands on the concrete. I hit my head, his claws rip my shirt.

But all I can feel are his massive canines firmly gripped on my left testicle. Yes, my little family jewels, my sack’o’nuts, Richard and the twins. Somehow this animal chased me down, bit me from behind, and found a way to bite my balls. “There he is! I’m gonna go try and bite him in the nuts!”

I’m writhing in agony. I feel like I’m about to faint. The dog owner is pulling the beast off me. My friends are crying (I think one of them was laughing, but I hear he’s a crackhead now, so ultimately I think we’re even) and somehow my mom is screaming next to me trying to lift me up (how the hell did she get there so fast? Did this lady rappel down the building?).

“Hijo! Hijo! Ayy mi’jito! Are you ok? Talk to me! Say something! Ayyyyy hijo!”

Salma and Penelope are next to her, trying to comfort her, trying to lift me up. I’m in the middle of the street. Screaming. There’s a bit of a traffic jam now with cars not being able to move because of this boy in the street with a hole in his scrotum.  All the neighbors are out now. They’re on their phones. I think some had cameras. I think I saw a news truck.

“Ayyyy Penelope! Is he ok?! What do we do Penelope?” My mom stands me up in the middle of the street, takes off my belt. Suddenly my shorts and my whitey tighties are around my ankles. I hear snickers. Did I see a flash? I hear a gasp. The crackhead-to-be is rolling on the floor laughing. Penelope looks at me. This gorgeous lady’s two eyes are fixed on my one-eyed monster (yeah, keep it classy buddy) and she says, “He’s ok. The dog didn’t even draw blood.”

And I begin to cry.

this

Is this what you want? She asks, uninhibited. As if suddenly free, liberated from an imaginary place. Is this what you want? She struts around the room, prancing, smiling, blowing kisses. A light touch slowly turns into her breath on my neck, a kiss, her hands on my back. Is this what you want? She asks softly now. I can barely hear the words, but I know what she said by the way she looks at me, as though through me. Is this what you want? She pulls me closer, the warmth of her body, her lips slightly pressed against my neck. Is this what you want? She breathes deeper, faster, her hands tracing patterns on my back. Is this what you want? Eyes closing, fingers running through my hair, bodies intertwining. Is this what you want?

Children are the best strategists

Children are the best strategists.