Thursday, July 8, 2010

All Mistakes Become Lessons

“I don’t deal with the meat or dairy. I’m what you would call a vegan. Some people don’t realize that when you eat the flesh of another animal you are consuming not only the hormones that are injected in the animal to speed up its growth, but also the enzymes and chemicals that are released from the animal to help it deal with its death. Meat is really dead flesh, and that’s what you are eating. Oh, and you asked about the rice right? Well if you notice most Latina women have big bellies because white rice expands their belly. White rice has no nutrients, is bleached, and fattening.” – Keya explained

The three girls stared at each other blankly and not a word was uttered until the car slightly bumped onto a crack on the road. Upon reaching their destination, one of the girls stayed behind hugging her mother-in-law in a way that spoke about her fear of facing the world. It was obvious this deeply embedded feeling dictated the way she dealt with all those around her. The other two girls rapidly walked, arms wrapped around each other’s sides, whispering comments that led to quiet laughs. These two had made their decision. They wasn’t about to give up meat. They loved meat. It tasted so good to them. What exactly was that bitch talking about anyway, everybody ate meat and nobody dies from that, they thought. All three of these girls, whose fear of the world and life had surfaced, wore a big “fuck you” on their faces.

“I find it hard to say, that everything is alright
Don't look at me that way, like everything is alright
Cuz my own eyes can see, through all your false pretenses
But what you fail to see, is all the consequences…
”-Lauryn Hill

Milagros, Beba, and Kathy had spent their early teenage years being reactionary and trying to find their own justice to what they saw as unfair. Milagros, a product of a drug dealer and a love torn whore, grew up watching the constant fights between her parents, her father’s constant absence, and her mother’s search for a man with good money. Milagro’s mother wasn’t always this way.

Stories heard through the many apartments of immigrant mothers in the tenement where she lived told of a very different woman. Minorka worked hard as a nurse in one of the largest hospitals in Santo Domingo, the capitol of the Dominican Republic. Having recently arrived from San Francisco de Macoris, she brought with her the high spirit, morality and ethics she was taught to live with. Her mother always said that these were the ingredients to a good life and any woman who wanted prosperity would always have these within her. At 25, she had never been without her mother’s guidance, but finally found herself able to make decisions on her own. Working at the hospital allowed her to make friends with other fellow nurses who were also women from the countryside. Most days they would all meet after work and enjoy many of the diversions the city had to offer. They would visit coffee shops, foreign restaurants, and bars. It was precisely at one of these bars that Minorka met Milagro’s father. He was 6 feet tall, muscle build, with olive dark skin that pronounced his hazel eyes in such a way that when he looked at any girl, she would melt by the depth of his sight. Randy looked like the kind of guy you could bring home to meet the parents. He always dressed smooth and never wore clothes that did not match. On this particular night he was wearing a suede jump suit with a wife beater. He spotted Minorka for the first time as she and one of the other nurses were ordering drinks. She was talking to the bartender. He focused on the way her mouth moved. To him, it was the most beautiful set of lips he had laid eyes on. He ran his eyes up and down, from her head to her toes. Her silky curls, the way they rested on her shoulders, and how he wished he was running his fingers through them at that very moment. For now, he would have to wait. First came trying to get her attention. When Minorka and her friend went to join their party, Randy came over to the waiter and told him that whatever drinks they ordered to put it on his tab. When the nurses were ready to order again, the waiter, pointing at Randy, informed the ladies that he was taking care of their drinks. Minorka went over to Randy. She reacted just as Randy had planned.

“Good evening sir. I just wanted to thank you for paying for our drinks, but we don’t really need you to do that. Here, I brought all the money we owe you.” Minorka said with a stern look on her face.

“Girl calm down, you don't owe me anything. I am a gentleman and endlessly in the service of the most extravagant ladies of lore regardless of the rarity at which they appear,” He said with the swagger of a true bachelor.

“And that happens to be ladies like me?”

“These horrid men seek to defame you all. Send drinks your way that you must drink. That each drop of these select nectars of fermented grapes shall intoxicate the soul to enhance the façade of dastardly men into the sincerity of bliss of forthcoming good worldly intentions. If all I may ask is that with each drop of nectar you should choose not to drink that you offer me in exchange one moment of your time. One sip may cater the steps on a Sunday afternoon through the park. Another taste may chaperon a dinner at the finest restaurant with select arpeggios of your most cherished bachatas. And hopefully, there is but a morsel left to bed the intimacy of learning of your thoughts, ideas, hopes and dreams that a yes to another day may bring." He stated, strategically taking pauses so that what he said had a stronger effect.

“Wow. I guess, uh, I may be willing to let this glass pour out a friendship,” she answered amazed at his words of wit.

Just like that they spent that whole night talking. Her friends had left and she reassured them that she would get home ok. Randy knew what type of girl she was, inexperienced, family oriented, very trust worthy, and could be easily led in the wrong direction. It helped that he had a crew around her that made him look legit. He was well respected around that area and as one of the most feared men in that zona, no one dared mess with him. Most came to him for their problems. His abilities in the street allowed him to solve peoples’ problems and they had to pay him the compensation he proposed or else their life would be at stake. His word was always bond, but expected the same in return from the people he would serve. Once they came to him for help, they became part of his network and it was their duty to serve him when he requested it.

Minorka had become Randy’s newest obsession. He wouldn’t stop until he got what he wanted from her: to make her his woman until he got sick of her.

It didn’t take long for Minorka to fall madly in love with Randy. He was very detailed with her. Always brought something new for her, took her out to the finest restaurants in the city, never tried to get fresh with her, and showed an interest in meeting her family. Five months into dating, he asked to speak to her mother. Minorka was struck with excitement she couldn’t contain. Randy passed her his cell phone and told her to dial. She dialed rapidly and passed him the phone. He spoke in this smooth, calm, and professional voice that impressed anyone who heard it. After his conversation with Minorka’s mother, she was more convinced that he was the one for her. Her mother told Minorka that he seemed like the kind of man to settle down with. Little did she know his real intentions. He showed her only what he wanted her to see. The real Randy was a man who had once been badly hurt by a woman he thought to be the best in the world. Until he found her having sex with one of his right hand men. Both were murdered by his very hand. He never trusted or respected women again. No matter how they were, he thought they would eventually change and do you dirty. The same he thought of Minorka. She was the sweetest, most innocent and humble being he had met. But he was sure that one day she would cheat on him. This he couldn’t have and so he sought just to have fun with her.

A year into their relationship, Randy proposed that Minorka move in with him. Assuring her mother that they would be married within a year after living together, the moth ow er approved. Minorka felt so happy. She had received a promotion at work and she was now living with the man she loved. It was an exciting time in her life, until the problems began. Minorka started noticing that Randy would get home past midnight. She inquired and he explained that he was working long hours. He would look straight in her eyes, kiss her, and explained that in the banking industry there were times were research and reports took work into the later part of the night. She bought it. However, there were little things that stopped her from fully believing him after a while. She noticed that he would come home high or drunk. Sometimes he even smelled like he was wearing women’s perfume. He would dismiss it by saying the guys would always stack the jackets together and that might explain the smell of other peoples colognes. He reiterated that in no way were these women scents. She didn’t buy it.

Weeks after discussing the foreign smells on her man’s jacket, Minorka decided that she would investigate what was going on. She talked to her friend Dimary about it. Dimary agreed to take the day off work the next day to follow him. They planned to take Dimary’s car because everyone knew what Minorka’s car looked like. They were to meet at the parking lot of the clinic at 8am, usual time to enter work. This way they wouldn’t raise suspicions. Minorka was nervous; she had a bad feeling from the minute she woke up. She was afraid to learn what she most dreaded: to find her man cheating on her. Thirty minutes after meeting, they drove in and caught Randy right as he was walking out of the apartment building. He was talking on the phone smiling as if he was flirting with someone. He got into his car and drove off. Minorka nervously told Dimary not to lose him. Randy made his first stop at the bar where he had first met Minorka. He stopped and chatted with some guys. Since Dimary’s car had tinted windows, no one thought to think that people were inside it. This allowed them to park close enough to hear what Randy and the two other men were talking about. Randy was giving instructions and demanding updates. When Minorka heard what they had to say she received the first shock. They were talking about the bodies they had recently disposed of and the allocation of the most recent shipment of heroin. Once Randy finished giving the orders of the day, he jumped into his car and took off. The women were careful in following him. They stayed two cars behind him so he couldn’t tell. Fifteen minutes later he made a stop in front of what seemed a hostel and two women walked out with some of Randy’s friends. Minorka recognized them immediately. Those were the men he had introduced as his business partners at the bank. Now she knew what kind of business they were all doing together. They took off and Dimary continued to follow. The final stop was made at a house that looked abandoned. They all got off here, girls walking like they were already feeling nice off the drinks they had in their hands. Minorka told Dimary that she had to follow them in there. Dimary urged her to wait at least ten minutes before she went in there. Minorka agreed. She got out of the car and started walking towards the back of the house. Inside of her she felt great fear. Her body was shaking and her palms were sweaty. She walked very slowly so that her boots wouldn’t make a loud clackity sound. As she came closer, the voices became louder. She heard the women laughing and talking freaky to the men. She peeked in and actually saw that the women were leaning on the men, touching their chests, and whispering words into their ears. They would stop and continue to drink and pass the three blunts they were smoking. When things got a little heated, Minorka decided to walk in. The women were now half naked and they were making out with the guys. When Randy saw Minorka, the expression on his face drastically changed. It looked like his high had worn off instantly. Minorka ran out, he chased after her. She was crying hysterically and couldn’t calm down. Randy finally caught up and grabbed her.

“Why did you do this to me? I love you with all my heart and this is how you repay all the wonderful moments I have given you.” she gasped and continued to hyperventilate.

“What you talking about? I gave you all those great moments; I made all those moments for you. Without what I put into it, they wouldn’t have been shit.” He yelled.

“You played me all this time, why? All I ever did was love you and have the utmost trust in you.” She was now crying uncontrollably.

“Minorka, I did love you too, but my way. I am not a man for just one woman and I knew you wouldn’t understand that. I wanted you for me and if I would of told you all that you would have never been with me. I’m sorry, but I cannot be with just one woman. I cannot be with just you.”

“Please let me go, you’ve said all you needed to. Let me and your baby go.” She cried

“My baby?”

With those words she left running back to the car where Dimary sat nervously waiting.

“What happened, did you talk to him?” she asked.

“Yes, drive, let’s leave this place now. I can’t believe it Dimary. He lied to me, all this time he was lying to me. I gave him my body, my soul, my everything and he had the audacity to tell me that he can’t be with one woman. That he loves me, but just can’t be with me alone.” She yelled while crying hysterically.

Dimary accompanied her to the place she currently called home. She packed up all her bags as quickly as she could. Thinking was the last thing she wanted to do. She didn’t want to feel the deep pain and solitude she was experiencing. Never again would things be the same. She wanted to numb all her emotions, dispose of them as if nothing had ever happened. The truth of the matter was that she had instantly changed. Minorka decided that she needed to get away. She had family in New York City and after speaking to them, they urged her to come stay with them until she got settled and could find her own place. Her professional background allowed Minorka to get a visa without any problems. She was to leave three days after the incident with Randy occurred. For the time being she would stay with Diomary until it was time to catch that plane. Getting on the plane signified for her the start of a new life where she would be a different woman. The type of women who would not be taken advantage of, instead she would be doing the rippin’ off.

Nowadays, on average Milagros’s mother went through five boyfriends a year and virtually all of them slept over on a frequent basis. She fell for each one of them, but before she gave them some ass, they had to contribute to some expense. Some would pay the gas, rent, or light bill. As long as they were supporting her with something, she gave them all the ass they wanted. One of the most impacting days for Milagros was when she walked in on her mother having sex with her latest boyfriend, some campesino that had recently arrived from the Dominican Republic. Unlike most of the other guys she fucked, he was spending all of his factory earnings on her. This is why she would do him at any time of day. It was as if whenever she got financially taken care of, her hormone level got higher. Milagros hated her mother so much, for being such a freaking slut. She thought of becoming just like her mom to fully piss off her father for never being there for her. It’s not like he cared anyway, but at least he had nothing to be proud about. Even the worse of fathers, she thought, bragged about their good children. It was really the only good thing in their lives they could talk about, but she would never give him that pleasure. She wanted him to curse the day he became the man he did and to see the result of his actions. His absence had really affected her and now it was up to her not to ever make him proud.


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