Mija, I want to write him.
I want to write him so bad.
So, I’ll write you instead.
I won’t give in. Not now.
I’m trying to stay sober.
Trying to work my shift sober.
No weed either.
And it’s so hard.
And he made it harder. He’s not even on the internet. He’s completely ignoring me.
Letting me see he’s on and not saying hello. No, not even that.
Just not there. Like he went and got married or something.
I’m a lousy friend. Not a good friend to him. Not like you and me.
I don’t pry. I don’t call him on his shit. I just look up when he drives up and stop my world for him.
And I pray he doesn’t notice but you know he does. You know he does.
I give him the freedom of not being the annoying girlfriend that must know where he is at all times.
In return I get a grateful man who forgets that there is a woman out there that swore up and down she would not let him get under her skin again.
I look down at my skin and I can see him swimming below the surface. My familiar alien.
I drive out to Calvary Cemetery and hang out with the dead silent movie stars.
There are homeboys in hairnets etched into the granite. How do they decide which photo to put on them?
Why don’t the mothers choose the photos of their babies as angels?
It takes too much energy to disguise being hurt.
I should go for a normal guy, mija.
Remember that May when Omar was after me?
I kept letting him give me rides to El Camino and playing dumb like some virgin, so he wouldn’t think he could get anywhere.
He proposed even! Can you picture schoolgirl me, married to Omar, raising Rottweiler pups in the backyard?
But you don’t know how much I think of Omar. How I think that Gee!, I’d be living in a house with a fenced in yard.
Well, I wouldn’t have anyone to talk to but the dogs. And he talked to them in Spanish, so I guess I’d have learned Spanish by now.
But that’s not the type we go for; is it, mija?
We like the brown boys that are obviously brown but go to college to not be brown.
We want the ones that wouldn’t go with us to the M.E.Ch.A meetings, because they didn’t want to be too political. The ones who stay single way into their thirties, whose parents and families think must be gay because they’ve never fathered a kid, joined a gang, or eaten at their mother’s without clearing the table.
We fuck the boys who majored in art, not business.
We want those boys. We want those boys who one day, in a room full of white people after a conference or a meeting, will realize they aren’t white, after all.
I’m waiting for him, mi’ja.
He’ll be late. And it won’t be because he’s working on his truck or in the arms of another woman—although there is probably plenty of that too.
He won’t be Omar, dear, dear Omar. Whose call I never returned after that third time he said he’d never met a girl like me before. That he wanted to wake up with me years from now, his vieja.
The Omars would take our mothers in.
We need the Omars, mija.
Now, that we are getting too old already, we need them.
Story by Margaret Elysia Garcia.
Photo by Marco Patino.