Archive for April, 2011

Mango Tree – Short Story

I worked on this piece in a Creative Writing course a few semester’s ago and I have decided to go ahead and let it out into the world. 

For your reading pleasure. . .

For 19 of her 22 years of life, her only constant was the shade of a mango tree on the side of her abuela’s  home in South Florida.  In a place where residential developments were plastering over seas of green grass and gravel roads were becoming four lane highways, the shade from that tree provided her with more than relief from a sun that poured rays of blinding light and suffocating heat.

The shade from the mango tree was her everything.  She would lie on the plush green bed of grass and stare up at the long leaves that masked the sun and the mangoes that would fall to the ground when they were oto ripe to han on to the tree any longer and escape.

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From “Yay” to “Woe”

I’ve never been one to run around shouting, “Woe is me. . .woe is me.” But, tonight I am.

This afternoon I found out that I was accepted in to the University of South Florida’s Masters of Mass Communication porgram for the fall.  I went through all of the emotions that come along with that kind of news.  I cried.  I laughed.  I stood in awe.  I prayed to my God.  I felt at ease. . .

Then, my head began to throb again.

In January of 2007 I began to have terrible headaches.  Imagine someone holding your head between their hands and squeezing with no mercy.  . .now add a sledgehammer to that mix. . .pounding at their hands.  Later that year, during the summer, I was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation I.  I remember sitting in that doctor’s office at USF Health (ironic, huh) with the smell of latex gloves and industrial cleaner floating around me and sitting on that flimsy paper on the medical bed in shock as tears rolled down my cheeks.

“I have a what?” was all I could try to wrap my head around.

“The only solution is surgery, but even then it may not work. . .in your case it’s tough to tell whether it will,” one neurologist said.

“It won’t make a difference it’s too slight,” the neurosurgeon added.

They stepped out of the room.  They came back.  They had no solution to the headaches that had me in pain for days and even weeks at a time.

“They’re not migraines, but we’re going to try migraine meds for you,” was what the neurologist left me with.

Did they work?  No.  Nothing did.

When I have a headache all I want to do is cry.  All I want to do is be left alone, but at the same time be held by my Bella (mom).  There have even been times when I’ve just wanted to die because of the pain I found myself battling silently.   I say silently because I know I am blessed.  I know.  I also know that everyone else has their problems, and who wants added pain to their day?  But, as much as I tell myself, “Better me than someone else who doesn’t have a bed, air condition, food, etc.” I find myself asking God, “Why?  Why can’t you just help me a little?  Why can’t you just take it away for the night so I can rest?  Why?”  As I ask those questions at this very moment. . .I just want to shout them to the Heavens.

I have had the same headache for five days now.  Just as in 2007 when I was faced with the news of having Chiari and not knowing if it would seriously interfere with my college career. . .I am now faced with whether it will affect my career at USF.  I don’t want surgery.  I don’t want more prescription – I’ve probably been on at least 18 different ones since 2007 – that leave me sick and debilitated.  I just want to know what it feels like not to worry about a headache coming on at any moment.

Now, as  I glance at what I have typed away. . .I feel pathetic.  I have had a huge blessing today. . .and, here I am complaining.

I have two text messages from my parents summing up the love that I am surrounded with:

Daddy Your mom and I have just finished prayin for you.  Anything let us know.

Bella Dad and I are very proud of you.  We will help you with your Masters in anyway.  Luv ya always.  Will keep praying for you. Rest now.  Lock doors.

But, still. . .tonight I can’t help, but ask my God, “Can You please just take it away for the night?”

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Waiting for what?

Caminante, no hay puentes, se hace puentes al andar. Gloria E. Anzaldúa

I’ll be honest; I’m use to getting what I want all the time.  Sound a bit selfish?  Conceited?  Immature?  Well, yes, that is how it sounds, but let me explain.

Day after day, I work hard from the moment I wake up until I let my head fall upon my favorite pillow 16 hours later.  My parents have always told me to work hard because nothing in life will be handed to you, and believe me, nothing in my life has been handed to me.  I have spent countless hours on projects, at internships and working more than one job at a time to better myself.  I’m not use to hearing “no” because at the end of the day I do not only convince others of my abilities, but I strive to perfect them and I make sure that I am better than my competition.  I know I have not learned all that I need to live in this world, but I am aware of my weaknesses and am constantly working on turning those weaknesses into attributes that will push me over the top.

So, now that I am faced with an uncertain future, I feel lost.  I feel as if all of the work I have put in over the last four years in college are nothing.  I feel as if all of those words of encouragement from my parents over the past 22 years are lies.

As some of my closest friends are being offered their first full-time jobs before graduation.  I am waiting.

Waiting for a reply from the University of South Florida’s selection committee for entry into their Masters of Arts in Communications: Multimedia program.  Waiting to hear back from one of the 15 jobs I have applied for over the last two months.  Waiting.

Right now the only comfort I have is when I think remember that God has my back (only way I can word that feeling right now) and Ms. Anzaldua’s words.  I just have to keep moving during this time of waiting and build my own bridges.  Just have to move through this waiting room.

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