the women/the men

the women get burned alive and lie in critical condition for days with burns over 40% of our bodies. burnt by an entire society. our faces disfigured by a backwards religion, families that will no doubt say we deserved it. why didn’t we see it coming? the women swallow the criticism. if we knew what poison tasted like, this would be it. bitter, heavy, vomit-inducing. like gasoline./the men get to say they heard voices telling them to burn us. but whose voices were these? was it that of his father, booming, frighteningly authoritarian? the voice that narrates the story of how a man should be? or was it the voice of his mother, telling him to stop crying like a girl and play outside with the boys? the boys who chop the tails off lizards for fun.

the women have our cars crashed into and then get shot in the face. in plain daylight, on the highway, as families drive by to do their sunday shopping, run their sunday errands, go to church to say their sunday prayers./the men are ex-police officers, who have taken vows to make us feel safe. the men have the law on their side. the men are the fucking law. with their clubs and their guns. you’re not stupid, you understand the implied metaphors.

the women get stabbed in the chest as we sleep next to our new boyfriends. perhaps men whose touches don’t burn with hate. but then again...everyone is always caught by surprise. no, not him, they will say, as our blood drips from their complacent hands. the hands they tied themselves with ropes braided together by traditions they swear must be maintained./the men are the fathers of our children. the men break into our apartments. the men get to decide when our lives should end because we are always “sus mujeres.” sus mujeres, who have no right to be with other men. and so they rationalize their crimes. la pegaera de cuernos. celos. la cabrona was asking for it. of course.

the women need 123 stitches to close up the gashes after being attacked with a broken bottle. how many stitches will we need to sew our mouths closed so we don’t talk back? or our vaginas? to keep them nice and tight for the men who own them, who decide when to open them. this is how they love us, yes? silent, subservient, and sealed shut?/the men get to have their identities protected by the police. and their actions justified by the media. a crime of passion, the television reporter says—all cleavage and hair—her fuchsia lips untrembling, not showing any sign of the weight those words hold in her mouth.

love? passion?

i have loved men so deeply i can still feel them in my skin. i have lusted after these men to the point where i imagine my hands are theirs as i touch myself to sleep when alone at night. on the cusp of love and lust lies passion. and in this intersection, there is no violence. there are no machetes, no broken bottles, no four by fours, no rifles, no hand guns, no matches, no metal pipes, no shards of broken glass, no vehicular homicides. my life is not in fucking danger when these two emotions collide. think of another term, mass media. (i will help you.) don’t place the blame on an emotion in which I feel most at home.


On Many Malignant Conditions

Last night, this is what I dreamed:

A tortuous session of should-i-call-him-yes-no-wait-yes-nonononono-wait-yes. And so I call him and a woman with an American accent and an upper-middle class, well-educated lilt to her voice picks up his cell phone and says, “Hello?” I don’t know why, but in my dream I know what she looks like. She is pretty, in a white woman sort of way, like a bird you might see in a New England forest and might want to hold in the palms of your hands. I ask for him but I don’t remember if I got to talk to him. I do remember what the feeling in my stomach was like: like pulling a hot nail through a leather belt in order to make another notch. Pushing, pulling, reheating the nail so it can pierce the ungiving material more efficiently. If this skin were still alive, it would scream.

A tsunami. Waves taller than skyscrapers. Waves you can see for miles. Giant walls of aquamarine and everyone running as if they could possibly escape. I too run. Until I realize the impossibility of it all. I can’t outrun this. That is when I stop and wait for the wave to push me off my feet and into a decision: hold your breath and swim or give up and die.

Then I woke up.

Now I am in the gynecologist’s office waiting for the doctor to explain to me why cells are multiplying abnormally in my cervix. “Don’t worry,” he says over the phone as he tells me to come in for more tests, “this does not necessarily mean cancer.” Not necessarily, i.e. not an inevitability, not a reason for me to jump off a building.

What it does mean:
He must perform a colposcopy. Which means he sticks a microscope into my vagina to see my cervix better. He swabs my cervix with ascetic acid. I don’t know what ascetic acid is. Areas that turn white are the fucked up ones that must be tested further.

Many areas came up white. He draws me a map of my cervix and explains where the troublesome spots are. I wish I could have seen inside of me to see what my hurting cervix looked like. I want to reach into myself, cut out the abnormalities with an X-acto blade, sop up the blood with paper towels printed with sunflowers and smiley faces, put those abnormalities in jars, and place them on my bookshelf. These pieces of me that I acknowledge but don’t want inside of me. Like so many memories…

I’m scared as fuck and I’ve always hated male gynecologists. Especially the way this one pushes my legs open to get a better look. Perhaps if he was a woman and we were not in a country dominated by machismo, he would have asked me if I could please open my legs a little more. When I would do it, he would say, “that’s it. That’s much better.” But since we are here and he is a man, he feels entitled to my body and he does not do or say such things.

I will need a biopsy. It will hurt and I should bring a friend with me just in case I’m in too much pain to leave on my own afterward. I think, who the fuck would I ever ask to go with me? This is not something I do, this letting people know I am vulnerable and might sometimes need their help. Shit.

I leave with an appointment for a biopsy in a week. He assures me that “we are not worried.” Yet. There are tears in my eyes. This is what I will do: I will buy a bottle of wine, drink it, and fall asleep. I will dream that this never happened, that there are no male gynecologists with gold chains to make me feel uncomfortable, that I will have a healthy baby, that my insides will never break ever again, and I will be okay.

There will be no tsunamis in my dreams. No high-class women picking up the phone of the man I thought would be there for me.



When the earth began to shake, suddenly nothing was important: not the outfit I planned to wear on my birthday in a week, not the question of how to live through the awkward stages of growing out my hair, not the man who had just made me cry approximately 24 hours before.

When the earth began to shake, every dog in the neighborhood barked. I didn’t hear one human voice. Did you sleep through it? Did you not wake up in time to worry for your life? I sat up, naked in my bed, my heart pounding. Am I the only one that felt this? Did I just dream that shit? Maybe all across Río Piedras, everyone sat up in their beds at 1:34 am and watched their flower vases shake, their mouths stuck in silent “o”s, filled with unasked “what ifs.”

If this were the one, would I have time to get clothes on before I ran out of my house? Perhaps I should start sleeping with pajamas on, just in case shit goes down during the night, I can at least run out of my house without worry that I’ll get stared at. Or maybe I shouldn’t live in fear. I sleep naked. Come what may.

The night before, I thought about dying. I thought about whether or not I fit into this place (or any place, for that matter). I sobbed, sitting on the floor, head in my hands. All this over a simple stupid question: where the fuck do I go?

It all began in the Puerto Rico trench. A crack in the ocean floor where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. How apt. This is where the problem started: where the United States meets Almost the United States. How easy it is to cross that ocean of ambiguity. A simple plane ride: three hours, a little turbulence, a prayer or two, free pretzels and tomato juice and there you are. Luís Muñoz Marín International Airport, sweating your balls off and hoping your luggage is not abandoned in someplace random like Milwaukee, or Charlotte, or Fresno.

The trench is more than 8000 miles deep. It is the boundary between the North American Plate and the Caribbean Plate. The latter wants to move to the west while the former moves to the east. And so they clash. And volcanoes erupt under the sea. And earthquakes shake Puerto Ricans awake at 1:30 in the morning. I think of it like an allegory for colonialism. It works quietly, underneath our feet, without us knowing, all the time, shaping our world and we don’t even feel it until, perhaps, it pushes too hard and it stirs us out of our (american) dreams.

When I was younger, one of my favorite hiding spots was the crack between my bed and the wall. Sometimes when playing with my little sister, who was still a baby at that time, I would pretend there was a monster in the crack and it was pulling me down with it. I would scream for her to help me and she would just sit there and cry. Then I would pop up again and hug her and say, “everything’s okay. I’m here.” And she would hug me and then we would play something else.

There is no monster in the Puerto Rico trench. No. The monsters are in plain site.

If I fell in the space where the US officially stops but doesn’t, I would take everything with me. Grab everything and put it in my pockets as I am sucked down to the bottom of the ocean, things I surely won’t need but want anyway: helicopters, bats (grab em in mid-flight), skyscrapers, highways, great big trees covered in birds nests, colored pencils, fire, homeless dogs, a pair of sequined sneakers, bicycles, a boyfriend, a shoebox, matches, magazines, horses, octopuses, whales, and squids. Falling into a space so dark and undefined, my pockets heavy with all the shit I have stolen but am entitled to, I reach the bottom of the trench, the epicenter, right square in between acá y allá. I unpack my pockets and make my home.

It is when we are shaken that we realize we are no different than them. A few points higher on the Richter scale and we would be dead bodies trapped under cement, dead bodies cut in half by fallen steel twisted into knots by an angry earth, dead bodies forgotten by the very government that is supposed to protect us. Isn’t the United States super heroic afterall? Haven’t they figured out how to stop plate tectonics and keep us safe from the evils of the earth? A few points higher on the Richter scale and in thirty seconds or less we would have finally understood that there is no God. A few points higher on the Richter scale and maybe we would stop using the word “haitiano” as an insult because in the aerial shots of the rubble that used to be our homes, one wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between what happened here on May 16, 2010 and what happened there on January 12, 2010.

We all believe in God and the United States until the Earth teaches us not to.


An open letter to the jerk who stole my bike:

To the person who stole my bike from my balcony whilst I was asleep:
  1. I hate you.
  2. Motherfucker.
  3. How could you? Did you know that I don’t just recreationally ride my bike and that my bike is the only means of consistent and reliable transportation—besides my feet which sometimes hurt after a long day’s work—I have in this transportation-challenged city in which I live.
  4. Fuck you.
  5. I was just trying to live an environmentally conscious life, leave as small a carbon footprint as I possibly could and then you came along and screwed that all up. Not to mention that I have to ride the stupid bus now.
  6. Did you know I hate the bus?
  7. Why do you hate me?
  8. Did you know that I had to go to Sears to get that bike? Fucking SEARS! The last time I went to Sears before that was to take embarrassing photos with my family when I was a fat, bespectacled child. The photographers made me fold my hands and tilt my head to the side, smile when I hated my teeth. They documented my fat stage. Did you know I was reminded of that trauma as I walked into Sears to buy that bike that you so easily stole from me?
  9. How did you scale the fence to get to my bike anyway, twinkletoes? The front door is locked and there are spikes on the gate. I’m going to tell my landlord to put poison on the spikes. And electrify them, too. Let’s see if you get past that next time.
  10. Are you spiderman?
  11. Are you addicted to drugs? Chances are you are a big time TE-CA-TO. Did you sell my bike for drugs? I hope not. I hope at least you are riding it around now and feeling the wind in your dirty, stinky, matted-down hair.
  12. Have you noticed that the back breaks don’t work so well? I hope you learned the hard way.
  13. I really, sincerely hope you didn’t peak into my window as I slept because it’s already creepy enough that you magically got to my balcony in the first place. But if you peeped in on me while I was sleeping, that’s extra creepy. That means you were like six inches away from my face.
  14. Don’t ever, ever come to my balcony again. Except to knock on my door and politely ask for my forgiveness. Actually, no. Stay the fuck away from my balcony.
  15. I miss my bike. He (yes, I’m using male pronouns. I’m allowed, okay? I’m grieving) was like the boyfriend I never had. He let me mount him whenever I wanted and never complained. He took me wherever I wanted to go, whenever I wanted. He didn’t mind when I got all sweaty on top of him. His name was Sergio. Damn baby, come back…
  16. How low could you get? Stealing bikes? I mean, come ON. If you’re gonna steal something, steal makeup from Walgreens (I do it all the time) or spices from the supermarket (I also do that) or nails and screws from Home Depot (I don’t even use them but God they’re just so small and loose and feel so nice in my pocket). Why are you gonna steal from regular people? (oh right, I forgot number 11).
  17. I feel a ghost pain in my vagina, where the seat would be making me slightly uncomfortable if I were to take a long ride.
  18. Did you leave the dead baby bird still in its egg in the place where my bike used to be, you sick fuck? Not only do you steal my bike, pero me hiciste brujería para colmo! WTF! I really hope I don't have permanent bad luck in love or some shit like that. No bike and no man! Damn, you really know how to fuck with a girl.
  19. What am I supposed to do with this dead baby bird now? I can’t throw it away. It’s tiny, undeveloped mouth is open as if you killed it right as it was going to tell on you. Like right as it breathed in to say, “oooooo, I see you and I’m gonna tell Raquel” you killed it. In cold blood. The blood is on the egg.
  20. When I get a new bike, I’m never EVER gonna let you ride on the handle bars.


A Growing List of Reasons To Say, “KEEP YOUR FUCKING DICK IN YOUR PANTS”

REASON ONE: Today as I was waiting for the bus to take me to the health food store so I could buy my weekly supply of tofu, almond milk, and organic nuts and berries soldbytheBULK, a man showed me his penis. No...no. That was an understatement.

Picture this:

You are waiting for the bus by yourself. You are a woman. In a city you are not from but feel increasingly comfortable in (which doesn’t mean yo stupid ass won’t get robbed, but I’m just sayin). You are sitting on a bench that is just high enough to give you space to swing your legs. So you swing your legs because when was the last time you did that?

Across the street is a man. You know he is watching you. How? Because you feel like a fucking reality tv amoeba porn star being observed under a fucking microscope by a sick ass molecular biologist who has an unhealthy obsession to watching amoebas just trying to do their amoeba thing.

You do not meet his gaze. Even when he goes: ssss…ssss…ssss.

You try to read the book in your purse. It is The Power of Now. Fuck. It should help you focus but you can’t find your Being because your Being is being too horribly violated to be found. She is hiding.

It’s like when your mother told you not to touch things as you walked into semi-fancy department stores.

Or when your teachers used to tell you never to look directly at the sun during a solar eclipse.

You just had to do it.
You just had to look.

And so you see him jerk off.

Not quite: swinging his stupid dick around in stupid circles.

You know what you are going to be faced with. But you look anyway. And when you do, you close your eyes, open them again, see the same shit, close your eyes, open your eyes, shake your head, and walk to the next bus stop. Don’t you dare look back, you...

When you turn the corner, you see a police car driving up the block. You feel relieved, saved almost. Then you remember the following: walking down the street in Brooklyn and a police officer leering at you, grabbing his dick with one hand and holding his gun with the other, that since the beginning of the year just about 130 people have been murdered in this island, that it is February 21st, that so many people wouldn’t have to die if somebody didn’t turn a blind eye or open an expectant and complacent palm.

You walk past the police car. You look back and the fucked up molecular biologist is walking behind you but turns the corner. You meet his repulsive gaze. He looks at the police car. Then at you. You turn your head and walk faster to the next bus stop.

You don’t want to miss your bus. The drivers are assholes. They won’t pick you up if you’re not at the stop. They’ll leave you running, sweaty, dusty, and embarrassed.


On short hair, sex, and THE NOW

An old friend of mine recently posted an article to his Facebook page about how women who cut their hair really short, must have “given up” on sex. At first I totally resented this article. Who the fuck are these British douchebags telling ME that my coochie is out of commission just because of the goddamn haircut I rock these days? What the fuck do the Brits know about style anyway? Laura fucking Ashley? Double-breasted blazers? Clothing held together by safety pins? Thanks for blessing the world with all your fashion gems, you pompous English assholes.

But then, a few days later, I looked in the mirror and took a pair of scissors to my hair. My hair was already quite short (think Rihanna). But that night I chopped it all off until each strand of hair was about two inches long. I didn’t do it because I had sworn myself off sex; I did it because I was no longer interested in trying to look sexy.

This was a huge moment in my life, dear readers.

If there is anything I have learned since moving to Puerto Rico, it is how to use sex, sexiness, and femininity to get what I want. As a matter of fact, I am convinced that the only reason why I still have my job as pastry chef/bartender right now is because I am a fairly attractive woman. At first, this was a fun realization, that I can twist machismo to suit my needs (or at least to get my belly full). Some of my initial reactions:
  1. Really, papi, you’re going to buy me a drink for NO REASON whatsoever? Dale.
  2. Really, jefe? You’re not gonna fire me even though I just spilled a flan all over the kitchen floor, underbaked a cheesecake, spilled wine all over a customer’s lap, and broke like five glasses?
  3. Really, flower vendor? You’re going to give me a free bouquet of roses? Thanks.
  4. Really, every man I’ve met in Puerto Rico? You wanna hang out with me even though my Spanish is shitty and you probably can’t tell how really smart I am?

But now it’s getting a little old. When I chopped of all of my hair, I did so knowing a couple of things: first that it will look good because I’ve done it before and second that it is very likely to produce a negative and/or confused reaction amongst the masses of Puerto Rican people. Women, oh women of Puerto Rico. Machismo is a bitch ain’t it? Although certainly it allows me to go out and not pay for a single drink it also makes me think that I have to wear tight clothing and have long hair in order to be attractive. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with tight clothing and long flowing locks. But when I just want to go out in a t-shirt and shorts and when I want to think I look dope as hell with short hair, this machismo shit really pisses me off.

Being in Puerto Rico has also taught me how much I rely on sex and being attractive to make me feel better about myself. And guess what? That’s a totally, TOTALLY bad strategy to find happiness. (Did you already know that? You probably did and I’m just slow as hell.) So I’m reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It took me a while to get over the fact that it was a book you find in the Spiritual Guidance/Self-Help section of the bookstore and that I’m looking for advice from a dude that looks like some kind of self-satisfied macadamia nut (what the fuck do you know about inner peace, basketball-headed motherfucker?). But those were just my insecurities speaking. Once I started to read it, everything changed. Te. Lo. Juro. One of the most profound ideas I’ve encountered so far is that everything I need to be happy already exists inside of me. Forget drugs, forget alcohol, forget budissy (butt, dick, and pussy). I’ve been searching for it my whole goddamn life but happiness has been inside of me since I first danced out of my mother’s womb. I’ve just been too busy wondering when the next time I was gonna get high and fuck to realize it. I was never present enough to understand that all I needed to be happy was to be present. So cyclical, I know! Fuck old memories and planning for the future. Feel the seat underneath me as I write, hear the children riding bikes outside, think nothing else. And when I find myself obsessing about the future or fretting over the stupid shit I did in the past, I just observe those thoughts and laugh at my brain as it tries to distract me from true happiness.

You go, Eckhart Tolle. You wrote some profound ass shit.

So then, I cut off all my fucking hair. Not necessarily, as I said before, because I wanted to go off sex but because I realized that I didn’t want to be looking for sex. And shit, that’s hard. Because sex, for the most part, and as I have written in other blog entries, is fucking awesome. What’s better than smoking a blunt, getting eaten out, and getting fucked really hard? Hmmm…drawing a blank here because THERE IS NOTHING BETTER! Nothing. If I could choose two things to sustain me for the rest of my life, I would definitely choose booty and weed. No contest. But it’s important to know why I want to have sex. And once I really think about it, it’s not always because it feels good. Often, I want to have sex to boost my self-esteem (Oh, you think I’m hot, let’s do it), to get my mind off of other things (fuck that motherfucker; here’s another dude that wants to have sex with me), or just because I can (meh, I guess I can let you hit it).

If I can have sex with someone and not think about these other things and be truly present in the moment, then I am all about it. But if not, then I have to make the mature decision to acknowledge that I’m trying to escape from some deep shit and I should think about what I truly need (meditation, writing, talking it out, exercise perhaps). Cutting my hair helped me to internalize this. It helps me to see myself more clearly: I look in the mirror and I see nothing but my face and in that face, I see every emotion that I have to confront, every emotion that prevents me from being truly present (regret: ugh, guilt: bleh, insecurity: vomit). Something happened after taking the scissors to my locks in which I stopped worried about being sexy and started to reallyreallyreally be me. This doesn’t mean that I no longer take pleasure in putting on makeup before I go out or that I stopped enjoying the way my breasts look in my favorite t-shirt. On the contrary, my smile is wider and my swagger…sheeeit…ni hablar. My short hair has made me confident in just how fly I am. And I won’t be surprised if that makes for more delicious sexual romps from which to choose (mindfully, of course).


The Three Kings Delivered Me My Heart on a Platter

I swear to God, this is the start of my first book. A graphic novel. Almost like a kids book, but for adults. This is all the text. I'm gonna start on the visuals right now.
Me: Really? Really? It has been decided that this is the shit that I need right now?
God: Yes.
Me: You’re the wackest God ever, God. Not only do you bring me some pretty tragic shit to deal with when I’m trying to relax in a tropical fucking paradise but then there’s like children starving all over the world, mass genocides, and war. You fucked up and you know it.
God: Oh my dear child, you just don’t understand.
Me: Damn right I don’t understand and it’s not cuz I’m stupid either. Hell, I almost got a Masters degree! And I’m not your goddamn child. Ooh sorry…to uh take your name in vain and shit.
God: ...
Me: Fuuuuuuuuuuuck!!!!!!
So started my camping trip in Culebra, Puerto Rico over the Three Kings holiday. Culebra is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. That’s what all the websites say anyway. And all the fuckers who have enough money to see all the beautiful beaches in the world and are arrogant enough to say that they have enough knowledge to rank all of them. Straight up paradise: white sand, clear turquoise water, lots of cool shit to look at when you go snorkeling, forests to fuck around in, coconuts, a sky full of stars, blah blah blah.

I was setting up my tent. Eager to place my lips around the bottle of Balvenie 12 Year Doublewood that I brought with me to help me forget.

Forget what, you ask? There are many terms for it. How should I start? Hmm…A douchebag, un cabron, un hijo de la gran puta, asshole, jerk, trafala. The man that broke my heart. I thought I had been lucky enough to go through life without ever really being heart-broken. Sure dudes have made me cry before. Sure I’ve had really nasty break ups. But heartbreak? I had no idea what the shit was until about a week ago.

Heartbreak is the shit that La Lupe songs are made of. La Lupe. La Yiyiyi. The Queen of Latin Soul. You can’t understand La Lupe’s songs until you have been made to suffer by someone who you reallytruly thought loved you but then you find out in a really wack way that you were making the shit up the whole time. She sings this one song called “Amor Gitano” and the chorus goes like this:
Toma este puñal,

ábreme la venas,

quiero desangrarme 
hasta me muera.

No quiero la vida
si es de verte ajeno,

pues sin tu cariño,

no vale la pena.

That’s some deep ass hurt. And I got hurt La Lupe style on the beach in Culebra, Puerto Rico. Even though the hurt started about a week before that. This tropical beach hurt just kind of served to underline it, bold it, place exclamation points at the end of it. Almost like a citation, it made it official.

So I’m setting up my tent. A bottle of fine single malt whiskey in my backpack waiting to be consumed by me. So happy to be out of the city. Then. I see. Him. With a girl. A girl with long hair, bigger breasts than me, a bigger ass than me. Fuck. They are walking down the main path on the camping grounds. You know this man, dear reader. I guess he really didn’t want anything serious with me.

It can’t be him. Why would that be him with another girl? It can’t be him because I don’t need this right now. It can’t be him because it would just be too perfectly tragic if it were. It can’t…holy shit, that’s him and look at how he’s looking at her.

They were giggling. Giggling for God’s sake!

They did not see me.

At that point, I stopped setting up the tent. Because physically I could not. Because I could feel my stupid little heart detaching itself from the veins, arteries, and valves that used to keep it securely in my ribcage. Pop! Pop pop! It slipped past my lungs, started to slide down my esophagus, make its sad little way past my kidneys. I doubled over in pain, held my stomach with my right hand to keep my heart from falling out of my vagina, reached into my bag for the whiskey with my left hand, opened the bottle and took a long sip. Head thrown back, looking at the sky, this is the moment I was reminded that Orion is made up of more than the five stars that squeeze through the light pollution and contamination of your normal city nights. I drop the bottle, take off my clothes, and stumble to the beach in my bathing suit.

Every. Step. Is harder. Than the last.

I could feel my heart slipping past my stomach. I saw shooting stars. I could feel my heart winding down my intestines. The half moon was rising. And just as I got to the shore to throw myself into the lap of Yemaya, I couldn’t hold onto it anymore and my heart fell out of my vagina and landed in the pristine, white sand.

I didn’t hear it fall because the ocean was too loud.

I left it in the sand and swam and swam and swam. It’s really weird to swim and cry at the same time. You feel really stupid doing it. Like running and crying. Who does that? So I stopped swimming and just let myself cry for a little while. Then I felt stupid crying in the ocean. I started to hear the bad music that came on during the “intense” scenes of Beverly Hills 90210. I looked around for the video cameras because it was just like a bad movie. Who gets their heart trampled on when they’re on a tropical fucking beach? WTF? Really? That happens? It’s not just the fruit of the total lack of imagination of numerous Hollywood screenwriters? ¿En serio? So I stopped crying and swam back to shore. I picked up my heart from the sand, dusted it off, and swatted away the mosquitoes that thought they found heaven. The flies had already given birth to their precious little babies in my rancid heart, just as you can learn here. I shoved it up my vagina again and made sure it was put back in its cozy little home in my ribcage.

I finished the whiskey with my friends, smoked a blunt, and for a while forgot about the wackness that was my life. I went to sleep in my tent.

When I woke up, I took a walk along the beach, knowing I was going to run into them, wanting him to see me, wanting to torture myself.

I ran into him. It looked a little like this:

Him: (Gasps.) ¡Raquel!
Me: Hola.
(No kisses on the cheek. The girl stands there and looks at me. I look at him, no smile on my face. I cannot pretend.)
Him: Uh…Esta es La Fea [duh, not her real name]. La Fea, Raquel. Raquel, La Fea.
(I scratch her eyeballs out with my fingernails and fashion them into earrings using the seaweed discarded in the sand. The inferior of the species collapses to the ground and bleeds to death in absolute agony. I have proven myself to be the superior and dominant female and so the man goes with me...in my head.)
Me: Hola.
Her: Mucho gusto.
Him: ¡Llegaste a la playa! ¿Cuándo llegaste?
Me: Anoche. ¿Y tú?
Him: Llegamos ayer.
(I pummel him to the ground and shove sand into his screaming mouth. He begs for mercy, I think, because I don’t understand his stupid sandy words. I shout, “How does that taste motherfucker?! Love is bitter, isn’t it!?!? Isn’t iiiiiiiit!?!?!” In my head.)
Him: Pueh, no vemos ahorita.
Me: Ciao.
(They walk away and my heart falls from my vagina and plops into the sand. A crab grabs it and scuttles away. It takes me a moment to gather myself and chase the crab. I pry my heart from its claws of and shove it back up my vagina. I run into the water and cry corny 90210 style again. Once I start feeling stupid, I stop.)

My time in Culebra was a series of moments like this. I see them kiss: my heart falls from my vagina, gets sandy, I sigh because I’m frustrated and sad, I pick up my heart, wash it in the ocean and shove it back where it belongs. I come up from snorkeling, I see them playing in the water: my heart falls from my vagina, and sinks to the bottom of the coral reef; I dive to retrieve it, wrenching it from the arms of a starfish and shove it back where it belongs. I see her touch the small of his back as they walk along the beach: plop and it starts all over again.

Really? This shit happens? I mean, really?

When I got home on Thursday night, I noticed that he had defriended me from Facebook, which felt awful. What right does he have to defriend me? He broke my heart! Goddamn it! Beach rejection and digital rejection. The shit just keeps getting worse and worse.

When I got home on Thursday night, I stepped into the shower and took off my bathing suit, sprinkling sand on the tiles, standing naked in the shower for a long time before I turned on the water. I like the feeling of the beach on my skin. The smell of it on my flesh. I reached into myself and took out my heart and placed it in the medicine cabinet. Even though I know I should, I will not use it everyday. Too much work, just like the dental floss next to it.


The greedy ass bee

This is a story of a bee. A desperate little insect who had not yet fulfilled his life’s purpose. Which is, as you can learn here, fucking the female worker bees. The only thing that male bees do is wait around to have sex. Then they get to die. Happy, but without their penises. Which is okay because I hear that in bee heaven, you are met with like 99 bee virgins and pa colmo the bee gods give you 99 shiny, new, erect penises (that never fall off) with which to fuck them. AND in bee heaven, the bee bitches don’t get pregnant.

This is a story of a bee.

Bee was the last one to hatch. He struggled with life. And so his big brothers made fun of him incessantly. Right after his older brothers had sex and just before they would die, they would ridicule him. “What?! You ain’t fucked yet!? You pussy ass lady bug!” “Fucking is the shiiiiiitt,” they would say as their wings stopped flapping and they spiraled erratically down to the ground, gripping the empty space where their penises used to stand proudly. Cough cough. Spittle spittle. Death death. Plop.

All of Bee’s brothers had died and he was still waiting. Waiting to give his all to that one lucky worker bee. “She’ll never know what’s coming to her,” he would say to himself. “Imma give it to her so good! Oh man!” he would say as he humped flowers, moths, old people, tree branches or anything else that stood still long enough for him to practice on.

Then one day, he saw her. She was beautiful. Huge. The biggest ass he’d ever seen. Calm. Not running around pollinating shit or fixing the hive or doing the eight million other things that worker bees do. She was chillin on the rug. Waiting to be taken by him.

Bee started to sweat.

“Ohmanohmanohmanohmanohman! This is it Bee,” he said to himself, slicking his hair back and practicing his thrusts. “This fine little thing, well big really, is gonna be the next QUEEN. My pretty little queen BEE! And she’s gonna have my babies! And, and, and fuck all my brothers who hated on me before!”

Bee took a deep breath and slowly approached his fine, young selection.

“Don’t fuck it up Don’t fuck it up Don’t fuck it up Don’t fuck it up Don’t fuck it up.”

As he buzzed down towards her, he had a liberating realization. This is the moment he’s been waiting for. This is what he was born for. Why be worried? If he was bad in the sack, he wouldn’t have been born to fuck. This was his calling and this female was calling him. It was perfect. He could feel it: starting in his abdomen, traveling up his thorax and tingling his antennae. It was right. So he stopped hesitating and descended rapidly on the worker bee in waiting, his penis engorged with expectation.

As he approached, he took in all of her bright yellowness and blackness. She was beautiful and bright. He smelled her: sweet as brown sugar. He got closer and he could feel her heat as it radiated from her body: steaming. And as he entered her (SEX!) he was so enveloped in emotion, he felt as if he were drowning. Her vagina so hot and smooth it seemed to melt the skin off his penis…

Wait. W. T. F???

"Melt the skin off my penis! Pa’l carajo!"

All it took was a moment (the moment in which he opened his eyes) to realize that something was terribly terribly off. Why is this female hard and shiny and not soft and furry. Why is she like…like liquid?

Why?!? Why?!? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!? Blub blub blub. Gurgle gurgle gurgle. Death death death.

That’s what you get for trying to fuck my coffee cup you greedy ass bee:

His sweet, sweet love.

His bitter, bitter demise.

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