Dust danced along sun rays, hitting your face. I am 15. The kettle whistles. Palm trees sway outside your patio window. I stand beside you, with my arms wrapped around your waist. You’re stirring a pot of oats over the stove. Your father sings loudly over the radio. Deep, bravado laugh and a wide smile.
A flood of nurses rush into the room. You are 19. I’m sorry mijo. Flat lines. The needles and tubes are removed from his arms. The song changes on the radio. Your knees hit the ground.
Across the street, an elderly couple breaks out in bachata outside the bodega. We are a little bit older now. The sidewalk is sweltering. The neighborhood kids pop a hydrant and you get lost in a song. You let out a deep, bravado laugh and a wide smile.
We clasp hands and move in close. We are much older now. Kiss me, as my body moves with yours. The sun drops into the Atlantic, and the sky is painted in purple and gold. I press my cheek against yours. History washes over us.
For the last ten months, we have been navigating the New York City shelter system. From Manhattan to Queens, back to Manhattan, and finally, to Brooklyn. We’ve been all over this beautiful city. Eight months prior, we stepped foot in a courtroom. We spent most of 2017 fighting tooth and nail – a rent overcharge and neglected repairs. It’s unbelievable how much a landlord, a single person, can cause this much pain in a person’s life. It’s scary how quickly our lives can fall apart at the hand’s of another. I have collected nearly 100,000 words documenting our journey. In Scar Tissue, I will share with you pieces of my collection.
© 2018 Jocelyn Figueroa All Rights Reserved “Scar Tissue”