Monday, August 10, 2009

My Grandma's Dead 3
My Mother Was A Saint

I thought it was common practice to ask your mother where you were conceived.

She giggled but she was honest, "it was in your grandmother aunt's garden in Guatemala." It was a little disgusting because I'd step foot in that garden which means I might have stepped on thousands of fossils of my fallen brothers and sisters depending on how messy my father was.

She shared this slice of pre-me knowledge in a food court in a Los Angeles mall when I was 16, and now I was 27 and back in Guatemala to witness my Grandma's wake where my father unceremoniously showed up looking like the hispanic version of John Hammond.

If you want proof that the English language makes no sense, here it is: We have three people, a single mother who has given up everything to raise her child, the son who is trying to make do without a father, and the father who deemed it best for everyone to just abandon the two...

Who do we call a "bastard" again?

I'd hung out with my father once before when he hunted me down while I was in Guatemala. I was 7 years old and I was introduced to him. What followed was an awkward trip to a drive through zoo where we were almost eaten by lions and where I swam in a pool full of dead mosquitos.

We now stood in front of each other, his leathery skin refracted strongly the light of the sun, "heeeey how are you doing?" He greeted me in spanish.

Animosity towards your lost father is really a character trait that is shed once one reaches (or attempts) to reach maturity, and so I wasn't upset at him, I greeted him with open arms "hey long time no see, what have you been up to? How's life?"

He wasted no time, "good! I have a ceviche restaurant that I run, maybe you'd like to see it sometime?"
"Yeah sure, maybe some time."

I meant that as a sort of pleasant brush off but he walked off, cornered my mother and said, "I'm going to come by tomorrow at 11 to pick him up."

I was going to see my father's ceviche place, and hopefully he wasn't going to try to kidnap me, for you see on this faithful trip in about 4 hours I would have my sweaty palms clasped to a car seat fully prepared to die in Guatemala...but that comes later.

Before my long lost father came to pick me up my dead Grandmother's sister, a devout Catholic woman with a bum leg would impart her age old wisdom on my family. Coincidentally this was the woman who owned the house where my mom and dad banged at the top of this entry. We sat eating peacefully when she said the following, in spanish, and which I will now try to translate the spirit of the speech from memory:

"Well, its good to not hate your father. My father was a good and decent man, and that's how it goes, you know? He was beautiful...beautiful...just like my sons. I see our national bird, The Quetzal, and all the males have beautiful plumage, gorgeous tails and that striking red breast. All the female Quetzals are ugly things, really, they're just so plain and frumpy. Its the same with people. All women are all horribly ugly, that's why we all have to put on make up and all the men are just naturally beautiful. It's nature.

Well life just makes a bit more sense now doesn't it?


1 comment:

im'mature said...

Yes, yes it does. o_O