Reading Mis Ojos

Tonight at my writer’s group, I read a piece I wrote a couple years ago about my dad. Aside from not producing anything new lately, I read this piece because it was requested for consideration in an upcoming anthology. My never-ending polishing sentiments caused me to take this to my meeting tonight.

Prior to tonight’s meeting, I read the story a few times checking for grammar, but more than anything, to wear off any sentiments I felt while reading it. See, this piece was written while I was enrolled in a memoir class in the Fall of 2003. We were asked to make a list of nicknames. After about ten minutes, we were asked to pick three of those nicknames and finally, to pick one. I picked Mis Ojos, which was my dad’s special nickname for me.

One night, over a pitcher of Shiner at Kay’s Lounge, Gabi and Bo told me that I had to forgive my dad. They told me that when I went home that Halloween, I had to go and try to fix things with him. To take all my left over financial aid money and take him out to have an awesome dinner and tell him everything that he did to me and how it made me feel.

A couple weeks later, I got a phone call at about 7:30 A.M. from my brother Jorge, telling me that Dad was dying. I thought it was the usual bullshit. According to doctor’s, my dad had been dying since I was 12. Why would this time be any different?

Well, turns out, he really was dying. It all happened before I could get there. When I got back to Houston, I had to keep working on the story because it was part of my final portfolio for the class. My professor said we could work something out, but I knew it was something I had to do. Besides, I had gotten so far behind in my other classes that I couldn’t really afford to work on a new piece.

A couple of months later, that same professor contacted me and asked me to submit it for the anthology. However, working on it then was so much harder. I couldn’t get through it without tearing up. I guess it was good since, I didn’t cry much. I would let out short bursts of large tears and quickly compose myself. Working on this story was really therapeutic; it still is. However, I didn’t want to break down like I did in that poetry workshop in San Miguel, so I read it at least twenty times before tonight. Although my voice shook harder than a feigning heroine addict, I was able to get through it without any tears.

I wanted to write something about my dad on my birthday, because as some of you may know, el día del padre in México is on my birthday, June 15th. But that day, I wasn’t in the mood for writing. For some reason, I couldn’t even make it through a conversation that day without tearing up. It was so bad that when Jorge called to wish me a happy birthday, I didn’t even pick up the phone. I guess its good I took the day off from work.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this, so I guess I’ll stop for now. If the piece gets published, I’ll share it with ya’ll.


Cracked Chancla said...

wow. thanks for sharing. yes, keep us posted on the story.

mariposatomica said...

Yes, please share. It is always hard to read things that are embedded in our hearts.

poetaxingon said...

gracias for your palabras. it sounds like you are a strong person.

cindylu said...

I found that writing about a really traumatizing and difficult situation helped me deal with it too. The story is somewhere in my blog. Maybe I'll have it make a comeback. Good luck with publishing that story.