FOR REASONS BEYOND CONTROL -next 1833 words-
Mother use to do clothing alterations and one day she asked to come along, rode the bus for what seemed like an eternity, until the streets became wider and cleaner, at one point got off the bus and began walking along this wide sidewalk with impeccable front yards leading up elegant pathways towards large front doors. The beauty and cleanliness were mesmerizing how was this possible in the same world, just a few miles away from that ugliness and dirt that enveloped everything like a mantel of spitefulness and desolation. It was a different world, something until then foreigner, how could such extremes be so close? This was unbelievable how could this difference be in the same city, who were these people that lived in those mansions, these huge houses of imposing architecture. Upon approaching the entrance to a home with large white pillars in the front veered through a walkway instead of taking the front steps and walked passed some trees and trash cans and knocked on a door. A woman dressed immaculately in black and white livery opened the door and ushered in haste while giving a dismissing look of disgust. Stood in a large kitchen where everything had a place and everything was in its place, everything was spotless and a fresh smell reigned. The tile floor was impeccable, and the smell of clean and pure lingered nothing like the stench of gas and crap that enveloped everything back there. Finally walked down a long hallway and entered a large living room with shiny and elegant furniture and there a woman with hair in a bun holding a cigarette in gloved hand somewhat made a sound at noticing us and gave a look of disgust and annoyance as if those before her suffered from some incurable disease, and with indifference examined the clothes, and signaled yes to the maid who had lead there and in turn signaled to follow back the same way. Going down the hallway heard voices coming from the grand stairwell and noticed two girls and a boy walking down who looked and just rolled their eyes with annoyance. The feeling of insignificance and out of place was overwhelming, in other words humiliation and shame for existing, a feeling of not being worth a crap, of just being a speck in a world where not existing would not be missed, a world that did not give a damn about anything, what was needed, what was thought, or what was wanted. Feeling insignificant, irrelevant, less than nothing. There were no words to say on the way back, but sadness and loneliness were heart-wrenching and quickly cleared a tear as the scenery began to change while getting closer to that dirtiness, ugliness, and disrepair so common for those who are selfish, uneducated, and criticize, however, do not act according to that that bothers them so…As a child brought into this madness could only rely on confusion being the constant and questioned sanity often for such arrogance as to think the majority wrong and knowing better than them.
Years later though realized we can escape anything and anyone but not the reflection in the mirror, this will always judge, criticize, challenge, however, while in the stupidity questioned ideas and often engaged with those around hoping to belong and realize that the truth laid within them, and subsequently follow their example and tried become as they were. But no, there was no escaping the questions and doubts and to ignored them was futile, it only exacerbated anxiety and personal disgust for questioning what was obvious…And when questions were asked that one listening would look on with fear and retreat as though escaping something horrible.
Reading was a refuge, an escape, and way to achieve knowledge so craved and insight into what didn’t make sense. And the only reference point to realize that there was greater, that the present situation was not the beginning and end. However, fear was a constant that questioned what was sought and that perhaps didn’t exist, and that maybe was trying to avoid a harsh reality that was palpable and for all to bear.
And then there was the physical abuse from the bastard, -the male donor of sperm that supposedly gave life-…This fool was a vicious ignoramus who used just a kid , -his own sibling- as the outlet for his frustration for being a loser, and often after indulging drinking he would come for no reason, start with slaps, often a belt would follow, and the entire violent scene always framed with insults. Mother stood by asking him to stop and afterwards would console with words of pity towards him, -the bastard-, who was frustrated for not having enough money to pay bills, one time she was asked “if he doesn’t have money then what does he drink with?”, and she shook her head confused and flustered unable to give a solid reason, “don’t question your father you owe him respect and love”
Respect, such big word with a meaning even more profound, that it entails looking up to, to follow, to obey perhaps…Love? Ah yeah sure…
How to respect someone that’s not even liked, just a crass and loud bastard, -who used cuss words for anything and anything, perhaps thinking that such gross way of expressing would give his ignorance some sort of meaning that it didn’t have, and the intrinsically were meaningless just because of whom they were uttered by him. A man who like those around that neighborhood of disgusting individuals delve in a menial job, with no education, no ambition, no sense of anything except striving towards nothing, other than drinking, eating, watching soccer, criticizing and bringing others into a world for no reason other than proving their manliness or womanhood, -not that this act proves anything in itself, other than being fertile-.
But no, there was no sense behind those evil thoughts towards those who fed, clothed, and gave life how arrogant to think everyone wrong specially them, they deserved understanding and love at least and so would kneel before that image in the small chapel and begged for forgiveness and asked that deity to take away those awful thoughts. Nothing was resolved, nothing went away, instead every day an aversion and annoyance remained at the core of every deed and thought, school was a means to an end, a place of learning and acquiring the ability to move on and seek what was so obscure, yet in a subliminal way possible…
There is a grand old church, -cathedral- in which a religious icon is revered and the reason for a huge congregation, mostly on Tuesdays to march in with pious and subdued demeanor. It is believed that if a worshipper visits the church for nine consecutive Tuesdays and prays to the icon following scriptures on a rosary, then any miracle that the believer vehemently requests will be granted. Therefore, stories abound for anyone to hear, of cures from some illnesses that may have been diagnosed as incurable and even fatal. Solutions to problems or any and all afflictions that may trouble any human, there are many folk stories of some miracle that took place following said regiment.
The icon is Saint Martin of Porres, an African slave who upon emancipation rather than seek fortune or some sort of selfish existence, instead joined the Jesuit Order and dedicated himself the rest of his years to succoring the sick and disheveled. Often giving to others his own food, for which he was entitled for being a man of the cloth. He was known for going deep into the forest to aid the lepers, which were shunned by civilization for fear of contamination, thus, they had to find some isolated place where to await death. Also, he would take home any individual he may have found in the streets without a place to sleep, give him his own bed, and he lay on the floor. But still not satisfied with his work, humility, and unselfishness, considered himself a great sinner, and would consequently, castigate himself with a whip before the icon of Jesus Christ. But then came the mystic tales regarding this man, which told of people seeing him levitate while in a trance during prayer, or that of having been seen by people at two different places at the same time, locations divided by great distances, and so forth… The never-ending sermons of patience, humility, love, and most of all faith, yes faith, only they forgot to add, that the latter man owes it to himself for himself, for the self is the only true possession, without it the world ends. Yes, St. Martin was an admirable man, for anyone who dedicates his entire existence to one venture with such fervor, -whichever it may be-, is a person to be reckon with in essence, belief, and ambition.
Could only watch and listen without being obvious because they send children away and not allow them around when adults are talking. Only because of the dirty jokes that send into loud guffaws, not because of profound thoughts that young ones can’t understand, or so they think. But nothing of importance is missed by staying away from those insignificant specimens. The questions remained, no foundation, no precedence to rely on except generations of equal despondency and ignorance. There’s the saying that distance makes the heart grow fonder, no, perhaps to the melodramatic. The truth is that distance puts matters in perspective, as it was eventually realized; that what before was seen and ignored, from afar though becomes clear and we can’t deny the truth that stood before us, and we had refused to accept, thus grasp the hypocrisy that abounded, and in turn mesmerized and frightened because there was no truth, only confusion and contradictions. But that was later, because while there and dwelling on this matters the greater the apprehension became and terror of living this nonsensical and mediocre existence that had no meaning, no substance…And then there were beatings, that bastard with insults, demeaning efforts in school and avid reading. Insecurity is a harrowing trait, that makes the sufferer turn defensive and fight with what goes beyond their narrow mind and challenges their limited outlook.
That house, that place where safety and peace ought to be found, that place called home, this was an insipid and oppressive abode whose architecture did not make sense at all, two rooms about seven inches in length and six in height, a living room, a small primitive kitchen with cables precariously dangling every which way, and a bathroom so small that a hole was left so that light could filter in…There was no separation from the toilet and the shower, so yes, everything got wet when cold showers were taken, but if a warm shower was required or there was time, then water would be heated on the stove poured into a bucket and with a smaller cup the water was scooped to bathe. Beyond this,