My smile. Here I am on the other side of the world with this beautiful smile. a smile that has kept me from harms way, built life time bridges and broke many hearts. A conniving and sly smile with charisma carefully hidden within humility. I know there’s a few people who couldn’t imagine a life with out this smile. Trust me mother if I die right now it wouldn’t be a empty funeral.
My smile comes from you… It all comes from you. I love music because you always played it when you were happy, occupied with the moment and not with the weight of the world you carried with 3 children in a new country. Mind you we are talking about NEW YORK CITY. First Dominican family on our block in Harlem during the crack attack of the 80’s? Check. What was it again? The thing our elementary school teachers would pepper us with along with Christopher Columbus and our ABC’s? Oh yeah, dead or in jail by the age of 21. FUCK THAT. Mom I’m on a motorcycle riding through the shadiest parts of Cambodia, enjoying every heart beat at the age of 35, with my dream girl on the other side of the planet, with money I got from art. Art mom – some stupid pictures I took so I could have some sort of relevance in the sense of our city’s history. A story for my estranged son to curse at or treasure for it’s cautionary fables.
I’m still messy mom… but when I clean up I do pretty ok. I like the corners of furniture to align and the room color schemes to be perfect. Our apartment never looked the same… you constantly redecorated, as I now constantly re invent myself, improving on décor at a time. Even through the worst you made our lives beautiful. You probably thought having me help with your college homework was hard on me but no I was honored that you trusted me at such a young age. You probably wish you would have done some things different, the little Cambodian girl, no older then nine years holding a baby begging for food, says you shouldn’t regret a damn thing. The Dominican republic you grew up in is no different from where I am now.
15 and with a new born? Homeless in NYC? With no English? Wow you did all of that so I can sit in this hostel in Cambodia, living out my wildest dreams.
Yeah, you did that.